It’s the time of the year when everyone is feeling happy and looking forward to another new year. I’m no exception to that, I’ll be the first one to admit it, but before I get ahead of myself, join me as I take a quick look back on what this year has meant to me. Here are some of the highlights of my 2015:
LFBG 365 Challenge: halfway short to make it to the finish line
When I started my 365 Looking, Feeling, Being Good Challenge early this year, my goal was to document my success every day. While in the beginning, I was very hopeful that I would succeed in my objective, of course, it didn’t materialize as I expected. As a matter of fact, it was more difficult than I thought. I blogged a few of my experiences here if you were following my stories, but I didn’t get very far. In fairness, however, I must give myself some credit – and a pat on the back- for keeping up with the challenge. Albeit, maybe just not keeping up with the documenting part of my adventures. I may not have “technically” finished it as stipulated in my own-created rules, but I could honestly say that I went that extra mile and beyond to surpass all the tasks and opportunities that came my way this year.
Too Many Hellos and Goodbyes
Have you ever tried moving in two cities, miles and miles apart within a year? Well, don’t even think about it because it was a daunting, foreboding experience. After moving from St. Pete Beach to Celebration in August, we started packing again in October to move to another city, Orlando. I won’t call it bad planning, but let us just say it was just a perfect example of life’s unpredictability.
When I was accepted in the GTA Program at UCF, I didn’t anticipate driving 100 miles back-and-forth from home to work. To guarantee the experience will remain forever memorable, in addition to the long drive include the 5 budget-buster tolls that was part of the “sweet” commute (sarcasm). While at first I thought I could handle it, eventually it took a toll on me (no pun intended, well maybe). I felt that the long drive was cutting back on time that I should be studying and preparing for lesson plans. It surely was pretty exhausting that it almost drove me to the verge of giving up. The good thing is I have my husband, who always plays the leading role of my amazing saving grace. I knew from the moment I married him that he would love and care for me. But that conviction was just further substantiated when he, knowing my struggle, agreed with me without batting an eyelash to pack our belongings once again to look for a place near the university. We barely unpacked all our boxes from our move from St. Pete Beach and yet we started packing again. If that’s not love, I don’t know how to call it.
The search for a new home was not all smooth sailing. We spent a few days every week in a hotel to visit different properties in the area in between my classes. How we pulled it off successfully in a short period of time was truly a miracle. The house we found was more than what we expected. As a matter of fact, it was a dream come true. In our six years of marriage we always planned on living in a house instead of a condo, but it did not become a priority until this beautiful house presented itself, so now we are finally “home.”
We made it!
Despite some challenges we had to vanquish this year, I must say 2015 has been a great year for us. This year I must say I was able to accomplish the first part of my journey of the American Dream, and I couldn’t be happier. Come and join me as I look back on my 6 year-accomplishments here in the US.
September: Ten days after I arrived here in the US, we said our most-awaited I do’s. It didn’t take long and I got my US Resident card.
February: I received my Driver Learner’s Permit and started learning how to drive. A couple of months later my husband bought me a car which I used for my actual driving test. My score from the test was far from perfect but thankfully I made it on my first attempt, no injuries or twisted metal.
April: I started my first job and have been a teacher since then.
March: After successfully passing the Florida Teacher Licensure Exam for TESOL K-12, I got the status of eligibility to teach K-12 from the Florida Department of Education. Likewise, after satisfying all requirements in education and training in Early Childhood Education, I also received in the same year my Staff and Lead Teacher VPK Credential from the Department of Children and Families.
September: We flew to Manila to visit my family in the Philippines.
May: We flew to Indiana to visit my husband’s family.
August: We moved to St. Pete Beach to give our dream to live on the beach a chance.
January: I enrolled for my Graduate Program in TEFL.
February: I became a US citizen
September: After completing the necessary Montessori education and training, I received my Montessori Assistant Teacher credential. For two and a half years I worked as a Montessori Assistant Teacher.
July : We visited the three branches of the government in Washington DC. In the same year, I also received a personal letter from Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
December: I exercised my rights to vote.
May: I completed my Graduate Program in TEFL from the University of Central Florida.
June: I had my internship at St. Petersburg College, teaching English for Academic Purposes.
August: I got accepted in the MA Program TESOL at University of Central Florida. I was also admitted as a Graduate Assistant-IEP Instructor at English Language Institute, UCF.
In a nutshell, it looks like I’ve fully maximized the use of my brain the past few years. Thus, what I look forward to do next is the opportunity to enjoy myself. No more school after my graduation in summer. This time I want to do something that will feed both my heart and soul. The first in my list is to do a little bit of travelling next year, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Wish me luck. Happy New Year to all!