A Letter of Reflection and Gratitude

Hi everyone. It’s been awhile since I’ve written here…approximately six months, but who’s counting? As I said on my last post, I had to put this blog on hiatus because I needed time. Time for personal growth. Time for reflection. Time for things that mattered to me. I’ll admit, the blog was just another thing added to my already large list of things to do, and my biggest fear was that if I continued to go down that path of negative thinking, I would lose that joy of writing that motivated me to keep this blog going. I needed time to step back and work on me.

Let me give a bit of context as to why I’m writing today. A few days ago, I gave an assignment to my students saying to write a letter of gratitude to someone who was most influential in their life. I wanted students to thank them for what they’ve done, and if they  had the courage, they would call this person up and say what they wrote. I was mimicking a Youtube video that I saw a long time ago. A student then said, “well why don’t you do it then?” I gave her the whole “well, you do it first”. But then I thought about it, and honestly, I really should give gratitude to those who have motivated me.

So today, I want to take some time to reflect on the last six months. I want to look back and show what I’ve accomplished and I want to thank those who’ve inspired me to keep going.

During the last six months I was working at a new school (go W. H. Croxford!), and no matter how experienced you are as a teacher, if you choose to go to a new school, it’s like working in your first year of teaching all over again. Needless to say, these six months have been, honestly, kicking my ass. I don’t think I’ve ever worked this hard, even in my first year of teaching, but in the end I know that the work that I’ve been doing is towards a greater good. To the staff at W. H. Croxford, thank you for being an awesome team to work with. It is always enjoyable to come into work these past few months. I especially want to thank the three other team members I work with in the North Side Quad. You guys have honestly pushed me, made me rethink my own philosophies in education, and have been a huge support in getting through this year, while sharing a laugh or two.

Another thing that has happened is that my own love of board games has strengthened due to an amazing community of gamers within the city of Calgary and around the world. It is absolutely awesome to be able to play with a variety of people, from close friends, to random people at Fallcon. I’ve said that if I have one person reading my blog, then I would be happy. It is crazy to see that even when I’m away for six months, I have at least one person reading my blog every day. I’m humbled by that. So to those gamers that I’ve had the opportunity to play or even chat about board games with, thank you.

I especially want to thank Pips Board Game Cafe. Honestly, being a games master for Pips all started because I joked around with my fiance about what it would be like to work there. And for that one year, I’ve had the opportunity to teach board games to so many different people. I got a glimpse of the restaurant industry and brought those teachings to my own students. I even had the opportunity to be interviewed by CBC, which was one of the coolest experiences ever. Because of you guys, I am now a tabletop team lead at the Calgary Expo and try to instill those teachings into running that area. It is an absolute shame that Pips is now closed. I was hoping to work over the summer so it was heartbreaking to hear that news. Although it is closed down, I hope that you are not done with this endeavor. So thank you Yvonne, Shae, Danni and Jon for giving me the opportunity to do something that I absolutely love: teach board games to Calgary.

To the people who I have had the opportunity to play dodgeball with, thank you for pushing my physical limitations. Sorry (not sorry) that I yelled at some of you to play better and thank you for yelling at me when I sucked. After playing dodgeball for nearly four years, it’s crazy to see how much growth I’ve had because of all of you. I don’t do those random drop kicks anymore to dodge, and my stamina is slowly starting to increase. Because of you guys, I’ve had the opportunity to play numerous semi-final and final matches at CSSC, and even win a few championships along the way, something that I didn’t think would ever happen. Most importantly, thank you for increasing my self-esteem and confidence in my own personal abilities.

To my close friends and family, thank you for putting up with me. It is just wonderful to have great people to be around and not think about the things that stress me out. It is great to know that there are people who have your back during trying times. It is comforting to know that you have people to rely on when you are in trouble or down. Whether we hung out a few times in a year to catch up, or you come over to my house practically every week, it is absolutely remarkable to know you and have you a part of my life.

Last and certainly not least, I want to thank the one person who chose to stick with me for the rest of our entire lives. Phuong, you have been one of  the most influential people in my life, if not the most influential person in my life. You have gotten me through some of the hardest days I’ve had. Whether it was the hardships I’ve had with work, or my own personal struggles, or the lack of self-esteem I have in doing something, you were there. Every time I come home from work, and we have a moment where we can eat dinner together, or just talk about what happened in the day is awesome. It is also awe inspiring what you do, helping people in your profession. You’ve helped me remember that there are more important things in life than work, such as health and happiness. You’ve helped me during moments where I felt I couldn’t keep going. And just knowing that you will be there makes me believe that I can keep going and going for a very long time. So thanks Phuong for being there for me and I hope that I can do the same for you.

With that, I think I’m ready to write again. It might not be as frequent as what I’ve done in the past. In these last few hours, I’ve reminded myself that I compose these blogs, review these games, and say my opinion not for the sake of getting likes or shares. I write because I love to write and as long as I have the people around me to keep me inspired,  I’ll keep writing.



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