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Jumping Across the Pond: Choosing to be Happy

Recently I had one of the best experiences of my life by attending a MasterClass at Oxford University. A class for teachers to learn how to be better teachers. I was literally charged and looking forward to looking for new teaching opportunities on my return back to the states. But this isn’t solely about my time at Oxford. This is about how I didn’t count the wins I was accumulating to the final goal.

Like all trips abroad getting to Oxford was a journey, a slightly expensive one and honestly I didn’t know how I would pay for it. Most people fear that they can’t do things financially and that stops them from actually trying to achieve something. I was in a similar situation. I chose to apply for the Oxford Teacher’s Academy (OTA) Masterclass even though, at the time, I had no method of paying for it. I have spent the last few years teaching abroad.I figured my experiences would help me qualify. I got accepted to the class. Through a collaborative effort of family, friends and myself I was able to pay for Oxford tuition. I spent my entire paycheck (forgoing a monthly payments on quite a few bills) and my parents, plus my Mom’s friend loaned me the balance.It was very uncomfortable asking for all of the help.But they all chipped in.They were as excited as I was about this rare opportunity.But asking for all the assistance left me moody and agitated.As ordinary people, the money didn’t come all at once.It was in “promissory notes” and dribs and drabs.The uncertainty was unnerving.

I cobbled the first balance together after being granted an extension to pay for the experience. I had to pay online. Unfortunately, when I clicked the submit button I didn’t make it to the happy place that should’ve naturally come to with the whole paying for Oxford. Instead of feeling good I felt bad because I didn’t have a solid plan to actually get to Oxford.

That was the problem, not celebrating the victories that we have and constantly being bogged down by the uncertainty of the future. At some point you have to choose to be happy and see the bright side. Once again, I made it and had an amazing time. After successfully choosing to be happy I started to see the light and realize everything was actually good. Slowly, but surely money was pulled together to get to Oxford, not back, but like I realized see the good for what it is.

While I was at Oxford, I met amazing people. I learned more about my craft than I could possibly imagine. I didn’t have my plane ticket home yet. (More money was being pledged and coming in.) But I attended every class during the day and socialized every evening with my new colleagues and friends.

At the end of the day you have to constantly tell yourself about the good things in life. I got off a plane with no idea how to get back home, but I was not scared about it. In fact, I was quite thrilled because I made it to Oxford. I was about to partake in another great journey and nothing was going to get in the way of that. The moral of the story is that if you look for the bad in something then it is the only thing you’ll see. However, once you start choosing to be happy you will see the happy.

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