When I was I growing up and even until recently, I used to think what people thought of me. I was always concerned with impressions and my perfectionism and trying to get everyone else to see that aspect of me. However, this year, things have changed.
I am not sure when the change happened exactly, but it was sometime this summer. Last school year was rough. I moved from Ohio to Iowa to Illinois over the summer of 2009 and was devastated when I learned I had a stress fracture and had to take time off from running. Living in Ohio was challenging because I was away from my family, friends, and the lifestyle I had known. The friends I made there were wonderful, though.
When I came to Illinois I viewed it as a chance to start over. I had made some stupid mistakes in Ohio and wanted to stop letting them bug me down. New place, new life, right? Last school year was rough, both physically and emotionally. I teach in a private school where the expectations for teachers are incredibly high. Students score in the top percentile on standardized tests and are leveled for math and reading. Even the kids in the "lowest" group in those classes are average compared to the rest of the children in the United States. But, although the kids are smart, my class was not well behaved and the parents were not the best. You always have some that are good, but the majority were not. I needed the summer more than a marathon runner needs water and Gatorade.
Although I had some health issues this summer (low iron which caused me to fore go my dream of running a fall marathon), my perspective started to change. Everyday was wonderful. I worked on things for this school year, ran, biked, did yoga, and read like crazy. I was around my friends and started to really love my life.
Is my life perfect to the outsider? Not by any means. But right now, I could not ask for a better life. I have the best class this year, have made more friends (which is much harder to do than I originally thought), and continued to run, which always brings me great happiness. Life is good and I am happy. What else could I possibly ask for?