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Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: A Year In Review

2009 marked my entrance into a university; no longer was I attending a community college. I was scared senseless my first day. I remember leaving a good two hours before my class was supposed to begin, despite the fact I only live 45 minutes away, and park in the parking garage farthest away. I got used to my classes pretty quickly and thus fell into a slight depression. My classes were all mixed-mode, and therefore most of the classtime was spent on the internet. It gave me little interaction with my peers and a lot of time by myself on the computer. I realized how much I desire being around other people. Even if we're not doing much, it beats being alone. I did some observation in a special education classroom and fell in love with an autistic boy. I now have the hopes of getting my masters degree in exceptional education, working with the more severe children.  Other than that, my first semester was nothing too exciting. I commuted an hour, went to class, and came back home. The fall semester was much more enjoyable. I loved each of my classes and I know I'm in the right major. Working with young children brings me such joy, and I hope that one day I'm the one who inspires them and makes their lives a little easier.

Summertime brought many fun experiences. May marked the closing of my job as a hostess and the beginning of my job as a babysitter. Five days a week for five hours a day I babysat twin eight-year-olds. Halfway through the summer their four-year-old sister was added to my arms. As difficult as these kids were some days, I loved spending my summer with them. They were crazy and hyper and at times I wanted to lock them away, but they were so much fun to be with. I miss them so much. In July I was a crew leader at Vacation Bible School at my church. So after five hours of babysitting three overly active kids, I went to church and hung out with eight overly active kids. Still, I had so much fun. During that week, I really felt my calling as a teacher.

In April I went to an Invisible Children rally called The Rescue of Joseph Kony's Child Soldiers. This event really pushed me into becoming more dedicated with IC; it was an awesome experience. I left with my heart full of joy and inspired. Then in June, three friends and I went to Washington, DC for Invisible Children lobby days. It was one of the most incredible experiences in my life. I laughed, I loved, and I was inspired. While in DC, I got the opportunity to meet two REAL heroes of mine, Bryce Avary of The Rocket Summer and Jason Russell, co-founder of IC. My heart was impacted on a whole new level that weekend, and I made a promise with myself that one day, who knows when, I will go to Uganda and meet the children that have changed my life in such a drastic way.

August marked one of the biggest steps I've taken in my life- moving away from my home. Granted, I only live 45 minutes away, but still.. it's a big step to take. I fell into a slight depression about halfway through the semester. I hadn't made any friends, and still haven't made many, and I was having a difficult time adjusting. I found myself going to numerous different club meetings, in an attempt to make friends. I've met friendly people, but still haven't made any FRIENDS. Since getting a job at Kohl's I've calmed down. I don't have as much free time. I get interaction with a number of friendly people. If there's one thing that I hope is better about next year, it's this aspect of my life.  Overall, however, my move away from home has benefited me. I am now closer to my family, as the little annoyances that originally drove me up the wall no longer bother me as much, since I'm not constantly around them.

My job at Kohl's was an interesting time. I started off completely despising it and dreading going into work. I felt my managers were too pushy and more than once did I come home in tears. Eventually I got over it. If the managers were pushy, I ignored them. I did my job, so there's no reason why they should make me feel like crap. A few months into it I almost started almost enjoying working, because I like almost everyone I work with. But, the job is close to an end, and while I'm happy about that, I don't want to find a new job. 

In the relationship department, I have remained single for the entity of the year. And my life. It's hard to explain how I feel about this; some days I could care less, but other days I would like to have someone. As I grow older, I realize more and more why I'm like this. My father left my family. You could say I was abandoned. He emotionally abused my mother. I was scared of him when I was younger because he spanked my brother and I a lot, and hard. I'm not trusting of many males and I have a difficult time talking to them, letting them get to know me. Unlike many girls who grew up fatherless, I have not had as many boyfriends as possible, trying to fill the void in my life. Instead, I run. Afraid of being hurt like my mother. Afraid of being abandoned. One day, I'm sure someone will come into my life. Someone who I will trust and not be afraid of. But until then, I will wait. Trusting that the Lord is selecting the exact right person for me, who won't mind me being wary in the beginning. Taking child development classes is what has really opened my eyes to this situation. How I act to certain things and situation. It's almost like therapy. (This was very personal, I normally shy away from this aspect of my life.) 

In the course of the year I do think I've grown as a person. I've become more compassionate and inspired. I've become dedicated to my future and Invisible Children. I've made a promise to myself that one day I will go to Uganda. I've realized how much I truly want to change the world, and how I will try my hardest to make this dream a reality.

And now, onto a new decade... I hope everyone has a happy and SAFE new year.


Anonymous said...

My favorite part of this was you talking about locking the children away that you babysat, haha.

It is strange looking back and seeing how much you change. I know my college years so far have really matured me and changed me, and for that I am glad. I wonder if in another couple years we will change just as much. its weird to think of.

here's to hoping 2010 is amazing!

also, i think i am going to do a 2010 in review as well. :)

Peter Eichstaedt said...

For an indepth look at Kony and the LRA, see the book, First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army.