I think I was reflecting on what my biggest takeaway from the week was and I think it is change.
It is the one thing that is inevitable in many cases but it is the one of the things that can disrupt us the most as human beings.
Seasons. Bodies. Mindsets. Time. Relationships.
Just a few things as I am reflecting that have changed in my life even just in this week alone!!
The photo above is from one of my morning sessions in Yoyogi Park near where we live <3 It is so beautiful at the minute and it feels like Autumn has just come upon us all of a sudden because the trees are changing so much.
This week has been a bit of a rollercoaster adjusting to new norms and that is a big part of change. Sometimes we can look back at what we had, especially in tough times, and think those times were better. Maybe they were. But I have had to keep reminding myself this week that, things do change - for good and for bad.
I remember in my first year of teaching Rob (my partner in crime) said to me all the time - what are you going to do about it? And I didn't want to hear it. I didn't want to do anything about it. I wanted him to feel sorry for me, feel sorry for the predicament I was in haha. But he had none of it (in a kind way). He got me to think about what choices I had - do something about it or leave.
Now those are very black and white options and when making choices, professionally or personally, it is hardly ever a binary process. But it is a choice, back then I just wanted to wallow. And sometimes wallowing is needed, venting, getting angry, crying etc. They are all part of the process.
I look back at the baby I was, 21 years old soon to be 22, in my first year of teaching. Trying to navigate the 'adult world' for the first time. I know I am still a baby but I would consider myself in my toddler phase of adult hood now :). I have learnt a few things, I have observed, questioned, wondered and explored the adult world and I am starting to understand where I fit, for now. Just like our toddlers do.
Courtesy of a very generous sibling, Caoimhin. I was reminded of how things change. From when I was a toddler to now, a toddler in my adult years.
One of my biggest takeaways from the process so far is - it's okay. It's okay to have excellent, fabulous, unbelievable days. It's okay to have awful, disgusting, dreadful days you would never wish anyone to have. And it's okay to have plain, old, okay, vanilla days too. It's okay to feel like you don't belong, it's okay to feel so proud of yourself, it's okay to feel unsure and not know what to do, it's okay.
Trying to control change is like trying to control the wind. This week there have been a few big changes happen and even though I can say these reflections now - in the moment I was getting hot under the collar - my mind racing saying - why is this happening? This is all my fault! Why can’t it just stay the way it should be?
‘My first reaction was to give up this morning but after allowing myself a minute to process it actually helped me to think about what was actually happening and think about some other pathways I could take as a solution :) ‘
This is a reflection I wrote on Thursday when things really didn’t go to plan and I think it shows where I am at in my toddler phase of adult hood.
I am really enjoying the process of reflecting daily and weekly on my own responses and actions as it is helping me be aware of my natural reactions and what strategies help to get me out of a rabbit hole of negative self talk.
I have been speaking to a few people who are not able to get home for Christmas this week and even though we might not have been coming home this year it is more the idea that we CAN'T go home. I love this quote from Stephanie Rothstein on this week's episode of #Empathetic_Educators.
'It is okay to be where you are.'
I loved when she said this - it is something she says to her learners but it really struck me as something I would like to bring into my own mindset. I have mentioned a few times the idea of Acceptance vs Expectations which I discussed with a great friend, Latai last year and I think it really ties in with this seasons themes of Growth and Relationships.
What do we expect from ourselves vs how do we accept where we are right now? How can we accept where we are and try to challenge ourselves to go out of our comfort zone to go further?
For me, I think it comes back to the idea of What are you going to do about it? I think some days I am going to let myself be sad. I think some days I am going to treat myself (eg get my nails done). I think some days I am going to try to contact you (mammy and daddy) so we can speak to each other. I think some days I am going to be grateful that I get to travel Japan over my holidays and enjoy time here with my partner in crime. And I think some days I will sit in my cosy pjs and eat allllll the chocolate.
This year has thrown a whole lot of change at us, more than some of us have ever experienced. And some of that change was by choice but a lot of it wasn't. So my biggest takeaway in my toddler phase of adulthood is - it's okay.
In the photos above, you will see the book of quotes you sent me in a stocking in 2018 to New Zealand for Christmas. I have started to use them as part of my daily reflections, thinking about how they relate to the day I have just had :)
Well, that's all of my ramblings for this week folks.
It was great to be a bit of a tourist in Tokyo last weekend, going on a sake tour - we were actually very sensible :) This weekend we are getting a Christmas tree. I know it might be a wee bit early but I wanted to start the holiday cheer - it's okay haha.
For anyone out there feeling the same or feeling the effects of the changes happening in the rollercoaster of life - it's okay. Reach out. If you don't have people to reach out to I have put together this form that some people have already signed up to. Just a few times over the next few weeks that I am free if you need a chat or just someone to listen :)
Remember our choices have an impact - what impact will you have?
Hope you have another great week.