Monday, March 25, 2013

Friday Night Freak-out....wait, actually, it's Sunday. But Friday sounded cooler

Ever since I declared my major of Elementary Education, I've been very torn and wishy-washy about actually going through with becoming a teacher and establishing that as my future career. The reason why I chose it in the first place was a result of a couple of life experiences. My initial major in college was Exercise Science. I only declared that because I know I absolutely loved doing sports growing up and I love being physically active on a daily basis. However, I had no career plan or any idea as to what I wanted to do with an EXS degree. Around the same time I was feeling this way, I just happened to get a summer job working at the community park I grew up at. I would be a recreational aide/leader for the City & County's Summer Fun program! It was my first time being in charge of my own group of kids. I absolutely loved it, so much so that I have done it every summer for 4 consecutive years. Two years ago I also received a calling (sort of - I wasn't set apart) to be a longterm substitute primary teacher for 5 year olds. On top of that, in mine and Josh's first ward after being married I was called to teach Sunday School 12/13 year olds. So over a period of 3 or so years, my love for teaching and working with children grew. I felt like I already had a basic foundation of this love having grown up in a very large family in which I was constantly surrounded by kids. So these are the 2 things that led me to declare the ELED major in Fall of 2011:

1. Love for children

2. Love for teaching

Despite these two facts, I have had a little anxiety over becoming a teacher for several reasons. One, initially, was just the general stress that the teaching profession entails. Another reason, which I honestly don't care too much about, is the crappy pay teachers receive. Like I said though, I don't really care about making a ton of money as I am not expecting to be the breadmaker in my family, just a supporter.

The deeper I got into the education program since 2011, the more my anxiety has grown. Here is a list of things that overwhelm me about teaching:

classroom management, lesson/unit planning, assessing, grading, meetings, parent-teacher conferences, working with administrators, working with other teachers, dealing with troubled kids or kids with special needs, dealing with angry parents in general, feeling heartbroken over a child's unfortunate home life, being on my feet all day and coming home too exhausted to enjoy my time with my family, not having time to surf anymore (this is a legitimate worry because surfing is my stress reliever and outlet and something I am passionate about), and the list goes on...

Right now I am set to begin full-time student teaching in July. That is only 3 1/2 months away! I'm not worried at all about being in charge of my own class, but I am worried about managing everything else that semester will demand of me! Not only will I be planning and teaching lessons day in and day out, but I will be having to conduct my own action research project in which I focus on the progress of one student, and I will have to put together a professional employment portfolio, and I will have to put together another binder that fulfills the teacher's professional disposition standards, and the faculty at the BYUH School of Ed will be randomly popping in to observe me teach. I AM FREAKING OUT ABOUT ALL OF THIS!!!!

Am I mentally and emotionally strong enough to be a teacher? Will I be happy doing it? Can I handle the stress? Is my love of teaching and for children going to be enough to get me through each day? These questions have gone through my mind for this entire semester and I've had to seriously battle my thoughts of switching to the non-licensing track and graduating this April instead of December (which would be after student teaching). Each time I decided against switching out simply out of obligation... I might as well license since we are staying in Hawaii pretty much forever, and I would feel stupid graduating with a useless degree. I guess I could substitute teach...but that wouldn't give me a stable job. It's pretty much being on-call all the time.

I finally expressed all of these worries and frustrations with Josh tonight when we got back from family dinner with the Grahams in Kahuku. We sat in the car for an hour after we parked and I just let it all out. Josh did so well just listening to me, and then after I finished, he gave me lots of loving advice and encouragement. I want so badly to make a difference to the kids I may/will teach. I want so badly to reach each one of them. I don't want to become complacent if I do end up teaching. I want so badly to be confident that I can succeed as a teacher. I want so badly to be content and happy with my decision, whether it is to teach or not. I don't want to let people down, but mostly, I don't want to let myself down. I don't think I could live with the regret of backing out of something like this out of fear and worry. I think it might've been President Hinckley who said to never, ever sell yourself short of your potential. I feel like that's what I would be doing if I backed out now, out of fear. So I guess the only thing to do now is to accept how much hard work I am going to need to put into this upcoming Fall semester as I student teach. I will get a taste of what real teaching will be like, and then I will be able to make a much more confident and educated decision on whether or not I truly want teaching to be my lifetime career.

I've always been super indecisive when it comes to life decisions because I'm deathly afraid of making the wrong choice. Thank goodness I have a loving, patient husband who is there to push me when necessary, but is also my supporter in what I decide to do. I love him for that and more. So here's to my sucking it up and accepting that this is what the Lord has planned for my life. I hope I can fulfill His will for me and make Him proud. He is my Father (in heaven) after all.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Taking a Leap of Faith

Today I began taking a medication called Clomid. I named this blog post "Taking a Leap of Faith" because I have been scared to use it until now. I first got the medication back in September when I was initially diagnosed with PCOS. Today I decided to start taking the pills. I just wanted to document this because when you are TTC (trying to conceive) you learn to document EVERYTHING. Because everything that happens with your woman parts is important and useful information to tell your doctor when you go and see them so they can make the appropriate changes if necessary to your treatment.

