Recently, my daughter entered me in a contest sponsored by the Chicago Blackhawks and the University of Phoenix to honor "Top-Shelf" teachers. Much to my surprise, and hers, I won. (She must be an amazing writer!) I have been out of the classroom now for eight months and have truly loved every moment of my new position. When I learned that I had won the contest and been named a "Top-Notch" teacher I felt a bit guilty since I am no longer in the classroom. My daughter told me that she had included that fact in her essay which made me feel a little better. As always, I reflected on this experience. It is humbling to know that someone thinks so much of what you do that they take the time to nominate you. I go to work everyday truly feeling blessed that I get to work where I do and finally realize how true that old saying, "if you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life" is. It took me thirty-eight years to figure out what I wanted to be when I grow-up. I started college at the age of thirty-five and graduated at age thirty-eight. If you aren't doing what you love to do, I encourage you to change that. I am so happy that I persevered through all the difficult moments so that I was able to achieve my goal of being a college graduate and a teacher. You are never too old to accomplish your dreams.
Life can be so serious - sometimes you just have to have some fun! This picture was taken on my February trip to Key West. This trip represented a lot of firsts for me. It was my first time:
Some more firsts...
There is barely a day that goes by that I don't learn something new. Sometimes it may just be something in general. about the world, sometimes it can be something about someone else, and yet other times it is something about myself. Every once in a while, though, the lesson is years in the making. Several years ago when I heard the saying, "Live Out Loud"- I knew immediately that I liked it, though I couldn't quite articulate why. As the years have gone by, the words have remained in my mind. Over the past three months it has become more of a motto for me. During these months I have experienced so many things - some good, some bad, some happy, and some sad. Throughout all of these experiences I found myself using the saying more and more. To me, "Live Out Loud" meant to live life with purpose, face your fears, and try new things. As I prepared to write this entry I decided to look into this saying further and found that it not only means what I envisioned, but it also has so many additional meanings. "Live Out Loud" is about being your most authentic self. (Clicking on the "pink" words will take you to the resources I looked at.) This new found knowledge inspires me and makes me want to work harder each day to ensure that I am living life to the fullest and with the utmost purpose. I hope that you are inspired to live out loud.
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A bit about me:
I am who I am thanks to God, my parents, my family, and my friends. My life is driven by faith. Oh, and I am a cancer survivor.