Little Victories

July 5, 2017
In an attempt to stay positive during a difficult time in my life, I wanted to write a post sharing some of my recent successes. These aren't major accomplishments, but just small ones that help me feel better about life.

* I paid off one of my student loans. I'd been trying to pay that one off...oh, ever since I graduated in 2013, so to be able to get rid of one loan feels amazing. I still have a lot of work to do if I want to be debt-free, but I'm not going to be too hard on myself about this one because surgery is expensive and my health comes first. 

* I quit wearing my back brace. I swear my back brace became like another body part to me, and I felt I couldn't exist without it. I wore it for much longer than I should have. I thought I was protecting myself, but then I found out that wearing it for too long will can weaken your muscles. One day I just went cold-turkey and never looked back. I still have it around in case I need to go on a long flight, but it will be reserved for emergencies only. This is a victory for me because not needing my brace at all made me realize I'm doing much better than I thought I was!

* I lost all the weight I put on from my surgery. After my back surgery, I gained 30 pounds because I didn't walk for months. When I could eventually walk, it was only minimally. It was SO discouraging that I had gained so much weight from being kept at a (literal) standstill. I gained it so quickly, but it took me about a year to get rid of it. At least I finally did, though! Of course, I want to keep working on this area because I could definitely stand to lose more weight, but at least now I'm where I was beforehand so I don't feel like I've regressed any. 

* My co-teacher and I got best teaching class for all the subjects we teach. My school has random checks to see how the students behave, whether or not they did their homework, etc. Our homeroom class got all four of the awards in: Chinese, math, English, and science. I haven't heard of any other set of teachers getting all four of the awards, so I'm glad that my co-teacher and I make such a strong team. Of course, I also have to give credit to my fabulous students. 

* I was someone's mentor for the first time. A friend of mine was going for her international teaching license and asked me to be her mentor. There was a lot of paperwork involved, but it's all done now and she passed her courses! (It sounds bad to say she only "passed her courses", but she's British and her courses were done through a British university.  Let's just say there were plenty that didn't pass!)

* In June, I made the most of my time in Shanghai and started going out a lot more. I went out with my friends, went to some parties, went to a concert, and was able to do a little exploring. It made me feel like my old self! I am hoping that this is an indication of what next year will be like. My first year in Shanghai was like a 9 or a 10 out of 10 (until I broke my back!), but this year was probably like a 2 until here recently. I think next year is going to be so much better! When you FEEL better, that already solves part of the problem, now doesn't it? 

* My Instagram account has shown growth. I know I don't have "a lot" of followers, and I'm still considered to have a very small following, but now I have over 1,500 followers which feels like I hit an important milestone. 

* My teaching license is renewed for two more years. I was SO worried about that because I didn't want my hard work to go down the drain if it expired! Since I am overseas, I will eventually have to take an online course in order to renew it again. I'm not happy about that, but I have to do what I have to do to stay licensed. 

* I didn't miss any days of school with the students. Well, technically I missed the first field trip with them, but I even offered to go. My principal saw I could barely walk and already found a replacement for me. I really had my doubts about my health at the beginning of the year. It's a miracle I didn't miss any days with the kids, honestly.

* I moved to a new apartment. I almost didn't do this, but once I found out I had to have another surgery, I knew that there was no way I could walk up five flights of stairs to even get to my room! Anyway, I love my new place, and it was totally the right call! One of my pals is on my floor, and since we're neighbors we've started to look out for each other. 

* My class (students' parents) requested me for a third year. I really do love my students, so I'm flattered that the parents would ask to keep me again. I truly consider that a high honor! 

Even though these are all little achievements, they add up to something big, don't they? What have you done that you're proud of lately? 

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