Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The River of My Life Part 2

High school was fun for me.  I think it was the first time I got to have any fun.  Sure I had two kids to drag along with me but we didn't miss out on much particularly my Sr. year of high school (the time when everyone BUT me gets their driver's license or at least gets a car to drive around). My freshman year, I actually got to play an after school sport. I played basketball. I wasn't any good and I'm super short but at the time, I really loved the game. I didn't get much playtime.  Maybe had I stuck with it, I would've gotten better but one year was enough for me. My sophomore year was all right but my Jr. and Sr. year were the best.  My best friends had cars so we went all over the place (with two kids thrown in the back). *Notice I didn't say whether or not they had their licenses!* One of my best friends always had a different car because her dad was a mechanic and had his own auto shop so we rode in a Lincoln Continental, a T-Bird, and a big truck for a while (with the two bikini girls plastered on the back windows!), etc.
My Sr. year is when I got my first actual boyfriend(!). What a drip. lol. Thank goodness I didn't end up marrying that one. Though I did spend waste about 9 years with that loser (**major child bearing years lost; but I digress).  Oh, I won the first Magdalena B. Albano Scholarship at my high school.  Here I am pictured with the daughter of the scholarship's namesake. 
At the end of my Sr. year of high school, I got to go to Japan as an exchange student for one month.
 Granted, I had to earn most of the money on my own to get there. It was a total blast. I would love to one day go back. I've since lost touch with my host families (unfortunately). Here I am with my two host sisters (different families) and their boyfriends at the time.
During the course of my Sr. year of high school (where I pretty much coasted), I applied to a bunch of different universities.  Pepperdine was one, (waitlisted), Duke University (dream school at the time!), not accepted, Cal Lutheran (accepted), and USF (accepted). I can't remember where else I applied but for sure nowhere in SoCal and only one out of state. I was all set to go to USF until my parents learned how much it was going to cost. Had I known this before applying, I would've applied for financial aid without their help and gone to USF like I had wanted on my own dime. They KNEW I was applying to a bunch of different schools. I didn't apply to any state or UC schools because I wanted to go private. So I was stuck with community college for two years. And when I finished, I was only ALLOWED (yes, I was already an adult) to apply to ONE FRICKIN' SCHOOL. What if I didn't get in ran through my mind and came out of my mouth. Obviously by this point, you all know that the people whose genes I unfortunately inherited have no sense at all. Oh and since I was staying in town for community college, I got to have a car. Joy. I would've much rather have had the education I wanted than that stupid car. To this day, I am not a fan of nissan sentras.
The ONE FRICKIN' SCHOOL I applied to was San Francisco State. I did two and a half years there. I didn't really want to go to SF State but I went through the motions there, got to enjoy life in SF and spend lots of time in Berkeley (drip of a bf was there..9 years, remember??!).
I decided to stay in the bay area after I graduated from SF State.  It was so nice to be away from home though I being the model daughter visited at least once a month (out of obligation of course).  I took a job as a preschool teacher and did that for two years.
 Here's me as a boxer for Halloween one year!
During that time, I figured if I could handle preschool, I could probably do Kindergarten so I started looking at grad school programs.  There were two routes that I was possibly going to take. I was either going to take the School Psychology route or the Teacher route.  I decided to stay in the bay area and take the Teacher route.  I still wonder about that School Psychology route, but I loved grad school.  The school I selected has a gorgeous campus and provided me with the university experience I so longed for. While attending grad school, there were weddings, a trip to Seattle, and there were fancy dances.
  The end of an era was coming. The drip and I split up 3 months before I was to complete my grad program. I mourned for a day and was fine.  Who has time to deal with a break up while working on a Master's Project, student teaching, AND still attending grad school classes? I surely didn't. All my future plans were now thrown up in the air. I had NO clue what I wanted to do but part of me wanted to take off to LA.
