I am now down in Los Angeles for the next five weeks finishing up my teaching program. On July 23rd, I will officially graduate with my CA State Multiple Subject Elementary School Teaching Credential (whew!) and a Certificate in Jewish Day School Teaching. Only five more weeks of coursework, classes, and projects. I’m really looking forward to seeing my southern California friends and teachers, and I can’t wait to graduate! Although it won’t be quite like this…
As many of my fellow teaching friends have noticed, the end of the academic year provides an excellent opportunity for reflection. It is a great time to breathe, think back on the past few months, and take stock of where we’ve been and where we want to go. In addition to this being the end of a very challenging, exciting school year, my trip down to Los Angeles this summer marks the end of a year of major changes in my life. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where I’ve come in the last year.
Leaving for Los Angeles, 2009
In the past twelve months, I have
–moved across the country
–lived in Los Angeles alone for five weeks
–moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend in San Francisco
–started a new job
–started a graduate school program
–spent my first year teaching
And those are just the big things! In the last year, I have also become a runner; worked very hard to find balance, health, and happiness in my life; started this blog; and negotiated the struggles, challenges, and obstacles of being a recent college graduate (there are a LOT of them!). Overall, it has been a tremendous year of change and growth for me, and I am very proud of everything that I’ve accomplished this year.
But the adjustment from college student to working woman/grad student has not been an easy one for me. Despite having a job lined up, I finished college last May feeling anxious and uncertain about my future. I had no idea what my year would look like, and I couldn’t really prepare myself for all of the stressors that I would face. I went down to Los Angeles with only a vague outline of a life back home in San Francisco. My summer in Los Angeles last year was hard for me emotionally and physically. I felt lonely and isolated in my living situation, and I didn’t take good care of myself. My eating became more and more restricted over the course of the summer. By the time I made it back to San Francisco at the end of July, I was in full-blown restricted eating/over-exercising mode, and my anxiety was a bit out of control.
Since then, I’ve worked hard to turn things around. I’ve gotten the help I need for my physical and emotional health, and I’ve learned so much about taking care of myself. My eating has changed significantly; I now feel like I am getting much more of the nutrients and support my body needs to function well. I also have a much better idea of what–and who–I need in order to be happy. For this summer down in Los Angeles, I made sure that I found a better living situation for myself, and I have worked hard over the course of the year to build up a good support network for myself down here. Although I’m still not sure exactly what to expect for my job in the fall, I have a life back home in San Francisco now. I have a beautiful apartment, and J and I have adjusted wonderfully to life as a live-in couple. I have friends, family, and a routine.
Yesterday, my dad drove down to Los Angeles with me and helped me move into my new apartment, just as he did last year. The drive was exactly the same. We stopped at the same gas stations and restaurant for lunch. I felt some of the anxiety that I experienced last summer begin to creep in as we cruised down the I-5. As we drove, though, we talked about the year and I realized that I am a different person than I was one year ago. I am in a completely different place in my life, and I have come to know myself in a whole new way. I know now what it takes for me to be happy and well, and I am committed to doing those things this summer while I am down in Los Angeles. I have worked too hard this year to let myself slide back into bad habits and negative thinking.
As I moved into my beautiful new apartment last night, I realized that I am a new(ish) person, too. I am still the same old me, but I have developed a whole new perspective during my first year out of college. I have high hopes for this summer and the year to come, but for now I am content to just be happy with how far I’ve come over the past twelve months. It hasn’t been an easy year, but I made it through, and I am a stronger, healthier, happier Gavi for it!
This morning, I woke up in my new apartment and went for a beautiful 6-mile run through my neighborhood. It was my first run since the 11-miler that I did before leaving San Francisco on Friday, and it felt wonderful. I came home afterwards and made myself a green smoothie with the wonderful addition of a nonfat latte! Delicious. Some photos of my new apartment:
My own bathroom!
My bedroom (a little sterile!)
I’m off to go to a seminar at my grad school today! Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there! To my Daddy-o: you’re the best father a girl could ask for! Happy Father’s Day!
Happy Father's Day, Dad and Grandpa!
Question: What have you learned in the past year? What are some of the things you’ve accomplished, discovered, or figured out?