Reclaiming Me

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Hello blog world, Alana here! It’s been a while. But I promise I am now here to stay.

When I first started this blog back in 2010 (holy bananas), it was meant as a a way to document my journey to Israel. I wanted to use this as a means to communicate with my family and friends about all of the wonderful things happening overseas. My travels abroad were incredible and this experience truly changed my mindset and life in ways that I’m still coming to realize even today.

Upon my return, I moved to NYC to explore a different side of the universe. I learned a lot (both positive and negative) and found a new sense of self-strength and mental toughness that I know I did not have before. I lived in 3 different apartments in my 3 years in the city. I became a middle school teacher and struggled to keep my head above water for my first few years. I graduated with a Masters in Science from St. John’s University. I met the incredible man that I will marry in less than 6 months. We adopted a dog and decided to move just North of the city (as it turns out city-living was not for me).

Needless to say, the last four years were a whirlwind. I felt like I was just barely keeping my sanity together with my just-beginning career and graduate school experience. And as much as I tried to convince myself that “people should definitely live and LOVE living in NYC in their 20s!” it just definitely was not the right place for me. Being in an environment that I really did not like made me a stressed out, cranky, and less genuine version of myself.

Then gradually, life started to become less stressful. I moved out of the city and into a place where I could see grass out of my, get this, WINDOW. I moved in with my fiance and having him around (rather than an hour train journey away) made me feel infinitely more at ease. Grad school ended and in my second year of teaching things became a little bit easier as my skills (and collection of lesson plans) grew. I feel like my entire being just took a huge collective sigh of relief.

Now, there are two ways that I could have dealt with this positive change. I could have returned back to my former self, the self who strove to have new and unique experiences each week OR I could just turn my brain into a big pile of mush as I devolved into a downward spiral of mind-melting reality television and internet. I think, sadly, I went with the latter. The speed with which the past 3 years worth of stress left my life caused me to cling to activities that did not push me, improve me, or challenge me mentally.

After struggling to get through my first two years of teaching, the last thing I wanted to do after work was get up off the couch and continue to stretch my brain. I am embarrassed to confess to the amount of reality TV, Netflix, and internet surfing I have done over the past year and a half. I have turned into the kind of person that the former me would have made fun of.

So now, my goal is to turn this around. I want to go out there and have experiences. I want to continue the life that I started to build before my career and city-living got in the way. I want to return to the life that Mike (my fiance) pushes me to return to everyday and the life that will force me to have experiences outside of the world of screens and technology.

This is a blog about reclaiming me. This is a blog about having real experiences rather than staring at a screen that only serves to show me the experiences I COULD be having. I hope to use this as an incentive to put down the phone (AND ipad AND computer), and start doing instead of watching! Thanks for joining me, hope you enjoy reading!

 

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