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A friend recently told me, “In order to get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” I hope she doesn’t mind that I’m quoting her, because I told her that I was going to… but she is absolutely correct, and her statement really resonated with me. As if uprooting my life in North Carolina and moving to Florida wasn’t already a big enough life change, there are EVEN MORE life changes on the horizon for me currently. I cannot say that I am not scared about what my future holds, but I am also extremely excited. But let us first venture back to the first major life change that I made last year: deciding to move to Florida.

I made the decision to move to Jacksonville, Florida in the mid-to-late summer months of 2018, in order to be closer to my boyfriend, Tyler, to see if our relationship was capable of moving to the next level. I searched endlessly for teaching jobs and hoped and prayed for an opening, but there were hardly any opportunities left, as it was toward the middle/end of June when I decided that moving to Florida is what I truly wanted. In Florida teacher world, mid-to-late June is considered “late,” to hire new teachers, because they get out of school for summer break in late May.

Tyler knows a gentleman at UPS who’s wife is an assistant principal in Nassau County, FL. She and I spoke over the phone in early July, and she said that they did not have any openings at her school, but that she would contact the principal at my current school to see if there were any openings. I never heard back from her, but I did go online a day or two later and applied for a few openings on the Nassau County Schools website, one of which happened to be at my current school, which was the same one that the assistant principal had told me about. I did an over-the-phone interview with my current principal while I was at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in early July of 2018. I didn’t feel like the interview went SUPER well, and I got the message a week or so later that I had not gotten the position that I interviewed for. HOWEVER, two days later, I got a call from my current principal, but I let it ring through to voicemail. Her message said something along the lines of, “We’ve had an unexpected opening pop up, and we were very impressed with your interview and qualifications, so we would like to know if you are still interested in a teaching position here at (school name here).” I was ecstatic that my plan of moving to Florida was finally falling into place, so I called back as soon as I could and said that I was definitely still interested. My principal asked if I was interested in a roommate, and got me the contact information for my current roommate.

I had to make my move EXTREMELY quickly though, because school started for teachers in Nassau County on August 2nd. So, let’s set this timeline up… I didn’t officially “land” the job until July 18th, so I had to clean and pack my entire apartment (which, if you know me is a HUGE task, in and of itself… I have a bunch of crap), contact my new roommate (whom I didn’t meet until a few days before I officially moved down), secure a new apartment in Jacksonville, rent a uHaul, rent a storage unit in NC, and make the drive to move my happy little tail to Jacksonville. I think my roommate and I signed the lease on our apartment on July 28, 2018, and school started for teachers on August 2nd. WHEW! I took a few days to settle in to my new apartment, and had lots of help from Tyler and his friends with the unpacking process.

Fast forward to now. My roommate and I have become pretty good friends. We do things during the week (dinner, gym, sit by the pool, etc.), and sometimes on weekends, but most of my weekends (until recently) were consumed with seeing Tyler. She and I also have a few other new teacher friends at school that we pal around with occasionally on Friday or Saturday nights. My life OUTSIDE OF TEACHING has been pretty decent, for the most part. The one thing that I’m constantly struggling with though is teaching.

I have been at my current school for almost seven months, but, as stated previously, it has been a consistent struggle for me. Behind the 8-ball, ALL the time. An uphill battle, is what it has been constantly. Tyler was very gracious in giving me lots of leeway with complaining. I recently spoke with the friend I quoted earlier, and she told me that 6 months is NOT enough time to adjust to moving to a brand new place, especially since I don’t have any family support in the surrounding area whatsoever. And I definitely agree with her, 6 months is not enough time to adjust to a new place; however, after speaking with my family about lots of my struggles in teaching, I’ve finally realized (and here is the bombshell): teaching is just NOT for me; ESPECIALLY after I’ve tried my absolute best, busted my butt, struggled, and basically clawed my way up to try to “make it,” in this profession for five years now. I’ll get into more detail about WHY I’m leaving the profession in a later post. So, I’ve been in constant contact with my aforementioned friend, my family, and Tyler, and I have made a (somewhat rough) plan to leave teaching. I am formally resigning my teaching position on May 28th, 2019.

Without giving too many details, Tyler and I are no longer together, but our split was amicable and we are still friends. We recently figured out through some struggles that he and I have some differing views on various aspects of our lives, some of which are very important to maintaining a healthy, sustainable relationship. So, not only am I unsure about a job (and financial situation) after May, I now no longer have any particular need to stay in Florida, because the person that I thought was going to be my “forever,” didn’t turn out as I had envisioned.

Now, as a girl who is extremely close to her family, it would be SO EASY for me to move back home to have that amazing support system again. But what I’ve realized while I’ve been down here is: I honestly NEED to be away from my family, in order to figure out who “Kristin,” really is, and to become who I was truly meant to be. Now, truly, I’m not IN LOVE with Florida (yet), but the warm, sunny FEBRUARY afternoons spent by the pool definitely make living here a little less stressful! What I’m saying is… If I moved back to North Carolina, I’d be “comfy.” …I don’t want to be “comfy,” because I know that I still have some growing up and learning to do. So I thought to myself, “What better place to ‘grow up’ than in the place I am now, where I am completely allowed to ‘mess up’ and ‘fall flat on my face’ and have no other choice but to learn how to pick myself back up again?!” So, with all that being said, I have decided I am staying in Florida for at least the beginning of the next chapter of my life.

I have decided to pursue a second bachelor’s degree in Communications or Journalism. I have applied for Federal Student Aid, but am unsure at the moment where I will actually be going to school this fall. Here comes the even more scary part… affording an apartment in Jacksonville is extremely difficult, because the cost of living here is higher than it is in North Carolina. However, with the help of my father and the aforementioned friend, I am trying to make a little bit of progress each day. I am making a little bit of progress as we speak, by writing on this very blog that you are reading now. I also have no clue what job(s) I will have lined up after May, but I can’t truly apply for anything yet, because I have a few months left to go until I am finished fulfilling my teaching duties. However, my plan is to continue writing on my blog (hello! please come join me for my adventures!), add a few more schools to my FAFSA application, continue searching for jobs, and continue feeling out the situation out as I go. I’m not going to lie. I am scared. I am so, so scared… but the opportunity to pursue and study more about what I LOVE to do, and the possibility of making the thing that I LOVE to do my actual career, is the fuel and the fire under my butt that I need to keep going. I am more excited about this/these opportunit(y/ies) than I can ever remember being in my entire life. I know it’s probably going to get ugly at times… and I’m sure I will have to call family and friends for support and help, but I truly feel that this is the best “next step,” for my growth and development as a young woman.

I don’t need money, and I don’t need things. Though “money and things” are nice to have (and they are going to be hard to give up at times), I would much rather live a HAPPY and FULFILLING life in a CAREER that brings me COMPLETE JOY AND HAPPINESS. And who knows? Maybe on this journey, I’ll find a completely different career path and not become a writer… but I will never know what’s going to happen until I take the steps and give this writing thing everything I’ve got.

If you’ve stuck around til the end of this post, congratulations(!), and THANK YOU for reading my story. I know it is a long one, but it truly encompasses everything that has been going on in my life recently, and I wanted to lay EVERYTHING on the line for my friends and family to read, if they so desire to do so. Sincerely, thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this. Stick around, and I definitely will be posting a lot more in the future… maybe just NOT as long as this post! Heehee!

Ciao for now!

Kristin

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