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Making Time for Joy

Quick update:

Hey y’all! It’s been a while! Let me answer the common questions I get before we get into the rest of the blog post. (How are you doing?) I am well. As always, life is full of ups and downs and mostly in-betweens. I’ve been appreciating all of it. (Are you still in India?) Yes, I am still in India and still teaching third grade. I’m still enjoying my experience. (When are you coming home?) As things stand, I won’t be returning to the States in 2023. I signed my contract here for another year, so I will be here at least through June 2024. I do have some other trips planned though, so if you’re trying to link up, let me know! (How’s Tatum?) Tatum is great! Spoiled as ever! Fun as ever! Still one of my best decisions to date! Who knew I would love a dog this much?! That covers most of the questions I’ve been getting. If you have more, let me know!

Now onto the actual post…

When you first move to a new place, your priorities lie with the things needed to survive. Much of my first year in India was focused on becoming comfortable at work, making my apartment into a home, and building community. I can confidently say that my basic needs are being met. Journeying into year two, I realized that most of my time was spent at work and then I would come home and do the same thing over the next day. The only people I really saw outside of work were my coworkers who also happened to be my closest friends here. This was fine to start, but I knew that I wanted to make the transition from just working abroad, to living abroad.

As I settled in, I started to ask myself, “Who will I be outside of work?” while I am here in India. In Atlanta, I had friends outside of work, I was an active member of my alumnae chapter, I was an active member at my church and I went to the gym. I had an active social life because I tapped into adult hobbies that I enjoyed. I realized that I needed to do the same thing here.

The funny thing is, at first I said I didn’t have time. But you know that saying, “You make time for what you want!”? I usually hear it in the context of romantic relationships, but I’ve realized it’s true and it applies to our relationship with ourselves too. A while back I had heard of pole dance classes being taught in the city. I put off joining for months because it always conflicted with travel plans. Finally I saw that a class was being offered November-January. I was hesitant to take the leap and join the camp because it meant waking up at 5:30am every Saturday. I like my sleep a whole lot, but it was something I really wanted to try and I knew it would get me out of my fitness slump. I joined and it exceeded my expectations. It challenged me in new ways, but it was such a rewarding experience. In addition to physical gains, I learned that movement helps me push through when I’m in a mental funk, and I’ve also met some great people.

January was the month I deeply committed (again) to my fitness journey! I got a trainer and started training three days each week. I am proud to say I have upped my session to six days each week now. I really enjoy working out. Pushing myself to do hard things has tapped into parts of me I didn’t know existed. As I told my trainer, I’m locked in for life now! I will acknowledge that having house help (cooking and cleaning) definitely permits me to be able to do this. I know for sure that keeping this schedule would be more difficult if I had to grocery shop, cook and clean on my own only. I am very appreciative of this luxury and I am going to enjoy it because I am not sure if it will always be my reality.

Up next for me is adding a new art form to my life. I’ve wanted to take pottery classes since I was a teenager. I’ve never done it, but I just signed up for classes that start next week. I am super excited for this! I can’t wait to see what I will create and the lessons I will learn on the pottery wheel. In the future I am picking up swimming lessons again and I will also try out surfing.

Right now I am grateful for the time and resources to do new things. I am proud of myself for being courageous, for exploring who I am outside work, and for allowing myself to learn more about myself with each new day. Life has gotten a lot more fun as I've been more intentional about adding what brings me joy and making space for trying new things.

What adult hobbies do you enjoy or what’s something you would like to try out? I’m excited to hear from you all!

Until next time!

Love y’all!

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