Home

They say “home is where the heart is” and I guess that is true to a certain degree, but what if your heart has many levels and cannot stick to one particular “home.” When people ask me where my home is, I have difficulty responding. Is it my hometown where I grew up and have most of my memories; where most of my family that I love still lives? Or is it the town I currently live in, that I have loved almost as far back as I can remember, where I made a conscious decision to move and call home? Then again is your home where your license says your address is, where you have most of your stuff, or where you spend the most time? Or is the place where you plan on living and want to call home your real home?

I could very easily call six different places my home using these categorizations.

On the one hand I have Miami, FL. My hometown. All of my childhood and young adulthood friends still live there. Most of my memories take place there. And sometimes when I dream, the dreams still take place in Miami ( I guess I haven’t been living in my new home long enough). When I am talking to people, sometimes I still refer to Miami as home like, “Back home, we….” or “I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it back home for Christmas.”

But now I live in Greenville, SC. Greenville is a place I visited often as a kid and I have always loved this town like no other. Moving to Greenville was a conscious choice because I WANTED this to be my home. Not because of where I ended up being born or where my parents moved me to, or because a job forced me to relocate. I chose Greenville. I love Greenville.

And here where I live in Greenville, people always ask where I live, but technically I live in two places. Half of my stuff at my aunts where I go once or twice a week for family time and to pick up my mail and the other half of my stuff at my boyfriends house where I sleep and eat and do most of my work. And now we are building a new house which I already feel is my home because I know it will have all of my stuff in it and I am helping to make decisions about design because I will be living there presumably for quite a while. I can already imagine my own space and how things will be in my kitchen. In my own first home.

What the front of my new house will look like
What the front of my new house will look like
The layout for the new house.
The layout for the new house.
The bonus room on top of the garage for the new house.
The bonus room on top of the garage for the new house.

And of course there is where I spend most of time. That would be my classroom. I could probably live in my classroom if I had to. I love it that much. And I spend enough time there that it must seem that I do live there sometimes. Now I know why kids always assume that their teachers live at the school and are so shocked when they find out differently.

My behavior chart
My behavior chart
Computer Station and some Science stuff!
Computer Station and some Science stuff!
My Math Bulletin Board
My Math Bulletin Board
My classroom library and Reading Bulletin Board
My classroom library and Reading Bulletin Board

So I don’t know that you can say home is one place necessarily. I think home is a mix of all the different places that have special places in your heart.

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I Write Because…

I have always loved writing. I started writing when I was really young. My first grade teacher even gave me a certificate at the end of the year that said “Most Likely to be a Writer.” I remember getting my first diary in first grade. Santa brought it wrapped in festive paper. It was a pink Tweetybird book with pink pages and a lock and key. I fell in love with writing down every single minutiae thought that popped into my head.

I have kept every diary I have had (this is about two notebooks a year) since the first grade. I have always found it interesting to look back on what my younger self used to think and see how I have grown as a person. Around sixth grade I decided I wanted to be an actress and that someday people would want to know my every thought so I should make sure they were recorded. Around tenth grade I found writings of my family members and thought it was so interesting to take a peek into their heads and see what they were really thinking.

You never really know someone till you read some of the things they write they think no one will ever see.

I decided that I should keep my recording going, not because one day I would be famous and my every thought would be published, but because then a niece or nephew or a future child of mine would one day find them and really get to know me and feel the way I did when I came across those journals: like I wasn’t quite so alone, like somebody understood me.

I started blogging in high school because I thought it would be interesting to see what happened when I put my ideas and pictures out into the world. You never know what kind of reaction you will get. Also, it didn’t feel like exposing myself because there is a certain amount of anonymity when you face the world through a computer screen. Later on in college I started blogging about the things that interested me.

Now, I am writing this blog because I want to share my planning experiences and how planning helps me be better person on a daily basis. It is one of my obsessions and one of the way I control my obsessions is by writing about them.

So now I journal privately to work out the things in my life that I cannot understand, to ramble about the things I’m pretty sure no one else wants to hear about but I just have to tell to someone, to record what has happened in my life good or bad, and I blog publicly to share about my crazy obsession with anyone that it will help and anyone who shares the obsession.

I write because I can and because it keeps me sane and happy, but I also write because I hope it will let people understand who I am.

Brainwave: Great Ideas

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Brainwave.”

The best idea I ever had was deciding to move from Miami, Fl to South Carolina. It was a few weeks from my graduation from college. I was finishing my undergraduate degree in education and preparing for my last Kappa Delta Pi Intiation Ceremony. While working on our scrapbook, I was worrying about all of the student loans I had and how much they were going to cost me monthly, compounded on my already high monthly costs. My ex boyfriend and I had broken up and I was looking at moving into my own place which would have been more expensive, and I wasn’t having any luck finding a teaching job in my district.

I got a call from my aunt to talk about my plans to come visit that summer. I was telling her about all my post graduation worries. She came up with the idea. She offered to let me stay in her house for as long as I needed so I could have some time to save money and figure out my financials as well as look for a job. After weighing all my other options I decided that that really was my best option. I’d be living rent-free, the cost of living over there was so much cheaper, I wasn’t finding a job down here anyway, and I was no longer in a relationship that was keeping me from moving away from my hometown. I figured, if I don’t do this now I may be stuck living in Miami forever. I didn’t like that idea so I called my aunt up and we immediately started working out the details so that in about a month I would move in with her and her family.

After moving here to South Carolina, I started applying for jobs and seeing about how to get a teaching position for the next school year. I found a position with a national nonprofit organization that creates programs for underprivileged kids. I ended up working for an educational summer camp. I was despairing of not being able to pass the exams to get certified for teaching in the state, getting all of my stuff moved over here, and being able to find a job for the fall. On top of all this, I was starting to get depressed about not having any friends and being lonely in a new state. That’s when everything started to come together.

At work I started making friends with one of my co-workers. He introduced me to a whole bunch of other people and I quickly made friends with them. Eventually I started dating one of them. I was no longer lonely. As I was making friends I found out I passed my certification exams and was now licensed to teach in the state of South Carolina. I started working on applications for a teaching position in the district. My monthly expenses decreased even further as my car insurance switched from Miami to my new city. But I was still having trouble finding a job.

I got so lucky that I worked that job at that summer camp. One of my coworkers had a close friend that was a principal at an underprivileged school. She told me that she was looking for teachers and told me to apply. She let my friend know that she highly recommended me and I got the job almost immediately. Not long after that I got great news about my student lows being lower than expected and I was able to lower them even further with the help of my current boyfriend and my family here in South Carolina.

I am happier here in South Carolina than I ever was in Miami. I love the people, the environment, and my job. I will forever be grateful to my family here who have helped me out and all of my new friends for making me feel like I belonged and less lonely. By far, the best idea I ever had that solved every problem I had in my life was relocating to South Carolina.