Suffering from depression isn't easy. It almost started to take over my life. Living in London, where everything is fast paced, hectic and lonely doesn't help. Dealing with unemployment and depression is where i begin my story. I had just handed in my notice to move on to bigger and better things, so i thought! But those bigger and better things turned sour very quickly. I was maybe 2 or 3 days unemployed for the first time since 15years of age. The only thing filled my head was failure. Regret. Leaving my Team J (jake and jadie - 2 of the most amazing people i have ever met in my working career) and the primary school, with children who inspired me.
and of course i started entering a place of darkness. I didnt think i could rise from this point. Those 2 or 3 days I thought over and over about how easy it would be to end this all. the thought became an easier thought to have. Almost soothing.
But, i get a call asking if i am free to have a telephone interview. At this point i had no clue which job i have applied for, as i think i exhausted every job site the www. has to offer. I said Yes, im free now! Great! he replied. I dont remember his name now, but he went on to ask me questions about my coaching background. End of the call came and he said well, we would like to get you into America within the next 2 weeks!
WHAT? instantly, excitement, regret, nervousness filled my body and numbness followed. I was instructed to wake up every morning and try and get a cancellation at the USA embassy visa meeting within the next week. Next day came Wednesday, and cancellation there. For the Friday. Surely, its meant to be, because people wait a month minimum. Embassy visa meeting done, flight booked for following Thursday. will my passport arrive on Wednesday?
I had no time to alert my family and friends that i am off to America for a few months to live and work. But my last night i went to dinner with some friends and My first boyfriend my best friend, although we hadn't been together for a while, a large part of my darkness and my light. We departed on harsh words. Little did i realise we would never speak again after years of his many attempts to help me through the times i thought i wouldnt make it through, combined with the times he made me feel even more alone. But that conversation made it all the more easier for me to leave him behind, .. so Out with the old...
I was on a plane to America, to coach young people at soccer camps. new chapter!
So thats the background, kind of just spur of the moment and off I go!
San francisco Embassy suites ^
So on my stay in America, i stayed with some host families. and this was my first experience of that! By the end of my week, i wouldn't class them as a host family. But my great friends. They respected and treated me like i was apart of their family.
Holland. Peyton. Avery <3
Lombard street ( The most wonky road in the world) and The famous Ghirardelli Chocolate desert place, and Pier 39 in San Fran. Excuse me for looking cold in the middle of summer. San francisco central was extremely windy!
THE POWER OF THE DAB! My first team!
if you had a chance to read my first blog post. You would know that my passion is empowering young people. I am so grateful to have got an opportunity like this, to effect (or is it affect) a child's life, in a positive way. I had an amazing first week teaching these young children British words and also them laughing at me for calling bibs, Bibs, rather than pinnys. Because babies wear Bibs (the material you wear to separate a team by colours) They dont know what a cheeky nandos is! Can you believe it! Not only do i get to teach, but i get to learn how young children learn. And how to make a positive impact on their learning. Gaining trust and respect. And the reward of happiness, laughter and upset when they have to see you go! All worth it!
Drawing of Coach Jackie :)
It was only right to get a chance to visit the suicide bridge. Which I thought was fitting! considering the name of the blog! ha!Also took a tour of the Fort point, where the ships would come in, and civil men would stand guard in case the enemies came in. Those damn british!It was also beautiful to learn some history of the Buffalo soldiers (its not just a song guys)
Then on to Twin peaks, spectacular panoramic views of the whole city. Just breathtaking!
The Life size androids ^
Having a chance to visit Facebook and Google and go inside, was a great experience. They are both run like mini villages. Rather than work places. They have sleep pods, restaurants, dry cleaners, bike fixers, movie rooms, game simulation. You name it. There is absolutely no reason to go home. Everything you need to live, is at work!
Look at little miss madam posing!
I had the chance to stay with three more families, who were more than hospitable. Made me feel at home, and i cannot thank them enough for everything they done for me while i stayed with them!
MY FAVOURITE DAY IN AMERICA
OAKLAND first fridays festival, urban music, kitted out cars, street parties, BBQs. Everything you see in those ghetto movies, but beautiful vibes, happiness, togetherness. A real sense of community. the police don't trouble anyone. They enjoy the festivities.
I was warned not to go to oakland, because it is notoriously dangerous. But what i found was the complete opposite. I took a ride there with one of the other coaches and his girlfriend. The moment we got there, they started arguing. Can you imagine how awkward it became. Meeting with her friends, but being on egg shells wondering if he was going to storm off and go home and leave me there while i went off to explore by myself. But roaming around in awe of the scenery, the barbeque fires, the baggy jeans and hydraulics. I couldn't help but forget about the danger i faced being stranded because this was The first time i felt like people genuinely find me beautiful, I heard it about 5 times, my dark brown complexion was considered beautiful.
One of the host houses i stayed in, on my stay in California. Was a house sit. We were under instruction to look after the dog, let her out to do whatever a few times. Feed her medication and dog food. But in capital letters it said. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR FOOD UNATTENDED, she will eat it! (which happened btw)
i haven't grown up with a pet, a few of my friends have dogs. I didn't understand why one of my best friends from school cried so much when his dog passed away. Now i truly understand, this pet became my companion. She kept me up all night with her long nails on wooden flooring. But during the day she didn't leave my side. I started to think, these pets that we overlook, they are the most loyal beings. All they have is love for those that love them. And being half way through my journey, having a companion that i felt loved me. Was therapy! She was a very sick dog, we were worried she would pass away while we were house sitting. But the bond we shared id like to believe made her stronger.
Press play to see the canine companion below