Saturday, February 3, 2018

January in One Word

I saw something the other day that encouraged me to “describe the last month in one word.” I thought about it for a few days, and the word I have chosen for January is HARD. Here are a few reasons why:

Dealing with rowdy 8-year-olds for 35 hours a week is hard. Feeling like a failure at work is hard. Getting your hopes up, just for them to come crashing back down is hard. Trying to fall out of head over heels, deeper than you thought possible love is really hard. Crying every time you try to talk about him and what you’ve lost is hard. Being sick for a week and missing work is also hard. Feeling like everything good has fallen out of your life is so hard. Looking at your mess of a house because you have been emotionally and physically drained to the point of having no motivation to keep up on it is hard. Almost constantly feeling emotionally and physically drained is… you guessed it. Hard. Are you noticing a pattern yet?

December and January were extremely challenging months for me. I honestly think I have cried more in the last few weeks than I remember crying in the rest of my life combined. I’ve had sobbing, hyperventilating breakdowns where I can’t 
even stand, I’ve cried in my classroom while my kids are at recess, then pulled it together to go out and pick them up, I’ve cried in coworkers’ offices (including my principal’s office today, because I am awesome), I've called friends and cried, I’ve cried in friends' arms, I've cried in family's arms, I’ve cried in the arms of the people that are hurting me… And the crazy part is, that up until these past few months, I have not been a crier! Letting go of my emotions enough to cry is not typical for me - my roommate that I have lived with for almost two years just saw me cry for the first time during this time frame. But the last couple months, I haven’t really had any control over my emotions and when they choose to manifest. I have felt like I was scrambling to accomplish everything I needed to, while also trying to keep my emotions in check, smile occasionally, and not have a breakdown in front of every person who asked how I was doing (please see meme).
Also Truth.
I was a complete wreck all the time, and it was really stressful and embarrassing for me to feel so out of control.

While the combination of all these events made for what was probably the hardest few weeks I’ve ever had to go through, I feel like I have grown a lot. I am learning to do things for me. I am learning to do what I need to do to be happy. I am learning that if people won’t fight to be a part of my life, then they don’t deserve to be in it. I have learned that it's ok to love, and it's ok to cry, and it's ok to say what you need from people. I have learned that true friends are there for you in your weak moments, even if you’ve neglected them for a bit. I have learned that family always has your back, and that you can trust them to heal your wounds and remind you who you were before you felt so lost and hopeless.

Even before everything that I’ve gone through lately, I already knew that God loves me and has a plan for me. It’s hard to accept sometimes - especially when you are so busy trying to make what seem like really good plans for yourself. It’s hard when things don’t work out the way you want them to. It’s hard when everything goes wrong at once, and nothing you do feels good enough. But… The lower the lows, the more you will appreciate the highs when they do come, right?

My life motto these days.
Long story short, things are on the upward trend these days. I may not understand right now why I had to go through all of this, but I have family and friends who love me, and roommates who will listen to me cry and remind me that I’m awesome, and worth it. Life goes on, and I know I’m going to be fine in the end. :)

♥, Meagan

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Adjectives to Aspire to

Happy New Year! :) Every year I get caught up in the whole "new year, new me" thing. I make a million resolutions, and swear I'm actually going to remember them all year. I think it's great to want to improve yourself, and you should never stop trying to be better, but I also think that I need a new system. 2016 was a very productive year for me. I did a lot of growing up, and I accomplished a lot of my goals. I have a lot to celebrate! Because of that, in 2017 I think I want to focus on the things I already like about myself and strengthen those instead. In Relief Society today, we talked about goal setting and resolutions. The girl giving the lesson talked about a friend of hers that made a list of "I Am" statements and chose to work on one a month, then wrapped it all up by writing about it. I love that idea! I immediately started brainstorming my own list. Some of these I am weaker at than others, so some are ones I want to improve, and others are just something I want to focus on, because they are good things! So here is what I came up with:

I am.....