I ended up just moving back home (yes, to that place with THOSE people!). I was burnt out.  I didn't even want to teach! So for about 6 months, I wallowed and hit rock bottom.  And once I bottomed out, my path cleared and I knew what I wanted.  I had to dig deep, way deep to remember what it was that made me love working with children so much and that was discovered working with preschoolers. So step 1 was to find a preschool job. That was done as soon as I decided that's what I wanted.
Then I had to figure out what my next steps were. I knew I did not want to stay where I was. I didn't even want to go back to the bay area. I started looking at jobs on the East Coast. I have always wanted to visit/live in Boston so I applied to a few jobs over there, never hearing back from them. Then I figured if I couldn't go to the East Coast, I could go to LA. I had decided I was going to move to LA if I had a job or not.
After 6 months at the preschool, I did summer school at a local elementary school, and by August of 2003, I went on ONE job interview in LA and came back with a job. I was headed for LA!
LA was definitely where I needed to be. It was a place where nobody knew me and I could be anybody I wanted to be. No one had any expectations/pre-conceived notions about me. I could be whoever I wanted and no one would know the difference. I spent the first three years working for a less than stellar charter school.
I met some great people there. In fact, the one pictured here with me is getting married next month! :) During the beginning of my third year with the aforementioned charter school (this was also the same year I got my sister to move down to LA to live with me!), is when I met the hubs. It was near the end of that school year that I thought maybe it was time to leave LA. We didn't make the effort to really leave but I did give my notice and didn't intend on returning to that school even if we weren't leaving LA!  So I found myself unemployed for 5 months.  I ended up subbing two times at my future school and then I ended up landing a tutoring position to last til the beginning of the following school year.
My fifth year in LA found me working at a private school. I had the best drive to work. Driving home wasn't as wonderful due to the bit of traffic I had to endure but boy did I love driving by the beach every morning! My stint there lasted two years and this time, we were serious about leaving LA. I interviewed with at LEAST 11 schools but got nothing.
We got married, were still unemployed, but were still determined to get OUT of LA. Those people who gave me their genes. Oh, correction, the one that is typically regarded as the father in a family, told me that the hubs and I could stay at his house. His wife didn't ask us to stay. That was the last thing she wanted (and she will tell you this over and over again I'm sure). So there we suffered, literally.
The health of my in-laws was worsening. My mother-in-law had been placed in the hospital due to brain seizure the month we were set to move.  My father-in-law was in the hospital for other health issues.  We left LA with all of this weighing on us anyway. I knew if we didn't leave when we did, we'd still be there and I honestly don't know how we would've made it without any work. I don't know if I could've gotten my job back or at least one like it. I didn't want to take any chances.
Things just kept getting worse. We ended up back in SoCal due to my mother-in-law's deteriorating health which ultimately ended with her passing away that year, right before Thanksgiving.  Then about a month later, it was my hubs' turn to deal with health issues. These health issues are ongoing and though I haven't out rightly said on here what exactly he is dealing with, it is taxing on his body.  There were times in the last couple of years when I'd look over while we were in bed just to make sure he was still breathing. Who am I kidding, I still do that from time to time.
Well and that brings us to the present since most of you have been around for all the moving. I've got a good job that I like. The hubs is in school, and we now live in an apt that we love. Sure we have lots of debt and very little food but we're grateful for what we do have.


  1. The paths we take in our lives make us who we are now. You have had some ups and downs but you will survive. Interesting story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  2. I love that despite the circumstances in your life, you have owned it. You are making a better life for yourself, and not letting it hold you back.

  3. Your past has made you who you are today :: a strong and caring woman. Despite all you have been through, you are blessed. Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. What a long road! But sometimes it takes a long road to get us where we are supposed to be. :) You have an amazing story, thanks for sharing!

  5. Thanks for stopping by so much. I've been negligent but catching up! And wow, catching up on your life! You have been through a lot but persevered.

  6. Yay for thankfulness, and I love that you are telling your story. :)


Hey everyone,
Just wanted to thank you for taking the time out to leave me a comment. Happy reading!