Monday, April 28, 2014

Pictures Update

I have had an amazing few months- full of laughter and memories- so I'm not sure why I haven't had a desire to share all of these moments. Here are some pictures of moments from the last 9 months that have brought me a lot of happiness and joy. 
July 2013: Yellowstone with Camp K
Whitewater rafting in Yellowstone. I am the one covered in the front covered in water

August 10: This girl threw me the best birthday party ever!! I loved it!

Aug. 3rd, 2013: Brad Paisley concert with Katie
August 2013: Ashley went skydiving and I went to support her.
August 2013: Glacier National Park
Hiking in Glacier

Posing for a picture with Emmit in Glacier National Park
August 2013: Spending the day in Montana with this handsome boy 
September 2013: Roommate pictures in Millcreek Canyon

October 2013: Spending the day on Temple Square

Feb. 2014: Hiking in Red Rock canyon

Feb 2014: I was dating this boy who got these one in a lifetime seats to the Jazz Game. Best basketball game EVER

March 2014: Disneyland!! This pretty much sums up our trip- lots of laughter. I love this girl!!!

Yep... that face!

One of my favorite pictures- so magical

One of the perks of going with individuals with disabilities is that you don't have to wait in the two hour line to meet Elsa and Ana. 

This is Tommy. After running around Tomorrowland because all of the rides were broken he got us VIP seats to the firework show. Once in a lifetime!
I love this girl and will miss her so much! We were muses in the Camp K performance of Hercules.

Me and Hercules

This is Sami- my old roommate, intern, and most importantly friend. She worked so hard this semester and I am very proud of her!

First time to Zion's National Park
April 2014: Little Dell- so many fond memories
April 20th: I got to spend Easter with this handsome guy.

April 25, 2014: Holding the baby chickens at This is the Place

He loved how soft the goat ears were- he kept rubbing them on his face.

Why I'm Moving to Taiwan

A month ago I announced my plans on Facebook to leave for Taiwan without much explanation as to why I all of sudden decided to up and leave the country- and after 7 months of not updating the blog I figured now was as good of time as any. These past few months I feel as though I have been a never ending roller coaster ride. One minute I will have a plan for what I am doing with my future, and the next minute those plans will take a 180 turn and I am left evaluating my life decisions yet again. This whirlwind of decisions has caused a lot of unstableness and chaos in my life. 

99% of the unstableness in my life has been created by my job... you know, the one I moved out here for. Since the moment I started working for this agency I could see that it was flawed. Many things caused me to question why I was working such long hours for such crappy pay when I could be working a comfy 9-5 job. The truth is I stayed there for the amazing clients that I touched my life. I kept saying, "I will leave by August" and then August would come and go and I would say, "I will leave by December" and then December would come and go and I would have something else to look forward to. After some recent changes in management (and by recent changes I mean the Financial Director and Director of Operations - who happen to be brothers - banded together and got the Board to fire the current Executive Director, and then the Financial Director strong armed the board into making him Executive Director). The Financial Director promised improving the atmosphere and culture for staff, he promised to provide training and education so that their employees are knowledgable, and promised this agency would be a place where people want to work. Things were looking promising for the first couple months. I had mentally and physically unpacked my bags - indefinitely.  I put all other plans on hold including plans for going to Grad school. 

Well as I am sure you can imagine those promises never came to fruition. During the past two months things got worse than ever at work. The new Executive Director hired his live-in girlfriend and his next door neighbor to work in the office. Weekly team meetings turned into a forum for the brothers and girlfriend to point out the program staff's mistakes in front of everyone. Despite the company having pretty loose policies (there is nothing in writing it was all through word of mouth), I found myself being retro-activly accountable for policies that the Executive Director felt like should be enforced (for example half-way through my second trip to Disneyland I received a text from the Executive Director stating that I was not following "policy" in regards to contacting the office to let them know that we were safe. A policy that doesn't exist, but yet I was reprimanded for it several times.) Work became something I dreaded - I never knew when the Executive Director and Director of Operations (remember that they are brothers- or as I like to affectionately call them, The Romanian Empire) would change the rules of the game and instead of communicating them, would publicly criticize my actions in front of others. If I could sum up what happened in one sentence- money became a priority and the people we served became objects. With summer camp season coming up I tried really hard to block out all the politics and push through- but I was being asked to enforce decisions that I did not feel like were in the best interest of our participants or staff. I realized that I needed to pursue other options sooner than later.  

So I took a giant leap into the dark and committed to going to Taiwan to teach English for a year. Ever since the decision to leave my life has gone a little out of control- NOTHING has gone according to plan. The plan was to work until June 6th. The plan was to spend as much time as I can with my closest friends during my last few months here. The plan was to feel as centered and prepared as possible before uprooting myself once again. But unfortunately I failed to account for the actions of others when making my plans. In an effort to be fair and honest I gave my work a two month notice so that they would have plenty of time to find somebody while I continued to work. In an act of retaliation they gave me three days to train my co-worker before kicking me out the door. I felt like things were crumbling around me and completely lost it for a few days but then I did what any adult would have to do- I picked myself up and stated to make one decision at a time. This quote has helped keep me grounded when I feel like things are crumbling around me, "As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being REJECTED from something good I was actually being RE-DIRECTED to something better.  So far things have started to fall into place and despite my increasing anxiety about leaving the country, I feel good about this next step in life- even though 6 months ago I would have never imagined that this is the direction that my life is going.