Things don’t always work out the way we want them to but they still work out

I’ve logged into WordPress a few times before, not to post but to search. ( I’m constantly curious and researching different things/topics/ideas etc.)

About a year or  so ago I remember beginning an entry but never finished or published it. I was in training for a new n current job. But before I start with that, let’s fill in some gaps.

Never went through and participated in the TAPIF program. Got a lot of run around and come to find out, if I would’ve never been honest, if I wouldn’t have told them ahead of time of my background that I got expunged I would have had no issues. Go figure huh.

No complaints tho because even tho it was def something I wanted, and something that I’m sure would’ve been a great experience even if it was just a learning one; it probably just wasn’t meant for me to do. Yeah I’d of probably improved my French n learned about a new region, oh and got some GREAT, fresh bread and desserts 0:) but  I’d of gone back home and still been left with the “what’s next”? Question. Probably thinking that was the end of my exploration and travels n would’ve gone back to routine and lost in the hustle; working numerous unfulfilling jobs. So I’m just tryna believe that, it wasn’t meant for me and that I didn’t lose out.

Since then, I’ve been able to travel more in this past year than I ever have in my life.

I’ve already visited Jamaica, Antigua, Hawaii, California, Peru, Montreal, Madrid, the Grand Canyon and some other places that I’ve been to before but got to explore differently.  I even did my first solo trip to Cancun.

I’ve been doing and seeing things I never did before and would’ve never imagined I’d be able to, especially in such a short span of time. I have no regrets or complaints.

Things don’t always work out the way we want them to, but they still work out 🙂

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Finally got an answer

So finally, almost 4 months later, I received an email at 1145 this morning from Natalie.  I am NOT able to participate in the program with my current back ground history.  A mistake I made back in 2009 has come back to bite me in the butt.  My visa appointment is set for the 23rd of this month, exactly a week away from today.  Was I bummed? Of course! Tears even came to my eyes (I’m not big on crying).  It sucks, but less than an hour after reading the email, I’m OK.  I just wish I would’ve known sooner.  I was scared, maybe even a little unprepared but man was I ready.  Ready for a change! These past few months have just been me trying to get by and make it till the day I had to leave.

I was looking forward to it, I hadn’t been looking for any new jobs, and though I have not been exactly happy at  my current jobs, I was biting the bullet, going in everyday with the mindset that it was all for a good reason.  To earn some money to get me on my way to France.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I cannot, will not complain about my summer.   I’ve enjoyed myself, got to do new and different things.  Visit new and different places.  Every month up to now I’ve taken a trip.  Almost every week, I’m doing something.  I haven’t worked 40 hours in any of my two jobs in over a month.  My summer so far has been great!!! June, I went to Vegas for my sisters birthday, then did a random trip to Niagara Falls.  July, had my two friends friends come to visit for a few weeks, then took a road trip to Tennessee.  Enjoyed that, got to visit different states and watch a friend I met in France get married.  All while enjoying great food and people.

I’ve slowed down a little as of recently because I had an unexpected surgery, turns out I had appendicitis.

Now a week after a surgery, a week before my visa appointment I’m here like whats next.  I KNOW I have to change something.  Like I said, I’m not happy at my job, definitely don’t want to stay there.  Guess it’s time to get things in motion and figure out whats next.  I don’t know what I want, what will happen, all I know is that I gotta change something, guess I’ll see what happens next.

Update

So it’s been a while since my last post.  Last I was here I spoke of my dilemma and how I may not be going to France after all 😦

After all this time, I’m sad to say that I’m still no further in the process.  Still no clue if I’ll be going or if I’m disqualified or not :/

I did receive an email from Ms. Cox on March 25th.  I remember it was a Wednesday morning, I was at work and I felt a rush.  I thought “this is it, the moment of truth”.  She acknowledge my inquiries, apologized about the delay and told me she would let me know within the next two days.  Two weeks later, still nothing.  It wasn’t until this past Friday, June 3rd, that I received an email from her.  It was one of those general informative emails that was sent to all accepted applicants.  Had no information on my situation.

