No failures; just setbacks.

The year is ending.

2015 was a a wasted year.  Well, it feels like a wasted year.  I had so many plans for 2015 at the end of 2014 and none of them fell through.  That happens in life, doesn’t it?  We make plans but sometimes our plans don’t always work out.

I’ve struggled with the thought of how I am a failure because I am not where I want to be in life right now.  I had it all planned out in a neat and organized road map.  I  was going to do this first, then this, then this…. Instead, I hit a road block and had to make a detour. Then I hit another road block, then another, then another…. I am currently at a roadblock right now.

It’s frustrating when life doesn’t go how you want it to go.  It’s disheartening when people aren’t who you want them to be.

I’m rambling.  I know I’m rambling…..

I’ve had my confidence shaken to the ground this year.  I had my confidence shaken so much that I’ve nearly lost it all and I’m just barely getting it back.  What happened?  Words.  Words, as always.  Words and discrimination.  I see both sides of the penny, but some people only see one.

I was praying in my car a few weeks ago, and was expressing my anguish to the Lord.  I was telling Him about how I feel like such a failure because my life isn’t going where I want it to be according to my  plans.  Then something stopped and hit my brain that my life isn’t supposed to be going according to my plans.  My life goes according to His plans.  And it doesn’t matter what other people say, what their opinions are, because He has a plan for me already.  

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

 

I know that verse is on nearly every Christian Graduation card, but the words are so powerful.  The most powerful word I see in that verse is the word hope.  Something inside me told me that I’ve had no failures this year, only setbacks.  Setbacks happen, but I shouldn’t give up.  I should keep fighting and holding on to that hope.

 

 

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Dear Daddy: Four Terrible Words

Dear Daddy,

Mommy woke us up to the words “Daddy didn’t make it.” I don’t know how I feel. Shocked? I guess? It’s such an odd feeling. I think I literally heard a piece of my heart crack. Mommy is on Brianna’s bed crying. She sobs “what am I going to do without my husband?”

Yeah, what is she going to? How could you leave her? How could you leave us? Why didn’t you try to hold on? Why couldn’t the doctors save you? I know they said you had a 50/50 chance but why didn’t you try to pull through? What are we supposed to do now? It’s like the world has turned upside down. The atmosphere has shattered.

Yesterday everything seemed so normal. I spent time with friends and then came home. Later that night you came into the room and said goodnight. How was I supposed to know it would be your last goodnight?

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Dear Daddy: The One Where We’re Waiting

Dear Daddy,

Here we are in the waiting room of the hospital. I have my bible in my hands and Elvis Costello singing through my headphones. I am praying, praying so hard, harder than I’ve ever prayed because the doctors say your situation is “touch and go.” Apparently the bullet hit a large artery in your leg and you lost a lot of blood. I’ve never been so scared in my life.

Yet I’m hopeful that you’ll make it. I believe you’ll make it because you are invincible. You claim that you’ve been shot, stabbed, and ran over. Both heaven and hell did not want you. They would rather have you be obnoxious here on earth than annoy the angels, right? Right? You’ll make it. You have to make it. This is just going to be another one of your over told stories. It will be the same story you tell your grandchildren and great grandchildren years from now. It will all be okay because you can’t go. You just can’t.

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Blog Series Announcement

I’ve decided to use this blog to write a series of posts about the passing of my father. I feel like I’m (trying to) finally reach a point in my life where I can talk about (or at least write about) my experience with his death. As I’ve mentioned in the previous post, I’ve had problems with writers block. I always hear the term “write what you know” and well, this is what I know.

Life isn’t like a book or a movie. Life doesn’t follow a linear rule of exposition, rising action, climax (also known as the turn of events), then falling action and resolution. Life goes up and down….yet…..if my life was a book or movie….his death would be the climax because it’s the day when almost everything in my world changed.

I’m not writing these posts for sympathy or pity. I’m writing so I can share my experience with you all. I don’t know, maybe one of you will be able to relate to it.

Anyway, the first post will go up tomorrow.

