The Limit Does not Exist

Whew, I really promised myself I’d stay on top of writing this month, unfortunately like many (okay, all) other aspects of my life right now that goal quickly decimated. While I haven’t been reflecting though my writing very much lately, I have had plenty of long thoughtful conversations about life and the future with my friends and family. These conversations really have me thinking about the reality I am about to face, the adult world. It’s all so exciting and scary, but because I am trying so desperately to hang on to my last year of college and lack of adult responsibility… so, I have really been living it up! By living it up, I mean I do more than deep clean my room and watch Golden Girls reruns on Saturdays (I am very much a Dorothy…if anyone was wondering 😉); instead I make great efforts to socialize with friends, go on day trips, and ensure that I do at least one “memorable” thing per week. At this point, the limit to my fun does not exist (see what I did there?). Most recently, my best friend Katie and I attended a local music festival and as exhausting as those three days were, I’d do it again tomorrow and the next day, it was that much fun.

So, for Katie and I’s benefit…I decided to do a little recap of the trip. There’s really no better way to ensure the experience stays memorable than documenting here, am I right? The best part of the whole thing, is there are plenty of fun highlights from the trip. For starters…. our festival experience was almost entirely free, so we already were set up for a win in my book. I entered a silly competition on a whim and won two free tickets AND I have connections (yes, connections…aren’t I so official) in Austin, the city that the festival is held, so our lodging was completely free as well! In the end, I would have gone and had a great time regardless if the whole shindig (is this a word that is used outside of Texas? Or used at all? Please let me know asap!) was free or not, but let me tell you as a poor college student it definitely made the experience next level! Now I present you with the 6 reasons (thought about making the list have “13 reasons why…” but, let’s be honest I already reference pop culture just a little too much anyway…) why my weekend at Austin City Limits 2017 is worth commemorating!

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JUST LOOK AT THAT CITY SKYLINE IN THE BACK!!

#1: I WAS IN AUSTIN!

For any non-Texan out there, I am going to tell you simply…. Austin is the best city in Texas (solely my opinion. But it’s right 😉)! It’s gorgeous, ecofriendly, people friendly, foodie friendly, and just plain cool! Any city whose slogan is “Keep Austin Weird” is obviously going to be my happy place. The ironic thing is that I’m technically not supposed to “like” Austin, Austin while being the coolest city in Texas is also home to my University’s rival campus. Many of my classmates take great (personal, yes personal…that’s how serious a rivalry it is) offence to my love for the city. The crazy thing is the rivalry stems mostly from Football, which is probably why I’m okay with openly betraying my school, because I honestly care more about the moth balls in my ex-boyfriend’s closet than I do about Football. Even more crazy; my school and UT (the rival campus) don’t even play in the same league anymore….so long story short, the festival was already amazing before it even started because it was in Austin.

#2: THE WEATHER WAS OUTTA THIS WORLD

While my friend Katie may not agree with this one, for Texas the weather was amazing! Staying outside for 11 hours is never ideal, but for a majority of our time…mother nature was good to us. Nothing beats jamming to fantastic music while a slight autumn breeze blows by.

#3: THE FOOOOOD

Even those who are Anti-Austin are NOT Anti-Austin food. Austin has some of the best local eateries, many of which set up stands at ACL. Katie, being the maniac she is, opted to eat at the one chain restaurant that was offered, but I took full advantage of the options. I had one of the best Gyros in my life and even snuck some veggies in with a brussel sprout salad one day!

#4: THE MUSIC

While the Lineup wasn’t as stacked as I would have hoped, I still had a blast jamming out to some of my favorites. I even convinced Katie to sit and wait at the barricade with me for some of the smaller shows so we could be front row (a true testament to the kind of friend she is!). There was a point where we got stuck in a mosh pit during a Martin Garixx style rave, it’s fun to laugh about now but it definitely didn’t feel amazing in the moment when everyone’s sweaty pits were in our faces. Although I think we both enjoyed Tove Lo’s set the best, her music had us shaking and grooving like no other.