If you have any ideas for me on how to live these adjectives to the fullest, please shoot them my way! Here's to a year of introspection. I'm excited. :)
♥, Meagan

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Reflections on the Atonement

Tonight in institute we listened to part of a talk by Elder Oaks, and in it he spoke of the atonement and just how far-reaching it is. I think we often forget everything that the atonement entails. Typically when I think of the atonement I think about the fact that Christ experienced my sins. He suffered for them so that I wouldn't have to. As a result, I can fully repent and make my way back to my Heavenly Father. While that is true, appreciated, and impressive in and of itself, I think we tend to forget that the atonement covers more than just sins. The atonement covers EVERY negative feeling, EVERY negative experience that we will have in mortality. Christ genuinely felt our anguish - not just over sins committed, but he also felt our anxiety, our depression, our stress, our doubt and insecurities, our longings, and our loneliness.

This is why Christ had to be half human, so that he could feel  all of these human emotions so deeply. The half God part is manifested in His surviving all of those feelings simultaneously. I am so truly grateful for the opportunity that I have to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love this Gospel. I would be lost without it. I love the knowledge that it gives me of right and wrong, and I am continuously so grateful to know that when I am faced with trials, I am not expected to overcome them by myself. I do not have to do hard things alone. Christ loves each one of us unconditionally, and will always reach out to pull us through the hardest moments of our lives. To whoever is reading: please, always remember this and know that you are loved more than you know. And you can do hard things.
♥, Meagan

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude! 2015

It's been a little while since I have posted (says every blog post I have ever written). I wanted to take a minute today to reflect on the things in my life that are wonderful. I really do have a lot of them, even if they're hard to notice sometimes.

I did an activity with my students this week where we wrote things that we are grateful for on little leaf cutouts and put them up all around the classroom. I had so much fun reading all of the things that they are grateful for, and now the classroom looks so festive and colorful! Here is a comprehensive list of all the things that they mentioned - spelling and grammar not corrected, and multiples included. 

My family
My food
I am thankful for my friends
For holiday
I am thankful for a dog. And a bed.
My food and football
I am greatful for a dog, family, and a house with food
My life
Food and drinks espicily Spite
I am thankful for a house
For money
Im thankfull for basketball
Im thankfull for my family
Close (clothes)
Im thankfull for close

Really, look! It says God! 4 said God and one said allah. I loved it. :)

For family
I am thankfull for food
I am thankful for my dog
Helping mis Jarding
Help my mom
My mom
And clen up my room
Gods (pretty sure they meant God)
Helping other pepol
Im thankful for food
I thankful for everything
I am thankful for my family
My house
Clothes house
My dad
I’m thanckfull for food
I’m thanckfull for my dog
I’m thanckfull for my cat.
I’m thanckfull for my famley.
Family and shoes
My family
Drinks and clothes
My home
Shet (I don't think this is supposed to be naughty, but I have no idea what it is really supposed to say. Any ideas??)
I am thankful for piling up leaves with cousins and my brother. And eating junk food with them.
I’m thankful for my Aunt for cooking the turkey and having us over.
I’m thankful for football season.
I’m so thankful for hanging out with cousins.
I’m thankful 4 my family
I’m thankful 4 Ms. Jardine (bonus points for her!)
I’m thankful for being a muslim. (I loved this one. I have some cool cultures in my class)
I’m thankful for allah.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I am thankful for sweet students, and the reminder to be appreciative of the little things, like pencils, leaf piles, and trees. I LOVE my job this year. I love my school, because I actually feel appreciated. I love my co-workers, and I love my students because they respect me. They are kind to each other, and make me feel so important and loved! I have just been waiting for a school year that I would enjoy as much as this one.

Now I know you have all been wondering what I contributed to our wall of gratitude leaves. Here are mine, which are maybe slightly less inspirational than my students':

My students loved the junk food one (my new girl that I got on Monday informed me that I am addicted to Dr. Pepper on only the 2nd day of her being in my class. Has this reached problem status yet?? Haha) They also questioned me on the cats one. Notice that none of them wrote cats on theirs, but there are several that say dogs. I am a little outnumbered! 