-Cassie

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Writer’s Block

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been writing. I bought a Hello Kitty notebook in the third grade and that was the start of it all.  I would write stories, recollections of my days, thoughts, feelings, poems, ideas, etc.  I’ve never been particularly good at it, but it’s part of who I am. I carry around a notebook with me pretty much everywhere I go just in case there’s a chance I might become inspired.  I’ve been carrying around the same notebook for a while now though because for the past 2 years I’ve had a serious case of writers block.  I have written very little.  I’ve made attempts, as you could read from my previous posts, but they are far too few and far apart.

I’m trying to overcome my writer’s block though by doing the only thing I can thing of to do: to write more.

I’m not sure yet what this blog will be about but I just hope I continue trying.

Stay tuned if you’d like.

-Cassie

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What I’ve learned this year (2014)

Some of these “lessons” might be cliche/common sense/ whatever and at 23 I should know all of this by now but these are things I feel like have applied to my life and the situations I was in this year.  

1. You can’t please everyone. 

I like making people happy.  I am one of those annoying people who will go out of their way to make others happy.  Even for people who are ungrateful and unappreciative.  My eagerness to please others turns me into a walking doormat.  I’ve wasted so much time and energy this year trying to please others and make everyone happy until I came to a screeching halt.  I stopped and realized that I wasn’t happy.  And everything I was doing for others wasn’t benefitting me.  In fact, it was holding me back.  Plus, no one seemed to care and they still weren’t happy anyways.  (But you know, some people are just chronically unhappy people).  Then I thought to myself, “I don’t need anyone’s damn approval!” So I decided that next year I’m going to be a bit more selfish.  Because you can’t please everyone.  And the person who’s happiness I should focus on is my own.

You can't always please everybody, but you can do what makes you happy and just hope that those around you will be happy for you.

2. Complaining gets you nowhere. 

I probably complain too much.  I’m a constant complainer.  I don’t think I ever realized how annoying complaining can be until these past few months.  ALL I’ve been hearing lately is complaints.  And isn’t it the pot calling the kettle black that I’m complaining about people complaining? Well yeah, but, I’ll get to my point in a minute.  All I’ve heard since September is people complaining.  All I’ve done as well was complain.  Neither I nor the other people complaining ever actually did anything to improve our situation.  We didn’t even try.  We just complained.  Now I’m thinking, how different things would be if we actually stopped complaining, got off our asses, and did something.  Tried something.  In 2015 I plan on complaining less, and trying something different.

3. Take things one step at a time. 

I felt very overwhelmed this year.  It was difficult for me trying to balance work, school, a semi-active social life, and getting up before the sun rises almost every day to take my mom to work.  I felt tired.  Exhausted.  I was so sleep deprived that I was lucky to get 5 hours of sleep a night.  Mentally, I felt groggy.  It affected my school work.  If affected my job and the way I interacted with my students.  I would take forever on assignments that usually would’ve taken me an hour at most to complete.  I tried multitasking: doing everything all at once.  I’d have mini meltdowns when I didn’t have enough time to finish everything I had to do.  Since I can be a bit of a perfectionist, I felt like nothing I did was good enough.  It wasn’t my best quality.  It wasn’t my best quality though, because doing too much at one time leaves me and all my efforts scattered.  When I messed up on something, I would tear my self down.  I had to remind myself that it’s not the end of the world if I mess up.  I’m not perfect and there’s no use trying to be.  Also, I’m not an octopus and doings as if I am is ridiculous. I have to slow down. I have to finish one task before I begin another. I have to take a breathe and take things one step at a time.

4.  I’ve come a long way. 

Most of the time I feel like I’m stuck in one place.  I’m still going to school.  I’m still working part time and trying to make ends meet.  On Facebook I see friends from high school who have jobs, cars, and their own apartments already.  I see people getting married and having babies. While I still live with my mom and younger sister, and I’m probably nowhere near getting married or having children.  Sometimes I feel like life is just passing me by, and I’ve accomplished nothing.  Then the voice inside my head tells me, “Stop thinking so negatively. You’ve come a long way.”  And you know what? I have come a long way.  Especially this year.  This year, I was the first one in my entire family to graduate college.  Out of all my brothers, sisters, cousins, and even aunts and uncles I AM the first one.  I don’t mean one of those community colleges or those vocational schools either.  (Which, in my opinion, vocational schools aren’t real colleges. They’re trade schools.)  I got my Bachelor’s Degree yo! I am college educated.  I’ve just completed my first phase of the Credential Program.  And, if all goes according to plan, before Christmas of 2016 I will have not one but TWO teaching credentials.  Don’t mean to brag or anything, but I think that means that I’m pretty awesome.  I know very few people my age who have accomplished as much.  I’m proud of myself.  Also, the fact that I come from a low socioeconomic background and I’ve graduated college despite statistics saying I wasn’t going to makes me even more proud of myself.

