Career / College / Happiness

5 Major Things I’m Proud to Have Accomplished

Today I was driving to work and I don’t know what it was, but something got me thinking about all the things in life I’m proud to have accomplished thus far. Do you ever have those moments? For me, they are few and far between because of the depression I deal with, so when these “wow, I did good!” moments DO come along, I relish it.

There are five major things that stand out to me about my life:

  • I went to the country of Georgia

In my other blog (A Journalist in Georgia), you can read the full story of how I came to teach there. The point is: holy crap! I went to a country no one goes to their first time traveling abroad. I met some amazing people, saw some breathtaking sites, and survived some tricky situations. It was super challenging but now I know that if I survived Eastern Europe, I can survive anything. And that gives me confidence.


When my feet were in the Black Sea

  • I passed math

It’s true what they say, the third time’s the charm! In college I chose to take a year of math instead of two of foreign language because I’d heard foreign language at my college was pretty difficult. At the time, I thought I was doing myself a favor. Little did I know it would be 2 1/2 years after I “walked” at graduation that I would be officially done. And little did I know it would take me THREE really difficult math classes at two different community colleges to pass! Why did I impress myself so much? With the last one, which I took from Jan-March of this year, it was business math which meant we used Excel for pretty much every assignment. In Excel we had to memorize these certain formulas in order to be able to solve our math problems. On the midterm I got an F, which was surprising to me because I’d actually thought I did okay! That in and of itself shows you how brain dead I was when it came to math – thinking you understand it all along but then being tested and failing the stuff you thought you knew. Talk about embarrassing! I panicked. A lot. So I studied my ass off, especially the night before and morning of my math final, which was at the ungodly hour of 7:30 am. (Who plans a MATH final that early in the morning?!) Miraculously, I got a B on the final and ended up with an 82% in the class overall, 6% more than I needed to pass the class. You can bet I cried when I saw my final grade the next day.


  • I survived my childhood

Have you ever heard the song “Wonderful” by Everclear?

I go to school and I run and play
I tell the kids that it’s all okay
I like to laugh so my friends won’t know
When the bell rings I just don’t want to go home

Close my eyes when I go to bed
And I dream of angels that make me smile

I heard that song for the first time when I was 13 and in the car with my mentor who I met when I was in middle school. We were driving somewhere and she turned it up when this song came on. She sang along but I don’t think she realized my life was pretty much a replica to it. In fact I’m pretty sure I fought back tears. I put on a pretty good act at school so no one knew what my home life was like. Anyway, let’s just say I had a pretty rough childhood and I thank God every day I’m done with it. It’s one of the reasons I became so interested in working with kids and teaching actually. When I was little, school was a safe haven. When I was there, the things other kids found annoying and tedious (homework, rules, safety) were, as I said, my safe haven. I dreaded when the bell rang because I knew what waited for me at home. There were some pretty amazing teachers who were there for me and it’s because of them that I was inspired to do the same for the kids I work with now. I want to be the smiley face for them each day the same way my teachers were for me.


  • Graduating college

I’m the first kiddo in my family to graduate from college and that’s pretty amazing.. mostly because addiction runs in my family and by some miracle I escaped it. The odds were against me quite often, but I made it! Even if I do have a massive amount of debt, I’m happy I did it.


  • Getting published

When I first started writing for my journalism classes at the UO, I didn’t really believe one day I’d actually be published. I thought it would be ridiculously hard and questioned who in their right mind would want to read anything I wrote?


That time Matt White texted me

Being acknowledged by Matt White, Andy Grammer, Ann Curry, and Elizabeth Gilbert.. on top of being published in 8 (and still growing) publications?! Surreal. It’s just a reminder I’m in the right place.


Tell me what you’re proud of yourself for?!


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