Graduation, Goals and Growth?

I have always struggled personally with a lot of things. My looks, my weight, hair my everything. These insecurities have resulted in many experiments, some dangerously unhealthy, to achieve what I thought was the perfect me. These experiments followed me through secondary school, through college, and for a couple of months, through my life after college.

Now, I’ve been teaching for the past two months (something I enjoy immensely, save for a few sour experiences which can’t be helped), and I’ve just officially graduated this Sunday. It was an experience I will never forget, because not only am I realizing goals that I set for myself at the beginning of college, but additionally, I’ve begun observing the many different levels of growth I’ve been experiencing.

I spent a lot of my years during secondary school and college going back and forth between relaxing my hair, growing it out, getting weave, repeating the cycle and so on and so forth. I struggled a lot with my hair, often times feeling it wasn’t beautiful enough for me to go out with as is, a feeling that coloured many of my experiences between the ages of 18 and 23.

When I took my first set of graduation photographs, I loved them. I thought I was beautiful.

But they weren’t completely me. When I took the photographs at the official school leaving service, there was a difference. I hadn’t been paying attention to it at the time, but it was there.

Taking this last set of photographs, on the official day of graduation however, has highlighted the difference tremendously. I don’t know when I got it into my head to grow mentally, to the point where I was willing to wear my short, curly, natural hair, to a function where everyone was wearing waist length weaves and braids, but I did it, and I’m proud of myself for it.

A time will come for the weave to rise again. I love wavy hair. I love ponytails. But I’m happy to report that those hairstyles no longer hold me hostage. I can wear them, if I chose. But the choice has never been there before, at least, in my eyes.

After an experience like the one I had yesterday, I’ve reassessed my career goals and want to reaffirm them to myself, serving as a reminder that with hard work and dedication, I can and will achieve everything I hope for and more.

  • Graduate from University with a first class Bachelors Degree in Language and Literature Education. Complete.
  • Gain a year of experience teaching in a position that allows me to maximize my saving opportunities. In progress.
  • Settle in a comfortable and continue gaining experience (an additional year) in teaching (can be overseas or local). Not started.
  • Begin studying for my Masters Degree in Linguistics, Philology or Language Education, while continuing to gain teaching experience (another year). Not started.
  • Successfully complete my second degree and gain employment at a prominent University (fourth and final year teaching within the secondary school system). Not started.
  • Successfully complete my first book and become published by 2023 at 27 years old. In progress.

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope my aspirations motivate you to continue your dreams as well!

New Job, New Delusions?

This is a new blog, and I fumbled around for a while trying to determine what I wanted to make my first post, but this experience had me reeling in a way I couldn’t forget.

I don’t think in all my 23 years of existing, I’ve ever encountered a true narcissist. Yes, its possible for persons to possess a quality or two that’s reminiscent of that kind of behaviour, but a full-blown narcissist? I somehow seemed to avoid them for most of my life. This was up until a few days prior to making this post.

I don’t normally self-assess or read posts on websites that promote self-assessment, but after reading this post, I really had my eyes opened (specifically the sections that speak about entitlement, exploitation, and grandiose self-importance).

I recently graduated and became employed at a secondary school in my country, and because I was interested in saving up as much money as possible, I decided to look into on-campus housing. Now I know that this type of housing can be inconvenient (shared amenities, loud neighbours, etc…), but I was interested because the rates were super low, I wanted to save for a car, and I would have my own living quarters. The only thing we would have to share would be the bathroom and the kitchen.

Now things started off well enough I suppose. Another new teacher who I had made friends with was also moving into the shared space, so I at least knew one person that I would be living with, and she was the type of person I usually talk to so I was happy about that.

Now at first, I thought the comments I kept getting from our final housemate were just misguided attempts at being motherly (don’t leave your windows open people will see you change, lock the door when you come inside, etc…), so I didn’t pay much attention to them. My mother was overbearing in the best way when I was younger, so I was super used to nodding and smiling just to keep the peace. (Mom and I are great now; she’s let up a lot and we talk on the phone every day.)

Something I didn’t mention before this, was that I love to clean. I enjoy clean spaces, I love sparkling mirrors and tiles, I like smelling bleach and disinfectant sprays. I enjoy cleanliness. For the four weekends of September, I’ve been the only house member here. Everyone else runs off to their families and such. But everyone else lives really close by. If I traveled home every weekend, I’d spend more time travelling than resting, so I decided to just go home for major holidays. Now for those four weekends, I’ve been the only one cleaning. I honestly didn’t mind the cleaning, because I do enjoy it, but I wasn’t the only one using the bathroom. Even though I’m the only one there on the weekends, two other people use it for the other five days of the week.

The third time I cleaned it, I changed the cloth curtain to a plastic one and put up a liner (wet cloth will mildew, plastic is easier to clean). After cleaning the toilet, bathtub/shower, face basin and the floor, the original housemate had the audacity to ask me why I didn’t wash the curtain, because it was hers. I do a lot of meal prep on the weekends, so expecting me to clean the bathroom, plus wash the curtains, plus do all my prep work for school, plus do laundry, when I was the only one cleaning for the past three weeks kind of rubbed me the wrong way, but I looked past it. I just said no, and moved on.