#5: BREAK FROM REALITY

I genuinely believe I enjoyed my weekend so much because I did nothing school related and Katie and I made a vow not to talk or think about our academics, it was the ultimate stress-free weekend! Everyone deserves a little break from reality, regardless of how busy they may be. In the end it just increased our high and made the festival that much more fun.

#6: MY BEST FRIEND!

Y’all (this word is DEFINITELY a Texas one), I really have the greatest best friend. Katie had no idea who 80% of the performers we saw were, but she willingly trekked from stage to stage and watched (occasionally joining) me dance and sing like a total nerd. The weekend wouldn’t have been the same if I had chosen to bring any other friend, boyfriend, stranger,etc

In conclusion…I encourage everyone to go out and enjoy life! Go to a festival, call an old friend up and hang, go for a walk and enjoy the natural world. Life is too short to spend the weekends watching Golden Girls reruns, believe me!

Catch you on the flipside!

Maya

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The Best at Being the Worst

Woah, its been a minute since I’ve written anything that doesn’t involve the words “student”, “differentiation”, “guided instruction”, or “assessment”. For the past two months I have been completely consumed by the monster that is college. My life has consisted of lesson plan after lesson plan, student teaching, certification exams, and I also try to squeeze in some time to eat, sleep, and shower every once in a while, too (well the showering happens more than just every once in a while, trust me…😊). With this being my fourth year in college, the average person would probably assume that I have all my ducks in a row (that’s such a strange idiom, but I love to use it because I’m strange) but, it’s actually the total opposite- this year is the first year where my planner isn’t kept up perfectly, the first year that I’ve turned in assignments 3 minutes before there due as opposed to 3 days, and the first time in my life where I always feel like I’m one step behind instead of one step ahead. Why, the sudden shift? Senioritis? Rebellion against adulthood? Or am I just so mentally exhausted my brain can’t keep up anymore? Maybe it’s all of the above…who knows, but I’ve come to realize that in the past few months I have most definitely become the “best” at being the worst.

I’m the “best” at being the worst driver, I’m the “best” at being the worst friend to take care of at parties, and I’m also the “best” at being the worst source of information when it comes to school assignments (sorry to all my classmates that I’ve given the wrong due date too…). So, long story short I’m just barely clinging on to my sanity right now; and while I love writing and sharing my basic life happenings with everyone…It’s pretty difficult to set aside time to leisurely write when you have about 25 assignments on your “to-do” list and another 5 on your “YOU HAVE TO DO THIS TODAY LIST”. The worst part is, I know I have it in me…I’ve spent the past 21 years being five steps ahead and in control of everything in my life. Like Taylor (yes, Swift) that Maya is dead…..granted, she’s going to be resurrected before I graduate and make into the professional world because I know I am going to be the best (NO quotation marks) teacher any kid could have!

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All the craziness aside, I’m attempting to keep my life together enough so that I can make the most of my last year of college. It’s a little heartbreaking to think that pretty soon my friends and I probably won’t be living in the same zip code. I remember being told when I was young that I should hold on tight to my youth and that growing up isn’t all that fun, being the young naïve human that I was….I didn’t believe it, but I know now that it’s all too true. While I am being a bit melodramatic, I will say in all seriousness that the early 20s have been a strange period in my life….and I’m excited and maybe a little nervous to see what’s to come.

Catch you on the flipside!

Maya

 

Another Year Older….Another Year Wiser?

As of five days ago, I officially became a legal adult. While it feels amazing to walk into a restaurant and order one of every cocktail on the menu (I don’t suggest doing this…. alcohol is expensive and bars tend to not included the prices of their drinks on the menu), I can’t say with confidence (or say at all) that I feel like an adult. I still call my Dad to ask about all my car problems and to have him make my dentist appointments for me, and I still call my mom to ask how to cook pasta or to ask which brand of paper towels is best to buy. I also must not look physically like an adult either, a few weekends ago I was at the grocery store (a rare occasion) and the woman checking me out asked me what year of school I was in, in which I replied my senior year and she responded by enthusiastically asking which High School I went to and weather because I may know her son who’ll be a junior. She was taken aback when I informed her that I was actually going to be a senior in COLLEGE and the rest of the transaction became slightly awkward after that. I have not only experienced this questioning of my adulthood at the grocery store but also at every place I’ve bought a drink at in the past five days; don’t worry mom and dad it’s only been 3 (they’ve been really concerned that I’ve become a raging alcoholic since turning 20-fun), but each time I order my delightful 8 parts sugar .2 parts liquor cocktail the waiter/waitress hard core questions my ID.