I’m trying to be positive, hoping that no news is good news.  That because I’m still receiving emails that maybe there’s still hope.  But I’m not excited, just trying not to stress anything or get my hopes up too much.  I hate being disappointed.

I don’t give it to much thought, but I just want to know.  This way I can make decisions.  I recently had a cut in my hours at work.  Being in the air about if I’m going or not I’m not sure what to do.  Should I go out and look for another job so I can save or should I just take it for what it is and just enjoy my summer and work when I can.  If I’m going to France, I don’t mind sacrificing some of my summer and working a little more than I like to (during the summer) so that I can have the money to enjoy France and travel.  However, if I’m not going, well then that a different story.  I’m the type of person to really hustle in the winter, and the summer, well as of recently, the summer is my time to enjoy.  Travel, be with the family and just enjoy myself.  I do like to do a lot of different things but overall I don’t really spend that much so I don’t need to work 2 or 3 jobs like I do in the winter.

If I don’t go to France, thinking maybe I’ll get a new car, maybe even make a move.  I still crave the change. Don’t want to invest to much time and energy into something that I’ll have to leave behind anyway, yet don’t want to put “all my eggs in one basket” and waste time and lose out on other possibilities  that may be out there.  I catch myself getting lazy and a a little “careless” with my spending.  I was starting to save once I got accepted but when the delay happened, I haven’t been as strict or conscious.

Hopefully my laid back, positive attitude will pay off in the end.  Trying to embrace the unknown and let life surprise me.  Guess we’ll see

1 step forward, 3 steps back

I wasn’t expecting an email for at least another week or two.  However,  I received an email today from Ms. Cox, apparently there’s a new protocol that requires a back ground check.  If there is any criminal record then one is not allowed to be apart of the program.  Have to pay for a background check and to get my finger prints done.  There’s some other stuff that was included in the email, but the rap sheet thing is what caused me great concern and the reason for this post.

I have a summary offense from when I was 19 years old (more  than 5 years ago).  Now from what I understand a summary offense is a minor crime and it does come up on your back ground check.  Long story short, I was young, there was  a boy and well I made bad decisions and took all the blame to save him.  I was always embarrassed by it and never told a soul.  I didn’t even try to fight it or say my part.  Just plead guilty and paid the fines.  It’s one of my greatest regrets and shameful moments, but now that I’m older, though I don’t go around telling the world, and I’m by no means proud of it, I’ve come to terms with it.  I learned from my mistake, and hey we’ve all been young and dumb once or twice before right ?!?!

I emailed Ms. Cox and told her straight up, I have a summary offense for retail theft, and hope that it won’t cause any issues.  I work for the state now with children and it didn’t affect my hiring at all. I’m hoping for the same this time around.  Now, I can always get the crime expunged but it takes some time, I think like 6 months.  Never did before because it cost a few hundred dollars and like I said, it hasn’t harmed anything that I’ve tried to do this far, till now :/

So now, I’m super bummed and disappointed in myself.  One step forward, 3 steps back 😦

Gonna hope for the best and try early tomorrow to see about getting an expungement.  Hoping Ms. Cox will email me sooner than later (most likely wont happen over the wk end, but trying to be positive here, hopefully it will!) and just take it from there.  Definitely wasn’t expecting this.  Why didn’t they include this in the application process?!?!  I would’ve been got the expungement done and wouldn’t be facing this heart break and stress now.  No one to blame but myself I know, but I’m just saying.  It would’ve been better to mention that, not only for me but for them too no?  But I guess it’s still early enough for them to get someone that was wait listed if I can’t participate.

I’ll update/inform as soon as I know, but any future applicants in the same boat, yeah hope you guys find this and it helps.