Come next week, guess who’s cleaning again? Me. So I clean. Now, I didn’t mention it before, but there are a lot of storage containers in the bathroom for water, because sometimes we have water issues (none of these belong to me or my other friend; we store our water in our personal rooms).

Normally when I clean the bathroom, I take out all the containers, clean and haul them back in. This time, I was exhausted afterwards, so I left them out, meaning to tell the original house member that since I cleaned the bathroom for the fourth time now, the least she could do was put in back her own containers.

LORD, WHO TOLD ME TO DO THAT?

This is where everything comes to the surface. Now I leave first in the mornings, because I love to be early. The morning when this all occurred, my friend told me that after I left, Madam Original was walking around the house talking about how much the devil was trying to test her, and how she needed guidance to deliver her from me.

When she gets to work, she asks to speak with me, and tells me that she needs her containers replaced, and I explain my thought process (I’ve cleaned multiple times now, just put them back inside). She’s adamant that since I moved them, I need to move them back.

We put the conversation on hold because we’re at work and she says she needs to have a meeting with me in the evening, and I call my mother, my other house mate and my best friend because I really need some advice. My mom says I should put them back and tell her that my mother says I don’t have permission to speak to ridiculous people (this really made me giggle at the time), my friend says leave them and be petty, and my other house mate says we need to have a meeting because its unfair (this is in reference to both herself and Madam O), that I’ve been the only one cleaning.

I agree and we decide to have the meeting after work. Now we try to discuss the bathroom, but she says that essentially, I took it upon myself to clean every week, and she’s never going to clean on the weekends, and if she’s too tired she won’t clean in the week either. No compromise. She says that we came and saw her there doing things her way, and we should both adapt. She says no one should touch her things (mind you she moves our things whenever she decides something is ghetto or whatever).

Then she started calling me a troublemaker and a warmonger because I was taking over space. Both me and my friend were confused because we both keep all of our things in our rooms, while she has about twenty storage containers with water split between the bathroom and the living room. I try to ask her what she means, because in reality, if you want to fix a problem, you need to know what it is right?

No, according to her, she just wants to make peace, I don’t need to know what I’m doing wrong, I just need to stop doing it. Makes a whole lot of sense. So, after arguing back and forth for a while, me trying to convince her to explain to me what I’ve done to be unfairly labelled a troublemaker, she finally tells me. When she does, I almost malfunction because I wasn’t even the person doing it.

She claims that she doesn’t like to keep things bottled, she will tell persons when they offend or upset her, but for the entire month of September, I’ve apparently been doing this to her. For some reason, she moved from her original desk to sit beside me in the staff area (I don’t know if she thought we would be friends or something). There’s a large box of Spanish materials that used to sit between us both. On my very first day, I put some papers from my desk in there (I got a Spanish desk, so I was emptying it out). I haven’t touched it since that day. Apparently, sometimes when she comes in to sit, she can pull out her chair fine, and sometimes, the box is in the way. Instead of making the assumption that when the cleaners come every morning, they move the box to mop and sweep the floor, she made the assumption that I kept moving it back and forth to spite and inconvenience her. So she asked a gentleman to move it into storage so I could stop using it against her. I was so unconcerned with this box, that I didn’t even realize it had been MOVED. That’s how much I wasn’t even noticing it!

The other issue, making me a troublemaker, besides the container moving, and the box moving (are we noticing a trend here?) is that I have a basin that I store water in on top of my stove in the kitchen (there are three stoves, so we only share the sink). On occasion, over the weekend when I’m here alone, I move the basin to the counter to make things a little easier, and by say Tuesday, its back on the stove (sometimes I move it, sometimes she moves it because it looks ghetto). So, my single basin bothers her, but we shouldn’t be bothered by her 20 containers all over the house.

Again, she has reiterated that she doesn’t like people to control her, and she was here first, so if she takes up all of the fridge space, we should just use the space that’s left (thank heavens I got my own fridge, so only two of them have to work around that).

So those two issues make me a troublemaker, when I really haven’t been doing anything at all, and she expected me to walk away from the conversation, making peace without knowing that she was really deluding herself into being upset about conceived slights that she made up on her own.

Not to mention she was disrespectful enough to call me ‘Whatever my name is.” My friend and I have similar names. We both have names ending with Ann. So, she’ll get it right 80% of the time, then get it wrong then other 20. While discussing all of this, she called me that three times, and then claimed to be joking. I also used to the word ‘imply’ while speaking to her, and she yelled that I wasn’t supposed to use my big English words on her, then followed that up by saying I’m not ‘cognisant about living in a home, versus a ghetto.’

I’m not even sure where I’m going with this? I wish I was making this all up. She’s claimed to be an adult (older than us by far), so it’s her way or no way at all, so the only option for me is to move and I know this, but I just really needed to vent. I meant for my first post on here to be way more light-hearted, but I had to express my feelings about this entire situation or I would have just exploded. My other friend says it would have been better if I was having issues with a man. It would have made more sense than this foolishness.

If anyone does happen to read this, your insight would really be appreciated.