Actual Waitress Remark: “WOAH! I had to do a triple check on you!”

Actual Waitress Remark: “Oh, you ARE 21!”

My mom always tell me to feel honored that people think I’m younger than I am…. however I can’t help but take it a little personal when a 16 year old movie theatre worker IDs me when I go to an R rated movie (yes, that happened in December). Even though I get offended that people don’t recognize my adult status, there is a part of me that wishes I could pause time and not grow older. There are so many things that come along with being an adult, many responsibilities and requirements that I’m not quite ready for. I’ve been told that your early 20s are your prime, although I believe you can make any age your “prime” It’s all about how you decide to live your life but that’s just my personal opinion, but I can’t help but agree because this is the last year of my life that I will be without a “big girl” job- so I definitely need to have my fill while I still have the time.

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August 25, 1996: Yes, that is me….not a potato in a swaddle blanket.

In all seriousness, I am NOT a drinker and I am not a party animal by any means, I celebrated my 21st birthday with Mexican food (and one smallish margarita) and then a scary movie (my friends are troopers for going to see that with me!). I also recorded a video of me dancing to a Shania Twain song just to prove to the world how much of an adult I had become 😉! The biggest realization I had on this particular birthday was that the older you get the less important birthdays become, not that they aren’t important…I mean EVERYONE deserves to be celebrated on their day of birth, but they become less of a show, fewer people wish you a happy birthday, you start getting sensible gifts instead of elaborate ones, and most importantly it’s just a normal day when your adult—no special school party or a day off from the world. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but at the same time my naturally pessimistic self has readily accepted that fact. In the end, I’ve grown a year older but I still have many years to come before I grow wiser (wisdom is different than general intellectual btw…I (and my mom) like to claim that I am quite a smart cookie 😊).

Catch you on the flipside!

Maya

On a very serious side note: As some of you may know, I’m a born and raised Texan. The state has been my home for my 21 years of life and many areas have been completed devastated by Hurricane Harvey. I have been blessed that my family and I have remained safe, however many other people and families were not as fortunate. Seeing photos and hearing stories from those effected has weighed heavily on my heart and If anything, please keep Texas in your thoughts and if you are religious your prayers. I’ve linked a site that details ways you can help, it’s definitely worth a look if you are interested in donating.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/28/546745827/looking-to-help-those-affected-by-harvey-here-s-a-list?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social

 

 

End of Summer Bummer

Oh, Summer; as a kid, I could never decide which time was better…. Holiday season or Summer break (Halloween came in a very close third, I’ve always been attracted to scary stuff for some reason). Until recently the decision has always been a bit of a Sophie’s choice for me (completely unrelated: At the beginning of last year I finally figured out what it meant when people said something was a “Sophie’s Choice”, and I felt the need to watch the movie where the reference originated and it officially confirmed to me that Meryl Strep is a Goddess). Currently, the choice of my favorite time of year has definitely swayed more towards Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year time, those months are full of excitement regardless of your age, where summer seems to become less and less magical the older you get. These past few years of summer for me haven’t held very much, I’ve worked, I’ve taken super lame classes (Including calculus which is a required course for Elementary Education majors…. I’ll pay you $100 if you can find me a kid in *public* elementary school whose learning calculus), and I’ve worked some more. Okay I’ll admit that’s not ALL I’ve done, I have taken little trips here and there, visited family, and spent time with friends who I don’t see too often during the school year. All of those things are great…but I feel like when I was a kid and in my teens every day of summer was a giant party, this could also be because my standards were a bit lower then than they are now; my mom could get me a pack of Lisa Frank (if you don’t know what this is, you most definitely didn’t grow up in the early 2000s 😊) inspired band-aids at the grocery store and you would have thought I spent the night in Cinderella’s castle at Disneyworld. The funny thing is, even though I’m not the biggest fan of summer time (the 103 degree Texas weather doesn’t make it any more appealing), I’m pretty bummed that it’s almost over. In exactly a week, I’ll be starting my senior year of college, and it’ll be my last first day of school as a student!

