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  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Loiacono

It’s a Wonderful Life

Updated: Feb 6, 2020

As I sit and reflect upon the past year, I can’t help but think how much can change in such a short amount of time. Our lives can be flipped upside in the blink of an eye, and other times, it takes long months of sleepless nights, tears and hard work to change what we believe to be an important improvement for our health.

Change is constant, it’s what keeps the world moving. But what happens when we stay stagnant? We don’t allow ourselves to grow and we resent our loved ones, families, jobs and lives. The magic of Christmas has brought me full circle. Last year at this time I was closing my career within the Department of Education as a Special Ed teacher after seven years. People called me crazy to give up my pension, crazy to give up the benefits, crazy to enter a life of uncertainty. But I felt crazy if I stayed. The depression, the exhaustion, the disagreement, the unhealthy body I was in was eating away at itself because I was unhappy in my career and in my life. When I decided to resign I took the first step in realizing my happiness was something I could make for myself. No one was going to hand it to me. After years of childhood anger and distress, toxic relationships and the mental abuse I put upon myself, I had had enough. I was ready to take the reigns in my own hands and steer my life into the direction I thought was healthy for me.

After I dove headfirst into Instructing Taekwondo, doing ABA therapy with autistic children and developing my interior design business, I felt alive. More alive than I had ever felt. Once I was single again after being in two relationships throughout my entire twenties, I felt as if I would never find true love. But I had to find true love within myself first. I marketed myself to my family and friends and business followers in the best way I knew possible, by writing. Writing whatever thoughts that came to mind, writing my blog and anecdotals on my business pages, writing lists of gratitude on the New Moon and my intentions of what I wanted my life to be. Writing positive thoughts inside a journal instead of lamenting over my sorrows. I wrote my black belt essay and reflected on who I was as an athlete, as a woman, as a teacher, as a friend, as a daughter, as a niece, as a granddaughter, as a martial artist, as a girlfriend, as a human and I started to realize how powerful I was in order to generate and will positive things into existence just from believing my own thoughts. I never thought I could do it, but I did.

This doesn’t mean I am cured from anxiety and depression or that I am no longer a nervous individual who talks about herself non stop in order to feel better. It just means I am reflective as a human being, trying to become a little bit better every day in every way. And now I am truly happy. After a long summer full of love loss and reflection, I let go of who I was and embraced who I was going to be. I started to recognize that I wanted to go back to teaching. I missed having my own classroom and I yearned for children to take care of on a daily basis, watch them grow and teach them to love learning the way that I did and how my teachers inspired me. I wanted to bring Taekwondo to my classroom and cultivate a culture of self respect and respect for others, but I wanted to do it on my own terms. My mom told me a Catholic School that was failing and lost several grades of students was looking for new teachers since several had left. I thought “What the hell?” If I didn’t like it I would last a year and go back to being a freelance designer and ABA therapist all the whole teaching my passion for Taekwondo. But when I met the wonderful person who a day later became my new employer, leader and Principal I knew I was in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, and in the right mindset.

Everything I had went through up until that point was worth it. Every failed relationship, every tear, every tantrum, every negative thought all led me up to this point. I had went to Catholic School my entire life and knew that the comradery, respect, love and understanding I felt back then was what brought me back to this new chapter in my life. Everything comes full circle. Teaching children how to respect and love others the way God intended us to has made me believe I am doing his work because I am finally understanding how to love and respect myself. When I receive the hugs and love from my students that I missed throughout the past year I know that God put me in this position until I can receive the love from my own children one day. I realized that it’s a wonderful life all on my own. I created. I cultivated it. I reflected upon it and it was finally here. A daily reminder of how strong and good I am. I final my found true love and it was within me all along.

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