This Christmas

Well, I’m easily falling behind on these blog posts… I’ve now officially been gone for four months (as of today), which is absolutely insane! It doesn’t feel like I’ve been gone that long at all, but I guess that’s a good thing. I finally finished my last week of term one on Friday, so now I’ve started my holidays! These past two weeks have been pretty busy, as my agent has been sending me all over the map and I ended up going to six different schools in the course of eight days. The only school I ended up going to more than once was one of my difficult schools (that I stayed at for three weeks before). Last last Tuesday, Jess and I BOTH ended up not getting called into work for the first time ever! We decided to go into central London and check out Winter Wonderland once again. As I said before, it’s like the Exhibition except Christmas themed and because we went during a weekday, it was completely empty! If Jess and I wanted to go on any of the rides (which we didn’t), we could have had each one to ourselves because there were absolutely no kids there; it was awesome! We then did some shopping and checked out some Christmas markets before heading home. On Friday night, one of my co-workers asked if Jess and I would like to go out, so we went into Piccadilly and got two for one drinks all night! Let’s just say we took advantage of the situation, and had a really fun time!
This past week, I was no longer guaranteed pay so if I didn’t get work, I wouldn’t get paid for it (they have that rule for the week before and the week after a holiday, which kind of sucks). Luckily, I ended up getting work during four of the five days so I should still have money to sustain myself. However, I think my agent was sending me to crap schools just because he knew I was going to HAVE to go in order to get paid. And I NEEDED to get paid since I wouldn’t be working for the next two weeks. So during two days this past week, he sent me to my difficult school that I was at for three weeks. Then I was also sent to another colleague’s schools in southeast London, and worst of all, I was sent to a school that wasn’t even IN London. Which takes about two hours to get to. And thanks to the trains not working, it took me two and a half hours to get home after school!  I’ve already told my agent before that I wouldn’t be going back to that school cause it also requires a taxi ride that costs 13 pounds one way, but he still managed to get me to go there this week, argh! On Friday, I didn’t get called into work so it was somewhat like an early holiday except I ended up having to sit there for half the day, wondering if I would get called into work. Then I started my Christmas baking! So far, I’ve made banana muffins, shortbread cookies, chocolate crinkle cookies , and lemon crinkle cookies but I still have about three more batches that I’m planning to make! On Tuesday night, I got to go to the 2Cellos concert. I’ve been following them since before they became famous, and I’m pretty sure it was from something as simple as a youtube video that was posted on Facebook. 2Cellos are amazing in that they put so much emotion into their music; you can feel everything that they’re feeling when they perform. When they play a sad song, you feel like crying (and I nearly did multiple times); when they play a happy song, you laugh; and when they play an upbeat song, you dance. They get so into their music, it’s incredible! And they must go through a bow each during every performance that they do, as most of the hair was frayed and broken off from how much force they were putting into their cellos. Such a beautiful performance!

An article came onto my newsfeed this week, which totally drew me in. It was titled “13 Things Only Women who are Goal Diggers Will Understand,” and I realized that even though I had never heard of the term in my life, I’m a Goal Digger! And I’ve realized that it’s an awesome thing to be! I have always planned my next stepping stone, the next level I’m going to move onto in life. I don’t remember the last time I WASN’T working towards something, whether it was education-wise, money-and work-wise, or just life-wise. I always thought that once I finished university, I wouldn’t have anything left to work towards but I’ve found that I just keep making more and more goals for myself (hence why I’m currently here in London). I’ve been so determined in achieving my goals, I’ve never let anything or anyone get in my way. I’ve always used the excuse of not wanting to be in a relationship because I was scared that it would hinder me from getting where I wanted to be in life. I wanted to focus on me and only me, and not have to live my life making compromises for another person. Maybe this is selfish of me… but then I look back on everything I’ve experienced, everywhere I’ve been, and every goal I’ve achieved and I can’t say I would have done anything differently. However, I guess that’s also a sacrifice that I’ve willingly (and sometimes not-so-willingly) made. I’ve gotten used to watching couples form all around me, watching some of my friends get married and have kids. Form that unconditional love with their significant other or their child. I’ve gotten used to being the third, fifth, seventh, or ninth wheel at events. To feeling like I don’t have that other person to turn to, and even though I still have friends to turn to, I’m never that person for my friends since they already have someone of their own. I’ve gotten used to feeling like I don’t have the right to call up friends because they’ll be with their significant other, and I’d rather just not bother calling than have to face rejection. But I’ve also gotten used to solely relying on myself for happiness. I used to sit and sulk and feel lonely, but now I embrace being able to do whatever I want whenever I want, and not having to worry about pleasing anybody else. And honestly now, I feel like half of that is because I’ve gotten so used to being alone, that I’m actually petrified of giving up my independence and committing my time to someone else. At age 25, I’ve experienced more than what most people would experience in a lifetime. And I still have two-thirds of the way to go (at least)! All the time, I hear about how lucky I am, and I’ve started to hate that phrase. I realize that I’m blessed with the family I was raised in, the finances and support that allowed me to grow up in a safe and healthy home with access to a great education, the friends that I’ve met throughout the years. But me living in London and France, or going on weekend trips, or anything of the sort is not my idea of luck, but of hard work and dedication. I worked two to three jobs at a time throughout the majority of my university career in order to pay off my student loans before they were able to charge me interest. I saved up for my own car, and I powered through my internship in order to get my education degree, because I knew that it would give me access to teach anywhere in the world. During the extremely tough times of my internship when I wanted to quit, I kept telling myself, “Do it for Thailand” (because that was where I wanted to teach at the time). I COULD have avoided going to university and continued serving in restaurants or au pairing around the world. I COULD have stopped at my biology degree and started doing research in a lab. I COULD have used my education degree to move to a small town in Saskatchewan and teach in the same classroom for the next 25 years. But we only get one life, and I intend to live mine the best that I possibly can. I guess what I’m trying to say is all of these experiences weren’t brought to me by luck because to me, luck is just when the odds are in your favour, like going to the casino and rolling the perfect combination. I believe that most people have the same chance of having the same experiences, but it’s those who work towards what they want who are actually going to get it. It’s not impossible to make something happen! And it’s definitely never too late to start working towards it! Living in London has taught me how much time I’d waste at home. When it was the weekend, I’d just stay at home and watch TV or sit on the computer all day long because I needed a break. Sure, I do that every once in awhile here but usually, I’m planning my next little adventure for each weekend, trying to figure out what part of London I’ll explore next. And living each day like it should be lived: to the fullest. And as most of you have read, living in London isn’t a walk in the park either. It has its own challenges to deal with. But it’s changing me, just like every other experience I have. I’m paying rent (and a crapload of it at that!), I’m making REAL meals (not just the instant meals you make from a package), I’m dealing with crappy landlords (and doing a darn good job of it if I do say so myself), I’m cleaning my own house (wow!), and I’m learning how to deal with a new job, a new culture, and a whole new life while halfway around the world from everything that’s familiar to me. I don’t want to sound narcissistic, but I can look back on everything I’ve accomplished and how far I’ve gotten, and I can truly be proud of myself. And I will continue to be a Goal Digger for as long as I want to be!

Sometimes I wonder if I share too much on these posts. Then again, sometimes I just need to let everything out. I guess maybe it would be a good idea for me to get a diary in those situations… but for now, I’ll use my blog 🙂 I hope everyone is getting into the holiday spirit wherever you may be. I hope you all have the chance to spend a good amount of time with those you love and care about. Know that I’ll be thinking of you all during the next week 🙂 Merry Christmas! Love always
This Christmas – Anna Sahlene

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