Nine years ago, I graduated from high school.
Yikes. Hello, blond Courtney.
I still can’t believe it’s been nine years. Where does the time go? I left high school knowing full well that college was right around the corner, and I was ready.
Wouldn’t you know, it was nine years ago this very week that I began my first year of college, working towards my dream of one day becoming an elementary school teacher.
I worked my butt off during my time in college, loving almost every minute of it (you know, beside the horrible finals and all that jazz). I created lesson plan after lesson plan, unit plan after unit plan; loving every bit of pride that I gained in knowing that I was capable of creating really great work. Before I knew it, I was student teaching, and within 3-1/2 years, I graduated, with honors, and became the proud recipient of a Bachelor’s degree in Childhood Education.
Despite having a potential teaching opportunity right at my fingertips upon graduating, I decided to pass it up in favor of sticking with school full-time. I went on to continue my education, working towards a Masters degree in Literacy, knowing full well that if I took any amount of time off, it would be that much more difficult to get back into the groove.
I continued to work hard – probably harder than I had ever had to work at something in my semi-adult life. More lesson plans were developed, more students were tutored; and within 1-1/2 years, I became the proud recipient of a Master’s degree in Literacy.
Now fully educated, I immediately immersed myself into the field of education, searching for jobs left and right. For two years, I had a difficult time finding a permanent position and ended up doing a lot of substitute teaching and filling in for leaves of absence. Despite the fact that I did not have a classroom of my own yet, I soon became aware of the fact that my former teachers had certainly told the truth:
“You’ll never fully understand the life of a teacher until you experience it for yourself.”
It wasn’t that I doubted what they had said; surely this would be the case with any profession? But I had so strongly loved all of the intricate details of my schoolwork and planning of lessons up to this point that I never imagined it would make much of a difference for me…
Well I eventually landed myself a probationary teaching position. I was happy, but I nervously found that the passion that was once there for the profession had become slightly dim. I brushed off these feelings, attributing them to the nerves of being fully immersed in the adult job world. I mean, this was a big change…and I had never been great with change. But they still never went away.
There were numerous times that I tried talking to my family about these feelings. At first, they said I was just being silly; that I was afraid of growing up and that I’d be fine. This was, in fact, what I went to school for, so of course this is what I wanted…right?
Well if that was the case, then why were my “Sunday blues” getting so bad?
Why was I dreading going to work the next day?
Fast-forward to this past school year. I changed grade levels, had some great teachers on my team, and went in with a brand new perspective on things. I was determined that this was going to be the best school year yet, so I put all of my energy into it and dove in head first. To be honest, it probably was the best school year I’d ever had. I had an amazing class of 19 fifth graders who I was bananas for. I enjoyed seeing them each and every day.
But despite my awesome class, there was still something missing. The passion just wasn’t there.
Fast-forward a bit more to this past April, and I suddenly found myself not teaching. I’m not going to get into the details about it because honestly, it’s done and over with and it’s in my past. What I do know is that I’ve always been a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason” and I suddenly found myself trying to figure out what those reasons were.
I spent months dwelling on it, but all along, I couldn’t help but feeling somewhat of a sense of relief. Perhaps this situation was a way of telling me that I needed to move forward…I needed to stop spending my days doing something that I wasn’t truly passionate about. It was time to look ahead.
So for these past five months, I’ve been doing a whole lot of soul searching. There has been many, many days with frustration, anger, and tears. There has also been days filled with overwhelming joy and excitement about all of the potential that is right at my fingertips.
Then, right before I left for HLS, it hit me: I knew what I wanted to do. It had been something in the back of my mind for probably about a year now. Actually, it started shortly after I began immersing myself more and more into the world of healthy living blogs. But it was almost as if a switch had flipped overnight and suddenly I was sure.
A good handful of you reading this right now probably already know what I’m talking about. That’s because, as soon as that feeling hit, I had to get it out. I talked to family and many, many friends about it. (Thank you to my dear blog friends, Julie, Paige, Tina, Gina, Heather, Jen, and Alicia –to name a few- for listening!)
Many of them weren’t the slightest bit surprised by my revelation, which I found somewhat surprising and comforting. I’ve always enjoyed helping people. I’ve always loved interacting with people. I’ve always enjoyed teaching. My love for fitness has grown tremendously over this past year, and now I am ready and eager to share this passion with others. SO…
I’ve begun studying to become certified as a personal trainer!
I never thought I’d be so excited about “studying” for something else again in my life, but I really am. Whereas “studying” used to be just getting through the chapter before, now I’m attempting to soak up every last bit of it. I’m like a darn sponge, I’ll tell ya!
As for the blog, you probably won’t see too much different, except for some extra comments about studying, I’m sure. But I am so darn excited to get this ball rolling and start putting together some of the ideas that are swirling around in my brain.
If you’re still reading at this point, you rock. Really. I had no intention of this post being so darn wordy, but I had a lot to say and it just kept spilling out. Actually, I could probably go on and on even more, but I think it’s good to keep it at this.
So for now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go do a little more studying for my future.