2016 was one of the most changing years in my life so far.
I had made the biggest and hardest decision of leaving the school I had spent two and a half years at in the most beautiful state of Vermont.
I struggled with the early education major; so I changed it. I then grew unhappy with the change to communications and struggled to motivate myself in my major classes.
I thought to myself everyday, I should never had changed my major. I would be accomplishing so much to be learning about early education.
I had to make one more change; a drastic change. I went back home to New Jersey.
I had to trust that it was OK to take a break from your education to focus on bettering your mental health.
While taking this break, I got a job as being a nanny for two of the most loving, fun children. What better way to gain more knowledge about children than to basically be a mom, right? I spent the past 10 months caring for these children like they were my own. I slowly began to feel a love for them, like they were actually my kids. They taught me how to care and cherish the simple things in life; to not focus on the negative. They put a smile on my face on the days I didn’t want to smile. They showed me that life can be whatever you chose it to be as long as you work hard. They made me happy.
During my time as a nanny, I also became a substitute preschool teacher at the most wonderful preschool. After only working at their summer camp for the past four years, they also wanted me to be there during the school year. I was overjoyed. Every time I go, it reminds me of what I am striving for. It makes me happier each time and I grow more and more excited about having my own class of children to teach.
As the months went on, I started to want to be around people my age again. I wanted to be responsible for only myself again. I wanted to be back in school learning how to become the best preschool teacher I could be.
I was having panic attacks and went through medication changes. I finally had my diagnosis other then “generalized anxiety disorder”, which I believed, wasn’t what I was feeling.
I was diagnosed with “borderline personality disorder.” To sum it up, I experience the extreme end of each emotion. Although it was upsetting to hear this, I was relieved I finally knew what I had so I can get the right treatment. I started to read and educate myself more on this disorder. I’m now learning Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). DBT teaches four sets of skills : mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation. It has been helping me get through each day.
Some days are harder than others, but for the most part, I feel in control of my life now. Mental health is important and getting help is important.
I am now attending college at my own pace and I am striving to get my early education degree to work at a preschool. I am striving to become a teacher, my passion ever since I was a kid and I couldn’t be happier now with my education change. Although I miss Vermont so much, I still have good memories to remember my journey in another state. Trips to Vermont are definitely going to happen this summer.
Well.. 2016..thank you for teaching me it is OK to not be on the same path that your friends and people your age are on. It is OK to take a pause in life to regain a healthy mindset. And it is OK to not be OK.
Thank you for taking the time to read 🙂