Anyway... Some things that I did not list that I am grateful for (because... you know, separation of church and state and whatnot) include: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and a Heavenly Father that comforts, watches over me and makes sure that I am not alone during my most difficult trials. I do love my life, and the Gospel that I am privileged to be a part of.

My friend sent me a quote about gratitude the other day. Here it is: 
"Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character. We like to be around those who are grateful. They tend to brighten all around them. They make others feel better about themselves. They tend to be more humble, more joyful, more likable."
He said that I am this type of person and it made my day, because I have felt like a bit of a downer and a whiner lately. I think this is a great reminder that you are usually doing better than you feel you are. I know that this quote speaks truth. Thank you so much to each of you that have been a bright spot and support in my life. Keep it up! Continue to brighten those around you, and be that likable person. The world is a better place because of you. :) 

Happy Thanksgiving!

♥, Meagan

Sunday, September 20, 2015

I Am Stronger Than I Thought

I honestly think that this past month has been the hardest of my life. I have been busier than ever before. I moved out of my parents' house into what ended up being a bad situation that I couldn't stay in, then moved back in during the first week of school while getting used to being at a new school, getting to know my students, learning new routines, and getting my feet off the ground. There were deadlines that I was struggling to meet, and circumstances outside of my control were preventing me from doing that. A few relationships in my life felt like they were crumbling, and I didn't know how to save them. I was stressed not only with work, but with my calling, and honestly, just life in general. I felt like everything was falling apart. Nothing seemed to be going right, and just when I thought the trial that I was enduring was the last one that I could possibly handle, another one would come along, and I would be that much more overwhelmed. Trial after trial stacked up and I shouldered them all, feeling like any moment I should just topple over and admit defeat.

Hardly anyone, regardless of how close they are to me, will ever see me cry. I do not like feeling like I am not in complete control of myself and my emotions, so I tend to stifle them. However, when life throws as many curveballs at you as it did me these last few weeks, it is just not possible to pretend that you're not hurting. Those close friends of mine that normally lean on me got to be on the receiving end of phone calls where they picked up, and I was immediately a blubbering mess. It was alarming for me to be this emotional. I went through a week where I had an emotional meltdown accompanied by hysterical sobbing every single day. On one such day, I called my friend and I told her that I have never been the "crying friend." I didn't know how to ask for comfort instead of give it, and it had been causing me tons of stress and anguish.

My typical role in life is the steady friend. I have always been the one that doesn't get emotional; that person that is known for always being chipper and smiling, and able to brighten someone else's day. I have always loved that I could be that support for people, but I have not felt like that person this last little while. In fact, it was exhausting to try to be her. As a result, I have recently learned that when people ask how you are doing it is ok to admit that you are struggling. It is ok to unload, and to ask for advice, and even (heaven forbid!) to cry sometimes. Those are not things that I have been willing to do before, but I learned.

Another friend was asking me a week or so ago why life can be so hard when you are trying so hard yourself. He was frustrated because he felt like he was doing everything right, and everything was still falling apart around him. He felt anxiety over his calling, over his family, over his job, and also over other relationships in his life. I knew exactly what he was going through. It seemed to parallel my own life perfectly. I told him that I think that life is the hardest when you are the toughest. God knows what you can handle, and He would never overload you. Then I realized how wise I sounded, and that up until then I probably wouldn't have believed those words from someone else. I needed to apply my counsel in my own life. Then, I realized that it was all going to be ok. I could get through this.
This has been the lock screen on my phone for a month or so now.
You are strong enough!
I think that Heavenly Father waits to give you the hardest trials until you are doing what you are supposed to and giving extra time to the Church. That way you will have the spiritual strength to handle what is being thrown at you, because if you weren't so strong in the Church at that moment then how on Earth would you handle it all?