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Summer of 2011: Making fun friends!

While I’m not bummed that this particular summer is over, I think I’m mostly getting emotional because I know this is the last summer that I’ll have before I become a “responsible, college educated, working adult” (that is assuming I’ll be one of those by this time next year). I am aware that when I become a teacher I’ll also have summers off, but again, summer just isn’t the same when you’re a grown-up (us big people actually have important things that need to be accomplished in our day to day lives). Most of my best memories come from summer (haha, I say that as if I’m the only person in this world who has fond summer memories, everyone does right?), my childhood best friend and I would take turns sleeping over at each other’s houses, we’d watch goosebumps movies (as we got older we graduated to actual scary movies), attempt to paint one another’s nails (trust me they still looked crappy even when we were in high school), and we would of course prank call all our “boyfriends” and the boys we had crushes on (I was and still may be the BEST prank caller ever, no bias in that statement 😉). I also remember when I was really little I would spend the summer in Kansas with my mom’s side of the family, my grandma organized an event which we called “cousins week”, which was a whole week dedicated to spoiling the grandkids and forcing all of us cousins to spend time together (okay, there wasn’t a whole lot of forcing going on…we all love each other for the most part).

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Summer of 1999: Cousins take the Zoo!

Along with summer nights with friends, hanging out with cousins who I’d only see a few times a year, I also spent much of my time during the summer finding ways to irritate my older sister (still a favorite past time of mine). During the summer months, my parents both went to work leaving my sister and I alone at the house together during the day. I have vivid memories of watching (and pretending I knew what was going on) TRL, E! True Hollywood Stories, and Laguna Beach with her, fighting over couch space and who had dibs on the last bagel bite. We also used to walk to a local grocery store to buy 25 cent laffy taffys and she would show me how to play all the coolest card games (I think she even let me win sometimes…what a good big sister!). To be perfectly honest, I think those low-key days at the house with my sister are some of my favorite summer memories. Granted, all those other times were fun and all but those moments are ones I’ll remember forever (don’t worry, that’s the only cheesy line you’ll find in this post…I promise!).

Today being my last Monday of Summer, and also the start of my FIRST work/class free week in months, I have officially decided that I’m going to recreate my fondest summer memories (minus my sister who lives thousands of miles away now and also minus TRL, E! True Hollywood Stories, and Laguna Beach because those shows are no longer with us. RIP). What I mean by that exactly is I’m going to spend my last week of summer being low-key, I even came to my parent’s house for the last week, making it that much easier to recreate the old summer magic. The end of summer is always a bummer, no matter how eventful it was, but I’m going to try to make the most of what I have left and I strongly encourage everyone else to do so as well—who knows what kind of memories you’ll make!

Catch you on the flipside!

Maya

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Anyone catch that musical reference in the title!? It comes from a classic doo-wop (yes, that was actually a genre!) song by Neil Sedaka called Breaking Up is Hard to Do. For some strange reason, it’s been stuck in my head for the past several weeks, which is kind of ironic because today I ended a very serious two-year relationship. Let me tell you, Neil had it right when he said that ending a relationship wasn’t easy–most of the time, I did not have any problems ending my relationship with my 4th grade boyfriend who was “dating” 5 of my other pre-pubescent classmates the same week he dated me. Before I cause my parents and sister (my most avid readers…so they say) any more confusion, let me clarify that I’m not referring to breaking up with a boy, but I’m officially saying goodbye to my job. For the past two years I have worked almost every single weekday at a Daycare, caring for toddlers (18 months to 2 years, they look cute but deep down inside they can be pure savages). The days were not always easy, on occasion I would have to go home and sit in a dark quiet room and reconsider my future plans of becoming a parent (I made the official decision that I could probably handle ONE in 8 years or so….I was recently reminded that twins run on my dad’s side of the family, yikes). However, through it all I still can’t get over the fact that my days will no longer revolve around wiping runny noses, changing diapers, putting on shoes ( looking away for one second only to find a shoeless child again), picking up toys, and resolving the never-ending issue of ‘who had it first’. Because I’m horrible at expressing my emotions in the flesh, I figured a written break-up would be the easiest (tear free) way to say my goodbyes and maybe gain a little closure for myself.