Waiting Game

So I don’t really have much to say or any updates.  I have become more confident and excited about my decision, which is a good thing for me.  I finally spoke to my mom about it and sent my acceptance e-mail.  I also included (because why not, at least if the opportunity presented itself I could be considered) that if it was at all possible I would not mind being relocated South.  Now the acceptance email did say that all placements were final, but I sent it anyways.  My mom always tells me, the worse they can tell you is no. I guess it’s still early because the lady (M. Cox) wrote me back and said she would be emailing me by the end of the month with some more info.

In the mean time I have been reaching out to old Assistants that were in Amiens prior and have been using couchsurfing to reach out to locals.  Some didn’t even bother responding and some did. I will mention that I did message everyone in English, but only because their whole profile was written in English.  I made sure to include at the end that communicating in English and French are options for me, whatever was best for them.   It was nice getting a message from anyone, American of French; the fact that they were so friendly, open and willing to talk to me, it was just nice.

I’ve also been checking out different blogs, mannnn are these blogs helpful. There’s especially one that I got a lot of good information from.  (I’ll prob ask her for permission so I can put a link or add her name).  So yeah, just kinda tryna keep mental notes, or look up information. Best thing, WRITE IT DOWN.  (My memory is horrible (you can imagine how difficult that can prove to be when learning another language)). *yes, that did just happen. Parenthesis inside of another parenthesis*.  So I’m writing things down in a Microsoft document, keep saving and updating it and right before I leave, I’ll review it and save it to my USB as well as email it to myself.  (I like to play it safe, and again, my memory is badddd).

Just want to be as prepared as possible. Generally, I’ve come to learn the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know.  This is def the case while researching and reading up for this trip.  I have so many questions, concerns and things that I have to figure out.  What I’m willing to compromise on, what things will I have to, for example pay more money for or something.  I want to try to get the basic needs and wants down/satisfied so that it helps with the transition.

I don’t really want to live alone, but living with people isn’t exactly easy.  I like different music, and at times I like kinda loud music (Def going to invest in a good pair of headphones).  I’d like to be able to have company, over night company (hoping my family will come visit).  I’m not the tidiest person but I can’t live with a slob.  I like to have my own private area and don’t want everyone in my business.  Can’t, WON’T do curfews, stuff like that.  I think living with people will probably be best, even if its just for the first few months.  Company is always good (especially if I have my own area to escape to whenever I need).  It could lead to possibly meeting other people, and you can always learn from someone.  There’s always someone somewhere that knows something you don’t and vice versa.

When I was in Caen, I learned some Chinese and Japanese (nothing fancy, just how to count, some greetings, thank you and about some board game that I never really mastered).  Learned a little Portuguese, Arabic and Italian.  I could say, “Hi, my name is Bianca in 10 different langues.   Even the little things like that are proud moments for me, even though I don’t remember half of it. (Its true what they say, if you don’t use it, you lose it)

So much for not having much to say. Somehow this entry is a little all over the place.  I’ll update again soon 🙂

Beggars can’t be choosers.

Haven’t been on here for a while; I first discovered this site a year or so ago when I first came back from France.  It was the first time I traveled to Europe and lived abroad.  It was a great experience and I had the bug; dying to get back and travel more.  I actually didn’t go back right away, decided I would spend a year working and paying off my school loans and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of forever.

The year quickly passed plus some and with working 3 jobs I didn’t have much time to do anything let alone think about the future.  I was however able to pay off my school and some other great things (both on and off my “list”). I cut down to two jobs and after doing a little self reflection (still no clue what I want do with life) and thought to myself.  I want and NEED a change.  Decided I’d try the whole Europe thing again, give it another try.  I applied for the TAPIF program in France, another similar program but in Spain and looked into Au Pair; I even looked into teaching in China.  I wasn’t to sure how I was gonna get back to Europe but I knew it was going to happen.  I didn’t care if it meant saving and going for 3 months on my own no job or program.