I asked a really close friend of mine's mother if she had any advice for me since she went through this same experience almost 20 years ago. The first thing she told me was to be aware of moodiness, because like BCP it affects your hormones and any hormone-altering drug can make you moody. This warning is more for Josh than for me :P haha, just kidding love. Anyway, she also said that the added stress of hope and worry along with the hormone level changes can really affect my emotions. She also reminded me that worrying changes nothing, so I might as well be positive! Worrying is a negative emotion and my body needs all the positives it can get right now :) The main thing, though, is to stay close to my Savior. To always remember that things will happen in HIS time. It's a natural human tendency to get frustrated when things don't go my way or in my time, but I am making efforts to replace my frustration with...distractions. That's the best, most honest way I can put it. An example of this is sometimes I'll tell myself, "I can go surfing anytime I want because I'm not pregnant!" It may be superficial, but it really does help to remind me that there is always a good thing you can find in every situation.

Back to staying close to the Savior. My friend's mom said that I NEED to pray and study. This way I can find patterns in the scriptures of hope and positive thoughts from others that were experiencing tough trials in their lives that will be helpful to me. Don't just read the stories, but actively search for the patterns and lessons embedded in the storie to find guidance.

I've only ever been consistent in daily scripture study a few times in my life, and the sad thing is that most of those times were during the hardest parts of my life. It seems like every time I start getting lazy, I am faced with another big trial that reminds me to get back to reading the sticks. Maybe I should stop being lazy??? (That's a given).

Anyway, I'm not sure what the point of this post is other than to document the new updates in my life. I read online (because you can't post something online that isn't true, right?) that most women who end up conceiving while on Clomid do so in the first three cycles. After three, success rates diminish significantly. Then they have to start looking for other options to deal with their fertility issues.

One more thing I'd like to add, remember my last post about acceptance? Well a friend who is going through a similar trial to mine reminded me that we should always be aware that acceptance of anything is a process. You certainly don't wake up one day feeling like, "Hey! I've been trying to get pregnant for a whole year and may be struggling with this for the next few years, but I'm totally fine with that! I'll just move on with my life, la-di-da..." It's more like, you wake up one day okay with it, then you see a cute chubby-cheeked baby or yet ANOTHER person announces that they are pregnant on Facebook, and all those "okay" feelings get ripped in half, stomped into the ground, and washed away. Not all days are that extreme, but you know what I mean.

I got this idea to make a "Perk" list from a support group I joined. It's a list of perks/things I am able to enjoy because I am not pregnant nor do I have any children. I'm a little bummed that most of the things on this list are superficial, but the whole point is to look for the positives of my situation!

1. My husband and I have been able to cultivate our relationship and marriage as it has just been us 2 everyday for the last 21 months of our marriage.

I've seen it grow and grow and become more beautiful than I could have expected or imagined. I am truly grateful for this because Josh and I agreed that if a mother and father have a strong relationship full of love and time and effort, it will give our children a better family to be born into. :)

2. Josh and I get to surf whenever the heck we want!! (with the exception of work and school...)

I LOVE surfing and I love Josh. We are so blessed that we get to share our favorite activity together.

3. I get to stay skinny.

Again, totally superficial! But...I definitely feel a boost in self-confidence knowing I am in shape and physically healthy.

4. Josh and I can go on dates any time we want! And for however long we want!

I'm sure we will look back on all our dates we went on during this time with lots of good feelings and happy memories! Not that we won't have any dates after the babies come...I've learned from my dad how important it is to keep date night in your weekly schedule, even with 10+ kids! But it's nice to not have to worry about babysitters and what not, for now. :)

and possibly the most important one (until I think of something better):

5. We will be able to look back on this experience and appreciate our children that much more, knowing our struggles that we overcame and still continue to overcome.

I like to relate this one to my "waiting" (I hate that term) for Josh when he was serving his mission. When he was gone for those two years, I was just dying to see his face or to hear his voice! And when I did see/hear him those moments were so heavenly and I treasured them! I definitely appreciate Josh so much more because of that experience. I'm not saying I'm infallible - I do get irritated with him sometimes for one dumb reason or another, but then I always remember how much I yearned for his presence, and then I think about how I am freakin' MARRIED to that man now! And I remember how lucky and blessed I am, and how stupid I am being in my irritation. :P But I feel that when I am finally blessed with children, or even one child, I will treasure him/her as the most precious thing that has ever graced my life, besides my marriage. My love will be that much stronger. My will to succeed as a mother will increase. My determination and willingness to sacrifice for him/her/them will be greater.

Now that I made that list, I feel like it's a good time to end this post. It felt good to think positively :) Until next time!