It’s been way too long since I’ve posted something, and I’ve been bubbling over with inspiration, so here we go!
Even though 2017 started almost three weeks ago, in my head 2017 didn’t really start until last week Monday, when I went back to work after a two-week vacation. Right off the bat it was incredibly busy at work and at home, and it still is, but it’s a good kind of busy. I’m finding the time to go to the gym, plan activities and preparing my lessons. And all because of one thing: I started cooking again.
There was a time when I cooked my lunch the night before, but when I started working downtown, there were just so many restaurants in the area where I could go grab lunch.
But now that I’m cooking again, I realize I’ve really missed it. Cooking is the perfect way to relax after a long day at work, and it also gives me energy to prepare my classes for the next day as well as research potential new activities for students. Plus, it saves me a ton of money!
Most people that know me see me as a baker, and it’s still something I love to do and am good at, but for the past couple of weeks I’ve been cooking more and trying out some new things and so far I haven’t made any cringeworthy mistakes. (Fingers crossed!) There’s something powerful to turning an idea in your head into a dish and have it taste exactly like you imagined. Carrot-ginger soup, anyone? These types of small successes have given me the life energy I didn’t know I was missing.
The past year was a year of change and finding my way in the world of work. I quit my job as a teacher at LaL and started working full-time at Stafford House. I went from helping out with Student Services, to becoming Housing Supervisor and then in November transitioned to Activities Coordinator/Teacher. On top of that, I moved from Dorchester to Allston to West-Roxbury and became single after 2+ years.
I feel like 2017 is going to be a year of stability. I’m not planning on moving away from West-Roxbury and even though the decision to become the activities coordinator at Stafford House Boston was a hard one, I’m incredibly happy I made it. I was looking at the activities calendar and not only am I going bowling, visiting the aquarium and seeing a Celtics game with our students next week, I’m getting paid to do all these things. At this point, I can’t believe I put up such resistance to becoming activities coordinator. Although it can be quite overwhelming because there is quite some administration that comes with it and I have to teach in the morning as well as work as an RA in the residence twice a week, it is mostly a lot of fun and I keep getting better at it every day. And the more fun I have, the more fun the students have!
Going back to Belgium for the holidays made me realize that at some point in the last year, Boston has become home for me. I love walking in Boston Common, wandering around the (gigantic!) Museum of Fine Arts and showing the students around “my” city. It also definitely helps that after a year and a half of being here, my friends (and family as well of course) have stopped asking me when I’m coming home and are instead planning on visiting me. I have a good set of friends here that are there for me when I need them and when I need to get away from the craziness for the weekend, I just drive down to Pennsylvania and visit my dad’s AFS family. AFS truly is for life. And as I sit here eating some chocolate from the TAZA chocolate factory from Sommerville that we visited this afternoon, I realize I don’t even need to go to Belgium to find some amazing chocolate.