Before getting this job, I had never worked a day in my life—I was fortunate enough to have parents that never forced me to get a job while I was in school, they didn’t force me to get this job nor was it absolutely necessary for me to have it…I just really liked the idea of having my own money to spend as I pleased (turns out its nice to have money of your own, who’d have thought?). So, when I heard a local pre-school was hiring, I jumped on the opportunity thinking my “Education Major” title would help me land a position. I went in for an interview and was hired on the spot, initially I went in with the intentions of working in the pre-school rooms (ages 3,4,5) because I knew these kids definitely weren’t going to be in diapers ( I had never changed a diaper before getting the job…..crazy, because now I could change one with my eyes closed and a hand tied behind my back). My life however never seems to pan out the way I want it to, and I ended up working with the youngest age group of children the school services. We’re (I mean they ☹) are called the Green Parrots (all the classes have bird names; yellow canaries, red robins, blue jays) and the GPs are the most intimidating bunch of kids the school has to offer. In case you were not aware, toddlers are wild (in the best way possible!); I remember on my first day one of the kids walked (well, toddled) right up to me as I sat on the floor and came in for what I thought was a hug, but instead sneezed directly in my face and walked away. I considered quitting right then and there, but then the same child approached me later and gave me an actual hug after which my soul was officially sold to the school.

I know I’ve talked a lot about the not so fun aspects of childcare in this post and in my past posts, but there were so many great parts of my job that I often times forgot about all the boogers, poop, and slobber (children come with plenty of bodily fluids, if you didn’t already know). Breaking up is so hard to do because of the attachments you have to people and things, and trust me it didn’t take much for me to become attached to all my sweet babies. Not only did I become connected to the kids, I also became attached to the routine of going to work, talking with my work friends (a few of whom have become just “friends” now), and seeing what craziness the day had in store. I don’t think I’ll ever forget getting to watch the girls go from being bald to rocking pig-tails, or hear their language go from gibberish to broken English (I am starting to pick-up on a little gibberish though 😉).

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Toddlers are professional schemers! They are ALWAYS one step ahead of adults 🙂

I honestly think the hardest part of my leave is that I know in a few months’ time the kids are most likely going to forget about me—it’s also highly likely that I’ll never cross paths with some of these kids ever again (I’m ugly crying right now ☹) . I’ve cared for and watched them grow for years now, and just like that I’m going to be completely erased from their minds. I know that’s a slightly selfish reason to be sad (everyone deserves to be a little selfish during a break-up), and I need to learn how to cope with saying goodbye anyway as they’ll happen annually when I become a classroom teacher. Teaching and caring for kids is my passion, it’s my career choice and as taxing as it may be… I genuinely love it, but the absolute worst part of the job is accepting the time you have with your kids/students and hoping that during this period (however long or short) you’ve made the impact you needed to make. At the end of the day, I have to allow myself to be happy about the time I got to spend with my babies and not dwell on how I won’t see them anymore. Two years of diapers, tantrums, sticky hands, and baby giggles are behind me; it hasn’t even been 24 hours since my goodbye but I already miss it all so much! Leaving isn’t easy, but it’s all for a purpose I can finish school, get that diploma, and try to become a responsible adult (emphasis on the try). This is a job I know I’ll never forget as I had some pretty fun times along the way, and there’s one thing for sure those kids, the school, and my co-workers will always and forever be dear to me.

P.S. I know this was a sappy “goodbye” blog, but I also thought I’d mention that I picked up a shift to substitute in three weeks……they can’t get rid of me that fast! 😉

Catch you on the flipside!

Maya