Which Battles Do We Choose?

How do we rationalize what is worth fighting for when it comes to a job? How do we rationalize the difference between emotional needs and professional needs? Are they the same? Do we need emotional fulfillment at the same time as professional fulfillment? Is it the same when working in another country, to think you have the same value as you would at home? Does your value change that drastically?

It’s hard for  me to fully answers these questions right now, and to decide what is worth discussing with my boss at this time. If it were a situation back in my home country, I wouldn’t have an issue being able to answer these questions, but being in a foreign country, it is very different. Is it okay to fight for the same classes we once taught when schedules change? Is that really okay when they’re tentatively given to another teacher? Another teacher had previously fought to keep one of hers, but in the next month it was given to a different teacher despite her fighting to keep it. She was able to have for a single month. Did it then, in the end, make it really worth fighting for? She had even mentioned that she was feeling defeated, that the fight wasn’t worth it – it just wasn’t worth arguing with the director to keep the classes anymore. She’s become defeatist in this sense – a passive teacher who will simply do as she’s told, and then vent and complain about the issues to us. It is a difficult position to be in, as though we will never truly win or gain anything from these changes that seem to be constantly playing against us. How do you win and get what you want, when you know getting what you want is only temporary, and will likely be lost in the end? It seems inevitable, doesn’t it? It seems like a temporary victory, like war. You win the battle, but the war rages on. It’s a difficult balance, and you really have to pick the ones that matter the most.

I never really thought I’d find myself in quite the predicament I currently find myself in lately. I knew I’d find a career, I knew I’d always be under some level of stress, but I never really thought I’d feel like I’d be in the mids of a never ending war, where the end is only seen by the completion of a contract, or admitting defeat (due to physical health problems), and quitting. It’s exhausting and stressful.

The first week to the new year, is not off to a good start. I hope that the rest of the year will be better; that things will have some way of getting better. I will try to be optimistic in all this, to try to see the light and convince myself that it isn’t going to be the worst that it can be.

I know there will be a point that I may have to say no. When that time comes, I’ll do it.

Anyway, I hope that every one has had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I would have done an entire post wishing everyone just those things, but unfortunately due to health issues, I was unable to do so. I really do hope that everyone has had a wonderful Christmas, and everyone was able to celebrate their New Year just as they wanted to.

Advertisements
Posted in Personal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Christmas

Fast approaching is the time of the year where baking is normal, the smell of freshly made cookies fill the air in your home, and hot chocolate, or tea is drunk regularly. A turkey dinner awaits you on Christmas day, and family will soon be gracing you with their presence. Along with all of this, you’re doing all of your shopping for those you care for the most, for family, friends, maybe even coworkers, and you’re wrapping each one with some care (or hiring someone to do it, or convincing a friend or family member to do it for you). It’s that time of year again, where the only day you really want snow is Christmas.

Some people love it, some people hate it, and can’t wait for it to be over. The people who love it, eagerly await for it to arrive, decorating their Christmas tree, baking all sorts of delicious treats, and enjoying everything that winter has to offer, and the holidays in general come to bear. Others find it stressful and chaotic; the noise of the shopping malls, the dinner parties, the organizing multiple different schedules, the shopping for a big meal on one day, and making sure that everything is ready to go for one day out of the year.

For me, it’s always been one of the days I’ve loved the most. I love it because of it was a day that my family always spent together, no matter our schedules, no matter what jobs we worked, or where we were living for school; we were always together on Christmas. The days leading up to Christmas, the house would smell of baked cookies, from either myself or my brother making working away in the kitchen. On the days leading up to Christmas, there would always be a bedroom door closed because someone would be wrapping a present. On Christmas day, we would all wake up, open our stockings at the end of the bed together, and then open the present that was sitting there with it. After this, we would have breakfast together, then open presents from under the tree, with one person designated as Santa (they have to hand out the presents, and make sure everyone has one present to open). The rest of the day, would be spent together, just spending time together, and we would gather together to have dinner (for the most part, many of us would help out with making dinner).

