The First Year

Sunday, September 2

So, as you may have noticed, I've completely fallen off the map the past month. I just needed a break. My first year of teaching full time has really taken a lot out of me, as it should. Everyday when I get home from work, I have so much planning for the following day, week, and well, the entire school year. My thoughts are consumed with how I can create lessons that engage all of my students in learning. Some days are great, and I'm filled with hope, and I'm reminded of why I chose to be a teacher. But then the next, I'm nearly in tears and I feel like a failure. (I've been told this is normal so  for the 1st year, so that's some relief). This leaves me with little mental and physical energy, that all I want to do is just sleep.
I've thought about how almost exactly one year ago, I was just starting this blog. I was only tutoring part time, so I could put a lot of my effort into making posts, doing crafts, taking pictures and spending hours processing them. In the past year, I've taught myself Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, how to properly expose an image, and more importantly how to be a better communicator.

By my first week of teaching, I knew/feared that I would have to abandon Calico Skies because it just seemed impossible to continue the way I had been. I stopped posting, and shut out any comments, or interests in sponsoring, because I just couldn't face it. But now that I've got somewhat of a handle on my classes and curriculum, I see that I might be able to keep this little old blog alive. Just maybe not in the same way.

I'm reinventing Calico Skies. My life has completely changed, so it only seems right to reshape CS to better reflect my life. For example, my 52 Week Challenge seems less like a challenge and more of a chore now. I have new challenges that are just, more of a priority for me now, aka my students. Not to say that I won't still be making crafts and art projects, but they probably won't be a regular feature, at least not now (there's always summer vacation, yessss). And I loved having sponsors and button swapping, but I just don't see myself having time to keep up with all that on a regular basis. So I think I'll have to come up with a simpler solution, because having blogger friends is what it's all about right?

CS will be more about my everyday life and interests.
  • I want to become a better photographer, so you'll definitely see more of that. 
  • I want to go back to painting. Although I've loved making cutsie diy projects, there's a reason why I got my B.A. in Drawing & Painting, and I miss it. 
  • Living in Pasadena is completely awesome, there's so much to see and do, so I plan to share more of those adventures. 
  • I want to be more selective at collecting vintage and antique pieces, and actually go through with my original idea of opening up an Esty shop to sell my stuff.
  • Now that I have my own kitchen, I want share more of my recipes and the all fatty foods I love to eat.
So that's what I've wanted to get off my chest for a while now. I put it off for long enough. I knew deep down inside that I wanted to keep CS going, because it brings me a lot of joy and satisfaction. It just seemed like too much, I've only got two hands and there's only so many hours in the day. But then I realized that all I have to do is change my blog, just like my life has changed. We're both growing up.

18 comments:

  1. :) Here's to life changes and your blog growing and changing with you. I'm excited to see some of your paintings. I'm wanting to paint a piece of art for our dining room and could use some inspiration.

    P.S. Teaching will have its ups and downs, but at the end of the day you are truly making a difference in these kids lives. Hang in there, you'll figure out the balance. :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words!

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  2. Thanks for sharing this post Lauren. I've been thinking about the sme thing since school has started back up and I'm teaching two classes and studying myself.

    Good to hear that you're settling well into your first year. It really is the hardest.

    I wish you the best with your students and hope to follow your everyday life adventures here!

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    1. Thank you! I wish you well with your teaching too. it can be tough but it's worth it! :)

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  3. Oh, sweet lady, teaching gets better and you are so incredibly normal. It's my seventh year of teaching and I still go through similar cycles of "this is freakin' amazing! I love teaching!" and "What in the world did I get myself into? How can I get it all done?" I followed your blog because you were a teacher/blogger who didn't blog about teaching and you made me feel more normal for liking vintage-y stuff. I look forward to watching your blog grow and change. Hang in there...it'll get easier.

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    1. Oh my goodness thank you so much for your thoughtfulness, and telling me that it gets easier :) Wow seven years, I hope I can make it that far! I've definitely felt both of those things at different times!

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  4. good for you. love the kitty paws pic :)

    http://babybakerlove.blogspot.com/

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  5. I'm glad you're back! These pictures are wonderful. Seems like teaching would be really hard, but I'm glad you made it through the first year, and hopefully many more to come. Good luck with your new challenges!

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  6. OMG I just came across your blog! i absolutely love it :) its beautiful!

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  7. I love your blog.

    Take you time with life and we can wait to hear from you. :)



    Love
    Tanuja

    tanujasethi.blogspot.in

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  8. yes!! life is always a balance, and i love the idea of readjusting the balance as necessary... and i like you + your writing style so much, i'd probably follow you no matter what you posted up here, haha! :) i'm really excited to see how your changes will be implemented, as cheesy as that sounds, because i've been thinking of doing something much the same myself... :)

    oh, and congratulations on a successful start to your teaching career! there's nothing better than doing something you love. :)

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  9. I've missed you and your blog a lot! I'm so happy for you and I'm sure you'll find the right balance between your job obligations and the blog. The new design looks really great! Looking forward to the renewed CS. :)

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  10. the new CS sounds great! can't wait for more of your posts. And I wish you all the best in school!

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  11. I'm in my first year of teaching too and I completely understand everything you're feeling. I have so many days where I think I am such an imposter. That I'm just bluffing my way through and soon somebody will catch me out.

    It's totally natural and I'm keeping my hope that it will get easier as time goes by!

    Becky
    xx

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  12. Your post is great to read. I was amazed this blog of mine a year now.

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  13. Teaching is such an intensive job, and it does take over. I'm now going in to my 3rd year of teaching, and although I know it will never be plain sailing, and I have a bigger class than ever, I feel a lot more relaxed with a bit of experience on my side. Here's to a good year ahead, keep your chin up and let yourself cry every now and again- it's always such a relief!

    Kim ~ whatpeggysaid.com

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  14. Can't wait to see what you come up with, Lauren!

    Stephanie
    owlsinmyheart.blogspot.com

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  15. i completely know what you mean about changing your blog as your life also changed, i feel the same thing about mine!

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