Plus, I have my own car! Okay, well technically it’s the banks car until I pay off the loan, but I have my own car that I’m paying off myself.  All on my own with no help from anyone.  I’m college educated and I have my own car.  I am awesome.

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Summer 2014

This summer hasn’t been the most exciting summer I’ve ever had. I haven’t done as much traveling as I would have liked. I’ve done absolutely zero traveling actually. It’s been extremely hot where I live, and my house is an old house with no AC so that sucks. Still, this summer hasn’t been that bad. I’ve actually had a lot of good experiences this summer.

I had the opportunity to work at a summer school literacy camp program at an Elementary school. The entire campus focused on reading and writing intervention, and there were kids from all over the district. Since I previously had experience in reading and writing intervention, I was able to use what I already know but I also gained a lot of knowledge as well. I’ll admit that I sort of experimented a bit, but I got to see what worked and what didn’t work.

The teacher I worked with was incredible. She was so nice, and was always so prepared. I liked that she gave me a lot of freedom when working with students. Instead of treating me like another teacher’s aide, she treated me like a fellow teacher. Whenever I had a question she was always happy to answer. Let me tell you, there were days when I had a lot of questions but she never seemed to be bothered by them. She gave me a lot of good advice, and showed me tips and techniques that I could use in the classroom. She showed me this amazing classroom management website, which has given me ideas on how I want to run my own classroom. On the second to last day she gave a me a gift, my own “treasure box” to use in my own classroom, and it completely touched my heart. I was both surprised and inspired. There are honestly days where I wonder if I’m going into the right career, but her gift has sparked an excitement in me. Now I cannot wait until I finish the credential program and have a classroom of my own. When school starts up again in the Fall, I’m planning on visiting her and giving her a token of appreciation.

Working with the kids was, of course, my favorite part of it all. I think anyone who plans on being a teacher has to enjoy working with kids. If they don’t then they are probably in the wrong profession. There were some days that were frustrating, and I felt like I had the worst students in the entire school, but I hear a lot of teachers feel that way. Despite that, my students were pretty great. Most of them are barely going into the first grade, so I understood why they had such high energy and weren’t used to so many rules. I definitely got attached to every single one of my students. Even the ones with “behavior issues”. I don’t really like labeling kids though. To me, I see 20 different smaller human beings each with their own individual personalties.

I don’t know if they understood why they were in summer school, or if they even wanted to be there, but I hope that it benefited them. Actually, scratch that. The last part. I know that it benefited them because I definitely saw growth from the first week to the last. Even the tiniest bit of growth is still growth. They should all be proud of themselves. I wish every one of them success in the future.

I also met some awesome people while I worked there. Since I usually work mornings at my regular workplace, I don’t often get chances to interact with fellow coworkers. And even when I do, let’s face it I’m super shy and I barely say more than “hi” sometimes. I’m glad I got to meet these new people though, because they were down to earth and I enjoyed hearing about their experiences. I feel like I’ve learned some things from them, and I’m always trying to learn new things from people.

Speaking of learning new things (awesome segue right?) I’ve been reading a lot of books lately. I love reading, because I often learn something from a good book. Books open up whole new worlds. I love diving in and getting away from reality for a couple of hours. I just finished reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but I haven’t begun my review of it yet.

Summer is pretty much the only time when I have free time on my hands. This means that I get to hang out with my friends a little more. It’s always nice to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in a while. I always have a good time with my friends. I feel weird writing friends so much.

Well besides reading, I don’t really have plans for the rest of my summer. But we’ll see. You never know what could happen next. 🙂

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