It’s a day I have always loved because of the simplicity of spending time together with my family, and eating a wonderful meal with them. The presents are always a nice addition, but really, it’s the time I get to spend with them. I have been, more often than not, more excited to see them open presents, than I have about opening them. I always love what my family gets me, anything, and everything they have ever gotten me, I know a lot of thought has gone into it, and I know the time and effort is put into it as well. I cherish everything they get me because of it.

This year, I’ll be away from home. My first real Christmas away from home. I will be spending it in Taiwan, and I am hoping that it will be a great time there. I hope that it will create new memories, though I know it won’t be quite the same as being back home. I’ll miss the homemade cookies, tea, hot chocolate, and the time spent with my family. I’ll miss all of it.

I guess I’m feeling nostalgic, and that’s the reason for this post. I’m also kind of sick, and I’m easily tired. I could fall asleep any moment right now. I am really exhausted, but I still have two more classes to teach, so unfortunately, I have to stay awake.

Anyway, I wish everyone a Happy Christmas, and a Wonderful New Year!

Posted in Personal | Leave a comment

NaNoWriMo2017

It’s coming to an end, just one day away, and those 50,00 words will have to be validated.

I finished my 50,000 words today, and to top it off, I finished my last novel! It’s over! The whole story!

It feels like something between relief, and an amazing happiness that I have accomplished something so big, and that has taken so long for me to create, and write. At the same time, I have something much bigger ahead of me, and that’s editing. While I will be taking a bit of a break from it all, I am very tempted to print out the entirety of all three manuscripts, and start editing until my hearts content. However, I really need to take a break. My mind is a bit exhausted, and I think I was overdoing it with some descriptions towards the end, making them seem a little strained, rather than well written (that will get changed in the editing process). A small break from it will help that for sure.

I also received an email today confirming my enrollment in a diploma program. This program will basically upgrade my current qualifications, to make it easier for me to get a job when  I go back home. So more good news!

Otherwise, I hope everyone else is doing well. I hope that you’re reaching those 50,000 words! You’re almost there!!

NaNo-2017-Winner-Twitter-Header

 

 

Posted in Editing, National Novel Writing Month, Novel, Personal, Rough Draft, Writing | Leave a comment

#NanoWriMo

Well I seem to be having some issues with wordpress. Particularly it’s ability to load any pages in general. Hopefully, this post will finally update.

On another note, I’m catching up, and am a bit ahead of the curve for writing. I’m just under 40,000 words! I’m super excited at my rate of writing, and I’m even more excited at how much I’ve been able to add to my final story. There’s so much I put in there that I always wanted to create, and I’m really happy with what I’ve done so far. The editing will come later obviously, but I’m quite content with it so far.

The next couple weeks may prove a bit time constraining however, as things at work have taken an unfortunate turn. Our director, in the span of 45 minutes, managed to mess with every single teachers schedule, and I think mine took the worst beating out everyones. I won’t get into the details, but I have a lot of work to figure out, and re-ogranize, and re-do in the next few days to make sure it’s good for Monday. I’m really not happy about any of this. At all.

Hopefully it won’t impeded me too much, but I know it will take up a lot of my time at work (which has been when I’ve been writing).

Emotionally, my stress levels have gone through the roof. I had been in a relatively good mood, and then…Well, this happened. I’m trying to manage myself, and relax, so I have the potential to sleep tonight, to make tomorrow easier. I haven’t had a good nights sleep lately due to earthquakes, and aftershocks (the city I’m currently living in had a couple earthquakes last week, and has been experiencing aftershocks every day since… while they haven’t caused any further damage, being woken up by aftershocks every night, does effect my sleep).

Anyway, back to writing! We have nine more days! Keep it up everybody. 50,000 words is almost here!

