• yogabystrada

Twelve Things You Didn't Know About Me

If you've attended any of my classes so far, you probably already know that I like to talk, get personal, and get to know my students. I figured this would be a fun way for you to get to know me. Enjoy!

1. I was a teacher for 4 years

My dad and me outside my classroom in Palmyra. He was very proud to be the father of a teacher.

Okay, most of you who knew me before I became a yoga instructor know this one. But, I'm sure not all of you do. I taught my first year right out of college in East Rockingham, NC in first grade. I LOVE that age group! I moved back home to PA to find myself teaching third grade in Palmyra. I loved working with my students, seeing their growth, and building strong relationships with them. But, unfortunately, that's not all that makes up teaching in the American society. It just wasn't the right fit for me, but it's really neat to see how so many of those skills I learned through teaching elementary transfer over to teaching yoga.

2. I'm afraid of ostriches

Yep. That's the truth. I can handle snakes, spiders, bees, whatever the typical fears are. But, I have a strong- and yes, I know irrational- fear of ostriches. So much so that I can't even add a picture on this blog to compliment this. I don't know where the fear really began, but I do remember it was sometime in high school. I'm afraid of them because they're so disproportionate with their huge eyes and super long legs; they're nasty and aggressive; and, they're insanely fast (why does a bird need to be THAT fast?). So, please never torture me with an ostrich- even if it's just a picture.

3. I used to have a HUGE NBA obsession

Unless you are my parents or siblings, you probably didn't know this one. You may have known that I used to play basketball as a kid and through high school (and then the one season in an adult basketball league through Harrisburg Young Professionals). But, did you know that I used to watch every single Sixers game and Pistons game (that got televised), would record them to watch the whole game if I missed it, and would keep live stats throughout each game?! I'm not even kidding you. I wanted to be a professional stat keeper when I got older. I read tons of biographies of the NBA players. I also cried the year that the Pistons didn't win the championship after they had before and I had stayed a dedicated, loyal fan. I cared so much about this. Basketball was life, and I couldn't get enough of it.

4. I started working when I was 12

I remember it very vividly- I asked my mom for some money after we moved from the Poconos to a small town, Berwick. She told me (jokingly) to go get a job. After complaining to her that I was too young and couldn't even get a job yet, she said I could deliver papers. I started out as a sub, and then eventually got my own route- just about two weeks before my 13th birthday. I would wake up every single morning at 5 AM- in the rain, snow, frigid temperatures, and all the pretty weather. I loved the summer mornings where I could take my time, enjoy the beauty of nature, and have time to ponder and be alone. I worked for 11 cents per house, and I made about $40 biweekly, which is a joke to me now, but it was a starting point. I worked at that job for about 4 years before I got my first "real job" working as a cashier at Weis Markets at the age of 16.

My first trip to Prague, Czech Republic

5. I am a second generation American

This is a cool one! I'm so proud of this fact about me. My dad was born in Czechoslovakia when it was a communist country. He decided this was not the kind of life he wanted to live, and he wanted his own freedoms. He made the extremely difficult decision to start a new life for himself in America. It was not an easy process, and I wish he would write a book about his journey because I think it's amazing. He moved to New Jersey, and then to New York where he met my mom and the rest is history. Unfortunately, I never learned how to speak Czech, and I barely knew that side of the family until I just met them in person altogether during my first trip to Europe- to Czech Republic in 2017. What a beautiful country it is! I was so grateful for my trip there with my dad to meet my family and explore the touristy areas and see where my dad grew up. I wish I knew more Czech words besides "please, thank you, bridge, and wait", but I am very proud of my dad for being courageous enough to start a new life and proud of my heritage.

6. I'm actually VERY talkative

If you just meet me at a social event, or even if we may have worked or gone to school together, you might not believe this. But, trust me. And, if you can't take my word for it- ask the people that are closest to me. Once I'm comfortable with you, I.don't.stop. I am very awkward in lots of social situations, but I prefer to be in small groups, that's where I feel most comfortable. You can basically think of me like Kelly Kapoor from The Office.

