June 22, 2015

Dare to Dream

As fun as last week's TpT Seller Challenge was (makeover madness!!), this week's is very reflective and thought-provoking. This week's challenge is to blog about my dreams for my TpT store and my blog and internet presence. I have been so inspired reading about other teachers' goals and dreams and am so overwhelmed with how amazing this community is.

So without much further ado, here are my dreams for my TpT store and my blog.

1. Buy a home: 
My husband and I are incredibly fortunate. We are currently living in my mother-in-law's home almost completely without cost. She was given an amazing job opportunity to travel with her company but was not quite ready to sell her home. My husband and I at that time were living with my mother and stepfather when my mother-in-law approached us and offered her home to us while she traveled. At the time, I was in my final internship and my husband had just lost his job. It could not have come at a better time. Ryan and I have been smart about this though. We have taken this opportunity to save and pay off tons of bills. I just finished teaching my first year of kindergarten and I have never earned that much money in my life, which is pretty sad if you think about it. Teachers don't make a lot of money... but it was more than I have ever lived on and my husband and I were able to pay off a lot of debt in this past year. Once we are debt free (which won't take long now, thank goodness), the plan is to buy our OWN home. As lovely and incredibly amazing it has been to live for practically nothing in a home that feels like ours... we can't live off our parents forever and we want to do this for us and our future family. Having the income from TpT is helping us get there little by little and my dream is to have my TpT store provide something fairly solid to work with when the time comes to make a huge buying decision. In the mean time, I sometimes have to pinch myself that we are as fortunate as we are to live here and save, save, save.

2. Start a family:
 Ryan and I have always wanted children. We have been married for just under two years and are starting to have serious talks about starting a family. We may wait till we own the home I spoke about in item 1, or we might not. Sometimes, things in life are not easily planned. So at this point, we aren't necessarily trying to have children, but we aren't avoiding it either. I would love to be able to take time off from work to have a family. Ideally, I would be able to work from home. My husband works from home now. How amazing would it be for us both to be able to? The crazy things is... it's totally possible. If I work hard now and build my TpT store and other online presence, it's fathomable. It may be a long ways off. It may not even pan out, but there's no reason not to try to reach this goal. Either way, I'm going to have a family. I'm approaching 28 years old and my husband will be 30 this year (yikes!). We ain't gettin' any younger! ;)

3. Inspire others:
Here's a little back story - I used to work at Best Buy. It was a great place for me and I met a ton of people that I am still friends with today. One such friend also became a teacher around the same time I did, except she teaches middle school math (glad someone can... that stuff is no joke...). We were talking on Facebook about the Smart Notebook software and how excited I am to have my first smart board next year. As we were talking, I discovered that she makes a lot of her own activities and that they were good! Long story short, I was able to inspire her to upload her first free product and begin her journey on TpT. (Her brand spankin' new store is right here by the way: Algebra Addict. If you know any middle grade teachers, download her freebie and leave some love!)
The experience left me feeling incredibly motivated and as I thought about it, I always feel that way after inspiring someone to do something exciting. By creating products, helpful blog posts, and relationships with my customers and readers, I am inspiring them to be better educators. I owe my own motivation to a lot of blogs I started reading as a college student. These bloggers, whether they knew it or not, inspired me to be better. They inspired me to be a better teacher before I even was a teacher! And now they've inspired me to create resources and support others. What a domino effect! I hope that my blog and TpT store reaches more and more teachers (and ultimately students!) everyday and my big dream here is continue to grow and touch lives.

4. Not feel held back:
After that really inspirational section of this post, selfishly, I want my TpT store and blog to help me feel like I'm not held back. I have worked many years in jobs that I hated for almost nothing. For years I questioned my own ambitions and felt like I couldn't do anything. In just 18 months of being on TpT, I feel like I can do anything! The past 2 years have brought a LOT of change and opportunity my way and I want to make sure I'm not letting it slip by me:

Ryan and I were married.
I quit my job and finished school.
We lived with my parents.
Ryan lost his job.
Ryan began streaming video games and has developed his own stay at home job (yes, he seriously plays video games from home and earns money...).
I began my blog and TpT store. Why not, right? If Ryan can do it... why can't I?
We both graduated college.
We moved into a house. With rooms. Like more than one room we can put our stuff in.
I taught my first year ever. And didn't completely suck at it! ;)

I want to make sure that these opportunities only have me moving forward... and I think they will, as long as I work hard and pursue these big dreams of mine. (Totally a side note though: my big dreams are completely realistic and reasonable I think!).

Thank you so much for reading my lengthy post. I have loved reading the other posts. Click this link (HERE) to go to a link-up where you can read other posts about big dreams all of us teacher folk have. ;)