Posted in National Novel Writing Month, Novel, Personal, Rough Draft, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Odd Feeling

I’m having this odd feeling once again. It’s not a feeling that everything feels wrong, but it’s a feeling that once again I’d rather be doing something else. I enjoy teaching, I really, honestly do enjoy teaching. However, as I’m writing for NaNoWriMo, I’m realizing how much more I’d rather be dedicating my time to writing instead of teaching. Once again. I’d rather be taking classes, and learning a new language. It’s not a matter of shirking responsibility, I’m completely accepting of taking responsibility, it’s just the type of responsibility I want to take.

I love teaching. I enjoy discussing language, analyzing literature, and really getting into the nitty gritty of novels, dissecting well written characters, plot developments, and how things turned out for them; why things happened, etc. I could go on and on. I love doing that. I love discussing what makes a book so well written, and why another is so poorly written. I enjoy editing written work, providing constructive criticism and feedback. I enjoy offering alternative sentences and suggestions. When it comes down to it, I love teaching, but I think I’m teaching the wrong thing.

I think, if I’m completely honest with myself, my ideal career would be an author, who also happened to teach writing workshops. I would help people with their drafts, help them understand the difference between something that is poorly written, and something that is well written. I would help them expand their vocabulary through a number of different exercises, and I would help them get passed writers block. I can think of multiple different writing exercises that can help people get passed writers block, and I know a lot of different things to help writers just start writing. There’s just so much I would love to do.

The thing is, in order to have something like that, I’d still need enough income to live off of, or at least some kind of income. Ideally, I’d write during the day, have an afternoon workshop, and then maybe have an evening workshop as well. Maybe have them twice a week? Okay, I have to stop planning my career on wordpress.

Moving on.

It’s not that I’m unhappy with my job at the moment. I just find I’m enjoying writing so much more, and I’m enjoying learning so much more. I actually prefer the idea of being a student, and staying home and writing than going in to work. I still love teaching, and I don’t want to disregard my love for teaching. It’s just, the days are feeling longer, and I’m having trouble managing time to get the things I need to get done along with the things that have to get done (making meals, going to classes before work etc.), with getting the things done that make me happy (writing, and knitting). It’s all becoming very pressed. I’m wishing I had more time to do the latter, but it’s very hard. Too many things demand my time, and I also need to sleep and get over this blasted illness that has taken over (if you’ve ever had a nasty cold that affects your sleep, and also prevents you from hearing, and I mean really hearing, then you would know how hard this is…everything is muffled and I can barely hear anyone, so teaching right now is an absolute burden, so I guess that’s contributing).

Okay, I think I’ve gone on enough.

I’m a little under where I should be for my word count this month, which isn’t too promising. I’m going to try to knock out a few days with a higher word count to catch up, and keep writing each day. I’m hoping that will help a lot. It’s been hard finding more than 40 minutes to write in one day, and staying up after work just hasn’t been an option (the whole being quite ill thing is really affecting me). So, it’s been rather difficult. I’m taking what time I can at work to try to get some writing done, usually in between classes (assuming I’m caught up on what I need to get done for the day). I’m even trying to get ahead of some things just so I can do some writing. Unfortunately, there are some things I can’t get ahead.

Either way, I am trying. My life would be so much easier if I had more time to write though. I’ll get to 50,000 words. I’m determined.

Once I’m done, I’m motivated to start editing everything. I have a feeling there’s going to be quite a bit I’ll be adding in, and quite a bit I’ll be fixing up. I’m not doubting that. I think over the course of my time here, I’m going to have it ready for publishers by the time I get back. I’m convinced that it will be ready to go. When I get back to Canada, I want to have it ready to be taken seriously. I’m hoping someone will take it, and that it will help me get a foot in the door. I’m going to start reaching out to a few people I know in the industry (I don’t know a lot), but just see what they might have to say. Send out emails; the whole deal. That’s the plan.

Anyway, happy NaNoWriMo! Keep it up everyone!