I am glad to say that just a few days ago, I got an acceptance email into the TAPIF program.  Now I’ve already lived in Caen and though my experience was great, absolutely amazing I didn’t want to go back there.  Didn’t wanna be anywhere close to Caen.  I wanted to be in the south.  I visited a few times before and enjoyed it and I really wanted better warmer better.  However, I didn’t get that, I was accepted to be in Amiens.  But hey, gonna try and make the most of it, hence the title, beggars can’t be choosers (SN: I def thought I was spelling that wrong for a little while, it just didn’t look right).  Don’t get me wrong, I was very happy and felt a sense of accomplishment, but then the doubt hit and I was just scared and concerned.  I don’t wanna get my hopes up to high; sometimes I think my time in Caen was pure luck, I don’t want to (no matter where I would’ve been placed) go thinking it’s gonna be a similar experience. I just want to make the most of the time there, hope to see and learn new and different things.

So now here I am, decided to try  and keep a blog.  Now of course, I welcome and accept readers/other bloggers but this will mostly be for me.  To keep track and ‘write down’ my thoughts/opinions/experiences so that I can one day look back at it and see how much I’ve changed and what I’ve learned stuff like that.  I look back at old post from FB and stuff and think to myself wow, I would never say something like that now or w.e.  So yeah, just a way to keep a record of my experience and what I decide to publicly share.

I’m not the best with putting my thoughts into words so if I do get followers, I warn you in advance.  I appreciate and welcome all thoughts, opinions but just remember we’re all human, we all make mistakes, all have our own way of thinking and ways of being.  No negative, mean stuff huh.  I’ll write like I’m talking to myself and even imaginary  readers (seeing as how I don’t really have any now) but this is MY spot to do MY thing.  Like all things in life, it takes time and I’m sure I’ll learn more and improve (or the opposite; get lazy and slack sometimes) but I have good intentions and try my best.  Some of the bloggers that I follow have been so helpful and useful, full of information and creativity, if I can do and be that for someone else then that’s just a plus 🙂

Annnddd it begins…..

Deciding to TRY

I’m a first time blogger and the main reason I became apart of this was to get answers to the numerous question that I have in regards to living, teaching and being abroad.  I lived in Caen, France for about 8 months and though the first month was HARD and I was a little bit miserable, being away from my family, and knowing ABSOLUTELY NO ONE I was hesitant to leave my room and afraid to jump even more out of my comfort zone (me leaving my family and America was the biggest leap and scariest decision).  I’m back in the US now proud to say I DID IT! I did it and had an overall GREATTT experience.

Ah ok there’s so much I wanna say..

So I’m here now November 23, 2014 in my bed deciding I’m gonna do it again! I want to try and be a teachers assistant in France or Spain.  Of course I didn’t ever think that I’d be given the opportunity to go to Europe AGAIN but once I started doing a little research and asking some questions, I found out about a few different options and programs.  Having already been abroad you’d think I’d be less hesitant and more enthusiastic, nope!  I’m afraid that maybe I just got lucky the first time and I won’t have such a great experience.  Scared about being away for the Holidays and my birthday, forced to being alone around the times that I’m so used to being surrounded with loved ones.  I’m afraid that I won’t have the courage to travel alone (almost certain that I won’t find a traveling buddy) and be stuck in a crappy place.

HOWEVER, I’ve decided to try anyway.  I tend to get a little ahead of myself and start thinking of the worst case scenarios before I’m even accepted.  But OK, let me get to the point.   I’ve decided I’m going to apply and hope for the best, and just take it from there.  This is where I’d like to ask anyone and everyone for their thoughts/opinions/kind words/whatever.

Are there any tips that you guys learned or just know, that if it were you in my place, would love to have shared with you.  The holidays are right around the corner, do the programs do anything for the Americans for Thanksgiving and the exchange students in general for things like Christmas?  How are you guys dealing with it?

Again, I appreciate any advice, regrets, thoughts, even criticism.  Something that can 1. help me in anyway and 2. let me know I’m not here alone, writing for the sake of it.

I’m into meeting and talking to new and different people, if you guys wanna chat or recommend any blogs, please feel free.

Hope to hear from someone, anyone soon 🙂

~B