7. I don't like cleaning up after myself at home, but I can't stand things being out of place anywhere outside of my own home

So weird, but true. At work, or at someone else's home, all I want to do is straighten up. But, at home, I want to just relax and I know no one is really going to see what it looks like, so why does it matter? LOL. Sorry, not sorry.

One of my favorite quotes!

8. I've read the book, Perks of Being a Wallflower, at least 5 times

I first read this book in high school and found parts of it so relatable and other parts so different from what I have experienced in life that I was overly intrigued. Every time I read it, I fall in love with it again and again. I find it so cool to know that other people think as much as I do, and "use thinking as a way to not participate." There are so many amazing quotes that I often think about again, and I also love the poem that is included in the book. My best friend in high school and I rehearsed that poem in front of our classmates for an English poetry unit. This book is so meaningful to me and has helped me feel a sense of belonging and normalcy like no other book ever has. Huh. Now I'm in the mood to read it again!

My one apartment in Hershey was so uncomfortable because I lived on the bottom floor which was basically the basement. See that wall past me? That's the ground level of the building! I vowed I would never live below someone in an apartment building again!

9. I've moved 9 times and have gone to 7 different schools (not counting college)

I've moved A LOT. I became so used to moving that the idea of settling down and not moving anymore was a very tough one for me to accept. When people ask me where I'm from, I never know how to respond. I was born in Flushing, Queens, moved to Staten Island when I was 1. Then, my mom, sister, and I moved to the Poconos when I was 9. From there, we moved to Berwick when I was 12. We moved to another house in Berwick while I was in college. After graduating, I moved to North Carolina to get my first teaching job. Then, I moved up to an apartment in Hershey. Then moved to a smaller apartment in Hershey. Then realized that Hershey's taxes were outrageous and moved to Palmyra. Then, I finally moved in with my boyfriend in Lebanon. So, it's like give or take 9 different addresses (lots of fun when filling out previous address forms for clearances!). I love moving- a new change, new environment, chance to start over. I just don't like the actual moving process- packing into boxes, packing into moving truck, moving boxes, unpacking, and that's not even all! I'm happy to be settled in for now, but I'm also curious what my next house will be like!

10. I don't eat seafood, spicy foods, most red meat, onions, or mayonnaise (typically)

I never thought I was a picky eater until recently when I realized I limit my recipes significantly because of the foods I like to eat. My mom even half-jokingly asks me, "What kind of chicken did you get?" whenever I tell her about going out to a restaurant. Good thing is, I tend to have pretty cheap meals!

11. I got braces as an adult!

My teeth had been crooked for years, and my mom wasn't able to get me braces when I was a teenager when the dentist first suggested it. I told myself that once I got my first teaching job, I would get braces. Well, first I had to get my wisdom teeth removed, and then when I got my second teaching job, I did finally get my braces. It was super embarrassing and annoying for 1.5-2 years (I had appointments at the same office where some of my third grade students were going for their braces!). I used to never smile for pictures with my teeth showing, I was always so embarrassed. But, the good news is, I just had to wear my braces for a short while, and now my teeth are nice and straight, and I can show a genuine smile with my teeth! :D

12. My favorite numbers are: 12, 13, and 22

I can't pick just one favorite, so I can probably limit my faves to these three. That's also why I'm ending this blog post with TWELVE things and not the typical TEN.

12- It was my mom's basketball jersey number and then it was my number when I started playing in first grade. It also has some sentiment to me because it's the day my aunt passed away- December 12th (12/12) and also the day that my grandmother passed away April 12th.

13- Lucky/unlucky number 13. It's just a cool number. Plus, it's my anniversary date with my boyfriend- October 13th. We became official on Friday the 13th! Creepy odds, but I'll take them! :)

22- This was my favorite year to live, when I was 22 years old. It was the year I graduated college, and it felt like I was on top of the world. I had so much fun all the time with my best friends, enjoyed school and student teaching, and had high hopes for my future. Also, who doesn't love the T-Swift song? It's so perfect!