Posted in Editing, National Novel Writing Month, Novel, Personal, Rough Draft, Writing | Leave a comment

NaNoWriMo 2017

It’s that time of year again!

It’s fast approaching…. National Novel Writing Month 2017 is coming so quickly, and the month of October is slipping away. The leaves have changed, with a few exceptions of green leaves here and there, and the temperature is cooling just enough for those nice scarves and jackets; where we’re eager for nice warm cup of coffee or tea, and the urge to cuddle up and stay warm is just starting to set in. November is creeping up faster than I thought I would’ve thought, and that also means NaNoWriMo is too.

Ah the month where all the writers, young, old, experienced, inexperienced, all come together and write 50,000 words in a month. They take on the challenge of sitting down and just typing out those words. It becomes both exhilarating and exciting, and stressful as well, as the days go by and we come ever closer to needing to get that word count in. I find it both fun, challenging, and a personal challenge to get my ass into gear and just write.

I look back at the first year I did, back in 2014, and how I had so many ideas and needed to really just write it properly. I had re-written multiple drafts of a story over and over and over again, and even repurposed the story into different outlines, trying to work at it at different angles, and no matter how many times I did this, I wasn’t happy with it. By 2014, I had probably re-worked these same characters into different, yet similar, story lines over a dozen times, and purposed and re-purposed even more outlines. When I finally sat down and wrote for NaNoWriMo, using my most recent attempt for the outline and story into words, formulating it properly with my best possible one yet; it worked. It worked better than it had in any other way. Is it a fantastic piece of work that will definitely get published? Probably not. Does it need to be thoroughly edited and possibly re-worked a bit? Most likely. However, I have come further, and accomplished much more, with this challenge and this story than I had with the years of trying to put this whole thing together. So I am quite thankful for having NaNoWriMo, and the push to just start writing and working the story and outline as I go. It made a huge difference, I think, for me in the end.

Now, as I come to NaNoWriMo 2017, I am nearing the end of the whole story. I will be finishing the last part of it for sure this time. The last 50,000 words will definitely complete the story, bringing it to a close. What will be left, will be editing, and some tough decisions. It will be both sad to see it complete (the rough draft), but also exciting to enter in the final stages of the story. I want to go through and edit the entire thing, from start to finish, and then I think I will try my luck with editors. From there, if everything completely fails, maybe I will go the self-publishing route. I have been in contact with a number of writers who have done self-publishing, so I guess I’ll see what happens in the future.

To everyone who is doing NaNoWriMo, I wish you the best of luck! Let us take on the challenge, and write a glorious 50,000 words to which we will have to edit thoroughly!

Posted in National Novel Writing Month, Writing | Leave a comment

#MeToo

The newest movement that’s taking hold. So many thoughts that run through my mind about whether this will be successful. The film industry is heavily flawed in it’s overzealous attempt to only present the world with specific looking people – an old image of women and men looking a certain way. They don’t want to get too ethnic, they don’t want women who are over a certain weight – there are some exceptions of course – and they even want men to look a certain way.

Then there’s everything that happens behind the scenes that are starting to come to light – the actions specifically of Harvey Weinstein. Now, it is not just his sexual assault, his rapes, or anything else that he’s done that is coming to light – though it is the main focus of much of the force behind the movement – it is also the incredibly flawed, and disturbing actions of producers, casting agents, and the others who are behind camera, and what they do to actors and what they have actors to do for them. It is disturbing the stories that we are hearing; to say that it is wrong, would be undermining the trauma that some of these people have gone through, and yes they are PEOPLE. We can not say they are anything less than people or anything more, we can not put a money value on the job they are doing and disregard the experience they went through just because of the industry, or what they were paid. It does not make it okay, and it does heal any of the physical or mental trauma that may linger after the events they went through.

