3:37 p.m. - 2003-03-29
If you've read my diary at all, you probably have a pretty good idea of who I am. Writing here allows me to express exactly the way I feel about things--like relationships, religion, beliefs, irritations, emotions, and everything else in between--without caring if it's going to offend someone or be damaging to their feelings. After all, these are my words, and it is my diary. If you don't like what I say, don't read me. I didn't force you to come here. If you disagree with me on something, (then by all means, email me, leave a note, or write in the guestbook. But if you do so, remember that what we're discussing are basically beliefs. Don't try to change me if I refuse to give in. I love a good debate, and sometimes I can be persuaded into a different way of thinking. Sometimes I'm wrong. I'll be the first to admit that, but only an inarguable fact will make me change my mind. If my dates are off, I'll change them. If you want to bitch about my punctuation or spelling, then do so. Sometimes writers don't seem to care about things like spelling and punctuation. I do. I love writing, and more than anything, I want to write well. Perhaps my writing style isn't to your liking, but grammar is different. Sometimes I use run on sentences. Other times I won't even write a full sentence. But if I write it that way, it's the way I intended. Most of the time I just sit down and write what comes to me, then I'll go back and proof-read.
But enough about my writing preferences. I'm guessing you'd like to hear about me. If you keep up with my diary on a regular basis, you already know a lot. Like I said, I'm honest (for the most part) here.
I'm quite a contradiction, to begin with. I'm from the south--born and raised in a tiny little town in Northern Louisiana. I attended a private school all of my life, and sometimes I regret that, because I wish that I could have gotten more exposure to more diverse people...people more like me. I wasn't the completely unpopular person in high school, but I never won Homecoming Queen or Prom Queen or any of that bullshit. And honestly, I didn't care. I drank alot in high school. (Who doesn't?) I started smokiing pot when I was about sixteen. I had a group of about 6 friends that I hung out with regularly, but I really only gave a damn about two of them. I made good grades in school, even though I never studied and came to school stoned quite a bit. I was incredibly depressed, but I never got help for it, because my family didn't believe in psychiatrists or medication to change it. They just thought that I needed more discipline, and that I was going through a phase that I'd eventually get out of. (Finally, when I turned 22, I decided that I had damn well better get some help or something seriously bad was going to happen.) But I'm jumping ahead of myself.
My senior year of high school, I began dating an unbelievable man. He was 23, I was 17. My parents were fine it, and I really wouldn't have cared if they weren't. He was the first person I ever slept with, and six years later, we're still together. (And he's still the only person I've ever slept with. It may be odd, it may seem freaky, but it's true. Of course, sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be with someone else, but those are just random, fleeting thoughts. I'd never act upon them.) So I'm faithful. Just so you know.
Senior year was pretty much devoted to spending time with my boyfriend, rehearsing for the school play, fighting with close friends, editing the yearbook, and trying to decide on what college I wanted to go to. When I think back on it, it seems like just a blur of activity. Which it was. I managed to graduate with honors, I won some awards, I read a really cheesy poem that I had written at graduation.
In the end, I decided to go to a small, liberal arts college about fifty miles north of here. Freshman year was a blast. I met tons of new friends (a very eclectic group of them), I slept very little, and I was exposed to views that I had never even heard of before. I joined a sorority the second semester, and dropped out before the semester was over. Sororities were definitely not my thing. But at least I experienced it. I barely managed to keep my scholarship, but remarkably enough, my grades were okay. During the next three years, I lived with three different roommates, learned the value of acceptance and understanding, and began to doubt everything that I had been taught all of my life. I wouldn't trade my college experience for anything, because it helped open my eyes to completely new ways of thinking. I changed from a die-hard Republican to a pretty-far-to-the-left-wing Liberal. I majored in Communication because I loved to write, and I thought I'd be excellent in the field of advertising.
During the three months of summer between college graduation and beginning work, I completely redecorated/remodeled our house (in our hometown). I loved every dirty, grimy, sweaty second of it. I transformed something hideous into something beautiful, and I was so proud of myself.
Then, in August, I got a job offer at an advertising agency in the same town that I attended college. I was thrilled. I couldn't wait to start. I bought a new wardrobe, and I was determined to succeed at this wonderful opportunity.
But the excitement faded quickly as I began to realize that I had misjudged myself and what I really wanted out of life. The boyfriend had turned into a fiancee by this time, and we left our beautiful house to live in a tiny little apartment so that I could pursue my career. I began to loathe my job, my living arrangements, and I realized that the town I had worked so hard to get out of was where I really wanted to be. My family was there. My house was there. Slowly, I started to understand that the fast-paced, big city life that I had craved so badly was exactly what I didn't want. So I gave my two weeks notice, moved back home, and immediately began teaching the third grade here. I had no prior knowledge or training for a teaching position. I was scared to death of what was going to happen when I walked in that classroom. But the first day went all right, the second was better, and by the time the week was up I had come to understand something. It was then that I realized that this, of all things, was something I enjoyed. I love teaching. I swore for years that I'd never resort to becoming a school teacher. I'd never "settle" for that life. I just could not live in my hometown. I couldn't be that person.
Turns out, I am that person, to a certain extent. I enjoy my home. I love being near my family. I like the fact that I can have animals--as many as I want--and not have to hear a landlord bitch about it. I can paint my walls purple, I can dig up the yard, and I can nail pictures on the walls. I feel safe here. That said, after spending two more years here, I'm ready to leave again.
Alan (the boyfriend turned fiancee and now, my husband) likes it here well enough. And agreeably, there are a few perks to living where we do. We know practically everyone, and they know us. Of course, that's not always a good thing, but it's nice to be able to be able to "pull strings" if need be. If I get a tank full of gas and then discover that I don't have any money or a checkbook, they'll let me bring the money later, no problem. You just don't find that most places.
Anyway, back to my life. After teaching eight and nine year olds for only a month or so, I was placed teaching a Pre-GED / Option III program for "at risk" high school kids that were in danger of dropping out. I didn't want the job. I was angry about it for a long time, but it got better. Looking back, I sometimes wonder whether or not I made the right decision when I quit.
But quit I did, and went back to college for a year in order to get my teaching certificate. 2003 was quite an eventful year for me, actually. Alan and I married on July 26, and we honeymooned in Asheville, North Carolina, where I was able to meet a close friend who is, perhaps, one of the most amazing people I've ever known. Following that, I got a job in a different parish--thirty miles away--and taught third grade in the most poverty-stricken area of town. My first real year of teaching was hell, but I finished the program, got my certificate, and after a lot of soul-searching, I decided that I'd made the right decision in becoming a teacher.
As of now (November 2004), I'm still employed with the same school, but I'm teaching first grade this time around. It's both exciting and overwhelming, and definitely the most demanding job I've ever had.
Journaling here has helped me in ways that I never could imagined. I've made some incredible friends who have helped me through some of the most trying times of my life. I've opened up my heart and soul to anyone who happened to stumble across this little space, and along the way I've discovered things about myself that I never realized before. There have been a lot of highs and lows for me in the past couple of years, and most of them are recorded here.