My First Month In Thailand

My First Month In Thailand

I don't know if America is home for me anymore.

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Before I get ahead of myself, I know I have only been here one month. I know a month isn't a long time but the feeling of not being "home" while in America was an unsettling feeling I had had for many years, which was why I wanted to join The Peace Corps originally.

Now that I am here and have been for a month, I can't say that America is where I want to be. I started my second TEFL course at the beginning of August and on the first day, my teacher said a few things that have stuck with me. He talked about how his decision to move to Thailand, from England, was the best decision he has made. He mentioned that he went home for the first time in 4 years, years ago, and hung around a group of his friends who all talked about the same things they have been talking about for 10 years. He mentioned that unlike England, and even America, those in Thailand are only concerned about now. They don't concern themselves with what happened yesterday or what could possibly happen tomorrow. So, when he heard his friends worrying and talking about something that had already happened he had a sense of disgust.

That is how I feel when I think about America and the life I live there. I am such a worrier. I worry about everything but the things I can control and things that are happening now. Even here, I find myself still worrying about things that are out of my control and now, have no part in my life. So when he said the things he said, I remember how I am still living a part of the life I was living back home. Talking to people about things that have already happened and are all out of my control. Talking to people about the same thing I was talking about before I left. And I should give myself more credit since it has only been a month, but then again, it has been a month.

In this month, I have come to realize how obsessed people are with being concerned about things that aren't their business or by being offended back home. In Thailand, and even those from different countries in my TEFL course, there is such a free spirit feeling from everyone and a huge sense of appreciation for all things in life. I don't know exactly what I want out of life but those are two things I hope to find in my daily life while being here. Despite anything big or small that I have also learned while being here, this is something that I will carry with me. To know how it feels to be surrounded by people who only worry about now, who don't concern themselves with small talk, or stuff out of their control are things that will inevitably shape me. And sometimes, I think that for such a worrier like myself that my reason for being here is just simply to be here. To be present and to be unafraid of the unknown.

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A Letter To The Tomboy I Used To Be

To that girl with the baseball hat, board shorts, and grass stains, thank you.
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To the tomboy I used to be,

Thank you so much for making me the strong, beautiful, determined, and badass girl I am today. I am proud of who you've become. It is because of you that I can stand on my own two feet. It is because of you that I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

You were never easy to deal with. Mom and Dad had a lot to handle growing up. It was Dad who had to fight for you to be able to play boys' baseball. It was Mom who had to stand up to the boys that were mean to you for playing a boys' sport. It was both of them who had to cart you around to all of your games and practices, because playing one sport a season was just not enough. It was Mom who had to wash your clothes endless times, because the grass and dirt stains would never come out the first time. Don't ever forget who helped you become who you are.

Your attitude and thought process is very different from that of most girls. You grew up dealing with your problems through wrestling or fighting. Pettiness was not something you could deal with. Your anger came from losing a game, not drama with girls. You didn't understand why girls fought, or were so mean to each other, and to this day, you still don't understand it. You are different. You aren't like most girls by any means, which can be difficult for you, even now. You are so much tougher. You think differently. You are determined.

I love who you turned into. You are so strong; you handle everything with such passion and grit, that I can't help but thank you. Thank you for pushing yourself, and for not letting anything or anyone get in your way. The boys were mean sometimes, and the girls talked about you, but that never fazed you. That chip on your shoulder only made you strive even harder for greatness.

Thank you for making me unique. Thank you for making me extraordinary. Thank you for making me, me.


Love,

Amy

Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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I Found My Voice When I Was Diagnosed With Muscular Dystrophy

How I became a writer

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I have always had a love and passion for writing since I was little. Probably as early as third grade. I would always write makeup stories about monsters and typical third-grade stuff. My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Strobbe saw my potential. Her class was hard but it pushed me to become a better writer. Rarely anyone got an A in her class and I had received an A in that class. Then as time went on, I pushed away from writing just because I didn't think I could make way with a career of writing - obviously I was wrong.

I began on the teaching path the rest of my elementary years. (Yes, I've had an idea of what I wanted to do when I was just in elementary, call me crazy.) In 6th grade, I still thought teaching was the way to go. At the time was going through a rough patch- getting spinal fusion and getting diagnosed with MD. It was a lot for a 12 or 13-year-old to handle. I had a lot of thoughts and feelings.

My mom had encouraged me to write again whether in a blog or writing in a journal. I had decided to write in a blog and it felt really good to write again. I only talked about my surgery because I wasn't quite ready to share the whole MD ordeal yet to the whole world. Close family knew but my friends had no clue.

I got into high school and students even teachers would ask me "Why are you riding the elevator?" Why this and that. I didn't really share much because I was afraid people would think differently of me. But I was tired of people asking me. I then wrote a piece on social media and put my story out there for the world and it felt amazing. I finally found my voice and I was loving writing more than ever. It was because I had the courage to speak up and stop hiding. I needed to share what I have been through and teach people to learn to embrace what they've got no matter who you are. I wanted to be the person to make a positive impact on people who have diseases and those who don't understand what it's like having a disability through the power of writing. I wanted to have the power to tell people's unique stories who may be afraid to speak up for themselves or share their story.

My goal when I write is to hopefully make a difference in someone's life or just someone that can be relatable. In high school, I am also highly involved in publications ie being Co-Editor-In-Chief for the Magazine for the last four years and it was a huge game changer as well, I never thought that I could make a living and realistically have a job In the journalism field. Being in publications was an eye-opener. It lead me to so many opportunities- writing for Newsboys, going to Mizzou for Journalism field trips etc. It made me fall in love with writing even more than I had. For me, writing is everything to me and I know I wouldn't be the same person or even the writer I am today without sharing my story.

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