Now, I'm not telling you all this so that you can feel bad for me. I don't want pity. I pretty much just want to vent, and then share what I've learned while going through it all. So here goes: I have learned that it is just as important to support others as it is to ask for others' help. You need to let others in. Share not only happy moments with them, but difficult ones as well. Don't be afraid to give others that chance to be the strong one, and to help you out when you are hurting. I've realized that our challenges can be as much for those around us as they are for us sometimes. I have also learned that God is there. I knew this before, but it was reaffirmed to me so many times throughout these trials. He loves us immensely - more than we will ever understand. He knows exactly what we are going through, because he suffered for our pains and anguish already, through the atonement. His suffering wasn't just for our sins. It was to cover all the pain we would experience in this life, including emotional pains. He knows perfectly what we are going through, because he has experienced it and He is there to help us get through it. He just wants us to remember to ask Him for help. I have learned that sometimes I have to admit that even I can't do everything by myself, as much as I want to be able to.

After all these lessons, the biggest take-away that I found in all of this is that, as I mentioned above, God only gives us what He knows we can handle. So while I may feel broken, I'm not. I'm really just stronger than I thought I was.

Happy Sunday. :)
♥, Meagan

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Small Bit of Perfection

I've kind of been in a funk the last few days. Life hasn't gone as planned, and I've had things I've wanted to work on, and felt like I just kept falling short of where I wanted to be.

But... I met with my bishop yesterday for tithing settlement, and after I told him that I am a full tithe-payer, he told me that I should take a moment to be proud of myself. He looked right at me and said "Even if there are other things you are struggling with, or want to work on... Take comfort in the fact that in this one thing you are perfect." That was such a pick-me-up! I had never thought about it that way before, and it really helped me to see that as a whole, I am far from perfect, but I do have small bits of perfection mixed in.

I think we all have a tendency to pick out the things we don't like about ourselves, and focus on our downfalls. We get so caught up in the things that we are not good at that we forget to notice and celebrate the things about us that are "perfect". Maybe I'll make that a New Year's resolution - to try and notice more good things about myself. I think life would be a little happier.

I love you all! Don't forget to notice those things that are perfect about you. And if you are having a hard time figuring out what they are, ask someone. I would be glad to provide a quick ego boost to anyone who needs it. :)
♥, Meagan

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Teaching, Round Two!

As an intern I was required to keep a weekly reflection journal. In trying to psych myself up for school starting again tomorrow I read the positive note I left last school year on. (It's easy to be positive when summer is staring you in the face and it's full of endless possibilities. Like sleep. Yeah, I was mostly just excited about sleeping.) Anyway... It was really great to read through this and be reminded of some of the specific reasons why I love this job so much. 

"As demanding, difficult, and utterly exhausting as this year was… It reaffirmed my love for this career. I love teaching. I love being that extra influence in a child’s life. I love being the reason that they know something as basic as multiplication, or cursive for the rest of their lives. I love celebrating small achievements with them. I love knowing that I changed their lives and helped them to grow not only academically, but in character as well. I love seizing every teaching moment, and opening children’s eyes to the world around them. I love inspiring them to be better; to love learning and to love reading. I love when a child calls me “teacher” instead of my name. I love it because I am proud to be a teacher. I love when a child accidentally calls me “mom”, then gets all embarrassed. I love silly stories and jokes that don’t make sense. I love pretending things aren't funny because they’re inappropriate, then telling my friends all about it later. I love laughing with my students until none of us can breathe, and bringing it up weeks later. I even love the bad days, because they make the good ones that much more special.

I am so excited for a fresh start with a new class, and at a new school. I will miss Riverton Elementary and all of the amazing experiences that I had here. But after this year… I honestly feel like I can handle whatever next year throws at me."

I loved reading back over this, because I am now nervous for this fresh start. I am nervous for a new school, a new team, and not having the fallback of my BYU mentor teacher when I need her. I am nervous for new curriculum and methods. But at the same time I am so excited for this. I am excited to only be a teacher. Being a student simultaneously was so difficult! I am excited for first impressions, and to start new with new students that haven't had a chance to frazzle me yet. I am excited that I am not a first-year teacher anymore, and am confident enough, even at the beginning of the school year, to contribute in team meetings. I am excited that the first-year teachers look up to me and are coming to me for help. I am excited that the veteran teachers are coming to me for fresh ideas. I am just excited. I have missed teaching. Ask me again in a few weeks, and I might tell you a different story. But for the time being...? Bring on year 2!! :)

♥, Meagan