We Are Our Harshest Critic – And That Has To Stop

Appearance: (noun) the way in which a person’s physicals attributes make up their image, and of which there is only one correct and desirable.

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From Student to Teacher, and Back Again

I recently entered the yeah write super challenge. This is a non-fiction writing challenge that takes place in three rounds, with all writers competing for a cash prize. I just found out that I am through to the next round, alongside 17 other talented writers. I’m delighted to make it to round 2, and would like to share my first entry here! The prompt was “lessons learned”, and as I spend most of my time in a school nowadays, it didn’t take too long for me to find my inspiration for my essay.

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Luck Be a Lady? Think Again!

Gosh, men. They seem to have it all, don’t they? The higher wages, the ability to objectify women with no repercussions and the general holding of power in the world. Just your basic male stuff. I don’t blame some of them for not being number one fans of the feminist movement. I too would be wary of something that could dismantle and take away all the precious things that only I can have, in a system that benefits me. Men have all the luck!

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I’m a Woman, But I’m Not a Lady

“Well, she’s all you’d ever want
She’s the kind I like to flaunt and take to dinner
But she always knows her place
She’s got style, she’s got grace, she’s a winner
She’s a lady.”

She’s A Lady, Tom Jones.

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… But it’s where I am.

Rather than send out a string vaguely sad seeming Tweets, I thought I’d document this particular evening of melancholy here, on my blog. This post, in length and content, will be significantly lower than others #sorrynotsorry. Tonight I realised that where I am right now, here in France, is not where I’m supposed to be. But it’s where I am.

If I’m being totally honest with myself, the idea of quitting has crossed my mind as my Christmas holidays came to an end. Maybe my 8 AM flight had something to do with that, but I think it’s more than that. I’ve seen a few posts on the various TApIF Facebook groups about the quitting process, and I thought, I’m not alone. Other people must be bowing out early, maybe I can too.

I came back on Monday. It’s Friday evening, and I feel no better than when I first arrived back. I feel worse. My Christmas holidays were filled with friends, family and wine. I didn’t have time to think about coming back or process how I might be feeling about that. Then I got back to my apartment, the room I spend the majority of my time in here, and thought, fuck. I’m here again. I did not want to be.

I have a fair idea of how my life will turn out, or rather, how I would like it turn out. It does not involve French. I don’t want to take my French any further. Yeah, the idea of being fluent in a language is nice but obviously not tempting enough for me to actually to try become fluent. If I end up teaching, it will not be teaching a foreign language. I have years of teaching experience that tells me that I do like teaching, but not teaching people who don’t speak my language. That’s a whole different ballgam. My degree requires me to spend at least three months abroad. *looks at calendar* I’ve done that. Technically, there’s nothing to say that I can’t just quit right now, and head on the next flight home.

I won’t, of course. And I don’t really know why. I am not supposed to be here. Maybe further, and I mean reaaaally further down the line, I will see how this time will benefit me. But right now, it seems a bit like a waste of a few months. Instantly typing that I feel ashamed that I said that about having the opportunity to live and work abroad. I know how lucky I am to be here, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard. That doesn’t mean that I will love the experience. It doesn’t mean that it’s for me. 

So right now, I’m not feeling great. My boyfriend tells me to go out and do things, go to the gym, meet up with my friend, and get out of my room. But it’s hard to find the motivation to do that when you just don’t want to be here in the first place. And I know it’s a viscous circle, that staying inside will only make it worse. It probably has, too. 

Also, my laptop died. I’m still in mourning. 

The contrast between this post and my last one is laughable. My last post was about looking beyond yourself, and I can’t see anything beyond myself, because I’m too down to leave my damn room. This, is not where I should be. It’s not where I want be.

But it’s where I am.