Share your Lollipops

Inspiration is a perplexing concept. We draw inspiration from others and the world around us but ultimately inspiration is a highly personal experience. You can read the same book or watch the same film as your friend, lover, or mother and draw totally different inspiration from the same source. Some people are extremely difficult to inspire and others are inspired by minute daily beauty. As a writer, inspiration is something that is not only necessary but is truly like kryptonite. When I feel the words forming in my head, I can see the sentences budding like flowers in the springtime. When I feel the inspiration and the drive to condense my vast imagination into compartmentalized fuel…I must fulfill that need. Often I am inspired by other writers, reading their books and getting so lost in their created world I just can’t wait to create a world of my own. Often I am inspired by writers’ quotes or interviews about writing. I feed off their immense satisfaction with written words and begin to muse over what I can construct myself. As an educator, I am writing SOMETHING every single day. I have recently started a gratitude journal and it is remarkable way to write at least one (usually about 7 or 8) bullet points of little things I am grateful for that particular day. Here is a quick recap of what I have been extremely grateful for in the past few weeks.

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  • My health– Celebrating my 24th birthday on June 2nd was a wonderful reminder of how lucky I am to continue to grow older. Not to mention my IMMENSE infatuation with birthdays. I love making people feel special and birthdays are a great excuse to celebrate something (YOU). Seems like a common Gemini trait!;)  I also have made a commitment to myself to put my physical health- exercise and diet back at the top of my priority list. Endorphins are my drug of choice and they have been neglected a bit in my adjustment to my new world/ traveling the world. Sixty days of Insanity began this week and I am excited to challenge myself physically and mentally! I’m even dragging Jackie & Maggie along with me! 😉
  • My students- These little loves challenge me every single day and especially test my patience. But they are incredibly thoughtful, creative and kind. I got not one or two but FIVE birthday cakes on my birthday and countless presents. I was treated like a queen and it was totally unexpected but greatly appreciated. Once again Thailand surprised me with its ability to make me feel right at home on special days, holidays and random ordinary days.
  • Good food– You may laugh at this one. BUT IT’S TRUE! After a weekend in Bangkok with incredible western food including brunch at Roast BKK(Thonglor district, GO if you are visiting Bangkok), juicy burgers, gourmet salads, sushi, daily fresh pineapple sold on the street outside my apartment, you name it, I have been eating like a queen and nothing feeds my foodie soul quite like a GREAT meal with GREAT friends! J
  • Good shows– Current Obsessions: Games of Thrones, Orange is the New Black, Modern Family. Laughing, drinking wine, and covering my eyes & gasping (A LOT) with my gal pals is a favorite past time lately.
  • My innumerable “lollipop moments” (I’ll explain later) and all of the incredible people who are attached to them. I am definitely what you call a “people person” Besides food; people are probably my favorite thing about life. I try to be as proactive as possible as I can about thanking those people who have helped me throughout my life. I try to do this as often as possible. I can’t leave my thanks unspoken. Currently I am thinking of wonderful teachers who have helped me along my journey; my parents, Chapman, Mr. & Mrs. P, Barrett, Kiesha Kiebler, Stephanie Lorenze, John Stallings and many teachers I never formerly had in a classroom, my big brothers, Lisa & Dave Craig, Punkie& Dickie Lighton, Krista & Zach Mendelson and many more whose influence cannot be forgotten. My friends, the very old and new; you are my shining stars. I can’t think you enough for your love, laughter, guidance, empathy and companionship. Thanks for your lollipop moments; you have touched my heart and life in ways that will never be forgotten.

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The Grass is Always Greener…

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The past month or so has been very eventful!(I PROMISE I WILL KEEP UP BETTER SOON!) After 2 weeks of summer school we got off an unexpected extra week. Fortunately for me, I already requested the time off because my boyfriend planned a visit from America! That meant I still got the time off and I got back 5 extra vacation days to use in the upcoming semester! The odds started out in my favor! After over six months apart, the anticipation of seeing my boyfriend at the airport was unexplainable. Luckily he was wearing a huge flying WV shirt so I could pick him out of the crowd (not to mention he was a 6’3 white boy in an predominately Asian airport). After traveling for over 2 days he was surprisingly energetic and now I could share the fact that we still had a full day of traveling ahead of us to the reach the southern island of Koh Tao. After a hot and sweaty journey by plane, bus, ferry, and overpriced taxi, we arrived at our secluded resort on the private Tanote Beach. It was about a 15-minute cab ride from the pier, but the ride was well worth the seclusion and beautiful atmosphere. The next few days were spent talking, laughing, snorkeling, eating, drinking, and frolicking in the ocean. We went on a one-day snorkel tour to Shark Bay, Mango Bay and ended the trip at Koh Nang Yuan Island. Although it felt hotter than the Sahara Desert, we still climbed up all the steps to the viewpoint. The view was well worth the sweat! It was absolutely breathtaking. We ended up meeting up with two of our friends from home that happened to be on the same island. It was awesome to hang out with fellow Mountaineers! The boys spent the day deep-sea fishing, caught a bunch of fish and the hotel’s staff served us up an amazing dinner overlooking the ocean; stir-fry with the fresh fish, veggies, rice and wine. It was probably my favorite meal of the trip! If you visit Koh Tao make sure you stop by Fishbowl Bar and the burger stand that is right outside of the bar Chopper’s (Sairee Beach). Both were favorites that we visited multiple times in six days! Koh Tao definitely lived up to the hype, but I have a feeling it may have to do with who and not where I was.

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The Best Ships…

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Today, I am biding farewell to another one of my closest friends who I met at our teaching orientation and preceded to grow into a tight knit friendship with. On our last day of orientation our coordinators from our new school came to pick us up. There were over 200 people spread across two hotels at our CIEE Teach in Thailand orientation. I had the pleasure of meeting tons of awesome friends which I have stayed in contact with via social media and our various meet ups on weekends and holidays. When our van arrived to bring us to Suphanburi, Jackie and I were nervous, excited, and anxious to get to our town. We knew there were other girls placed at our school and apartment building but we hadn’t really gotten to know them at orientation. The two hour van ride from Kanchanaburi to our new home was the perfect, awkward time to get to know each other. The conversation didn’t feel forced but we had to go through the obligatory initial questions, “Where are you from?”, “Where did you go to school?”, “What was your major?”, etc. All of us were eager and excited for this new chapter of our lives to begin! Erin and Kelsey were best friends from childhood and grew up together in South Carolina, Maggie and Kelsey were random college roommates at FSU and ended up becoming best friends, Jackie and I obviously went to WVU together and were each others life line getting through our graduate school program. We all had our own “security” best friend, which made getting to know each other as a group an interesting, but fun adventure.

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