The #MeToo movement seems to be allowing women (and men) all around the world, not just in the film and TV industry to speak out about sexual harassment, assault, and what they have been through. It is a serious offense that is typically kept quiet, both in film and TV, and also in our daily lives. Why? Because like rape, women tend to be made out to be the ones who were “asking for it”. This goes for men who are victims of it to, it goes both ways. Women who wore skirts, whose bra straps were showing because they wore a tank top, or who drank too much one night. Regardless of the circumstances, women are never asking for it, and regardless of what we were doing at the time; whether we were completely sober and in sweatpants and a sweater, or posing for a new line of perfume in lingerie; women are never asking to be sexual assaulted or harassed or raped. Neither are men.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’m going to talk about why I’ve made this post.

I have gone on about the movement, what I think about it, and everything, and I could easily go on and on. I could talk about what specific celebrities have said, such as Jennifer Lawrence, or Anthony Bourdain; but I think that could get repetitive with a lot of the points I’ve already made. So I’m going to bring it onto a more personal level.

For many women it is difficult to face the truth of being sexually harassed, assaulted, or raped, or perhaps all of the above. They have difficulties coming to terms with it, and the trauma of the events can leave lingering effects on them. They can feel desperate, as if they can not talk to anyone about it. It’s not that they don’t have anyone they can trust. It’s that they either feel shame, or embarrassed that it happened, or they feel as though they may look at them the same way they feel; perhaps they might even be disgusted with them. In some cases, it was not a complete stranger, it was someone they knew. When it’s someone you know, it almost feels impossible to open up about it; to tell anyone about what happened, because of what the consequences of what that could be. It could be a few things, perhaps you’re afraid no one will believe you, perhaps you’re afraid that they will believe you and that person will experience sever consequences for their actions. As a victim, you feel so many terrible emotions after the events, and they are rational, but it becomes difficult to follow through on anything, to talk about anything right after.

Of course this all depends on the severity of what happened. Some women can overcome the events easier than others, some can not.

From every woman I have ever spoken to, all of them have been cat called; they have been whistled at, and called after for one reason or another. They didn’t want the attention, they didn’t leave their house or apartment expecting to get the attention, and they were simply walking down the streets. Others have confided in me more traumatic events, from unwanted violent sexual advances, to sexual advances, to rape.

I have been sexually abused, harassed, and raped. I have admitted the last part to a total of one person in my entire life. I had confronted the rapist, and I had said my piece and walked away. The scarring, both physical and mental, lasted years. The mental scarring and trauma, was by far the worse from the experience. Emotionally, it took a long time to come to terms with the events, especially the sexual abuse which lasted for several months. Like many women in abusive relationships (it also included verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and heavy manipulation), I did not realize the severity of it until I was out of the relationship. When I realized what was happening, what was really happening, I was finally able to force myself to come to terms with what happened, and from there I had to find a way to get passed it. It took a long time, but eventually I did. The rape, however, was more scarring than anything else, and that took much longer for me to connect with anyone again, let alone let myself be emotionally available to another person again.

I do not share this story to inspire sympathy. I don’t ask for it, nor do I want it. I share it because every person on this planet, male and female alike, has some kind of dark secret, trauma, buried deep within them that they may be hiding from the world. Each person has dealt with something difficult, some form of sexual harassment, assault, or rape, or all three, and have said nothing to anyone about it (or perhaps you have been lucky and have experienced none of these things). They may seem happy, and perfectly content with their lives. Each of us has been through something, and it’s time for us to stand together and support one another. It’s time for us to fight for a change in the way we treat each other. We need respect. We need boundaries. We need better control over our actions that negatively affect others. We need freedom to wear what we want without feeling as though we’ll receive negative and unwanted attention.

We should stand together and fight for a change, for equality, for fairness, for there to be no further sexual harassment, assault, or rape. We should help each other out, protect one another. We should not pity each other; we shoul not blame the victims of these actions.

#MeToo.

 

Posted in Personal | Tagged , | Leave a comment