I heard once that people are really actually just stories walking around, bringing a whole host of experiences, learned things, whether from parents or work or study or other experiences. We see things all in a pretty unique way.
So, that is what this is, it is a story of sorts, in bits and pieces of the way things hit me, based on my own collection of ways that I see the world. The best news is that “way” changes quite regularly with each new challenge or good thing that happens. The way I saw things last year is different than this year, and one of the things I have learned is how important it is to be able to adapt and change, and allow other people the chance to do the same thing.
Some of the experiences that inform my writing are growing up in a rich country in the Pacific Northwest, which is beautiful, in a suburb, which was not. I left my home and went to school after working many, many small jobs. Somewhere in there I decided to follow the teachings of Jesus. That was about when the light in the room of my life was turned on. I finished school in Portland Oregon in a panic. I spent time being a homewrecker, an employee at a major coffee retailer wearing a green apron, and studying in Ecuador which more than most things changed my perspective.
I had studied Spanish and wanted to teach overseas. I was hired by a school in Colombia but opted for Peace Corps, who sent me to Russia, and again I was language learning, among other things. There I learned many other things, like how to connect with people and that every day in another country was way more exciting than one at home. An expat is born.
Returning home with numinous student debt, I could not teach overseas. After working the vacuum of the internet startup world for a year or two, I decided to return to school to be certified to teach Spanish. After which time I was hired to teach ESL to mainly Spanish speakers and Russian speakers in an urban high school. I got married. I had a child. This experience also changed me, possibly more than Russia or Ecuador, as I began a new education on how to nurture, and how much that really fed my soul.
I had a second child in 2007. Now I was really a mom.
My husband had a previous marriage, I had no idea how much this would effect my life. When his son died in 2011, everything began to change again. I had never known death, much less death of a young, talented beautiful child.
As of this writing, the education is of the type that happens outside of the classroom and I look still for the chance to be that expat.