It's been 5 months since I posted about 'the shift'...
...and my heart is on a skateboard ready to hightail it outta here.
Well, let me start off by saying "IT'S JUNE." (Ahhhhh.)
It's actually June and I never thought I'd get here.
To refresh everyone's memory (or introduce you to it for the first time) 'the shift' I'm referring to is this:
I went from feeling confident and ready for my real life to begin with my new teaching
job that I prayed for and strived for and worked hard for...to...feeling clueless and scared and
trapped and duped with a side order of burn-out brain.
I went from enthusiastically wanting to jump into every aspect of teaching head-first...to...
rejecting any and all association with the idea of long-term teaching.
I went from 'I'm finally a teacher'...to...'I don't want to be a teacher anymore'.
Along with the realization these past few months that this teaching job of mine isn't at all the perfect fit I thought it was going to be when I decided to go back to school and pursue it four years ago, has come immense guilt and uncertainty about the decision I feel I'm inevitably going to be making come the end of this school year.
That decision? To no longer be a teacher.
With the thought of not continuing on my teacher-journey next year, I think about my twelve lovely students. I'm proud that I truly tried my best with them this year. I'm satisfied that my direct interactions with them were always happy, enthusiastic, kind, and understanding. I'm proud that most mornings when the tears were flowing, that I could collect myself for them. I'm also proud that although most mornings I cried and dreaded work, I showed up for them and never quit on them. They were the twelve souls that kept me going.
I think that kids like them need a teacher like me. I think that they were lucky to have me this year, and I was lucky to have them, even with all my bitching and the stress and anxiety that went with it.
I feel a tremendous amount of guilt knowing that next year a whole new batch of kids would benefit from having a compassionate, hard-working, dedicated teacher like me, and that my absence in the lives my potential students will have negative effects. I suppose I'm struggling with my responsibility to them, and that perceived responsibility PLUS a bunch of other stuff is making it hard for me to deal with this 'shift' that occurred.
That 'other stuff' includes the fact that I feel I will be disappointing a lot of people:
My mom, for one, is sure that I'm a great teacher and that it's my destiny. She doesn't think I gave it enough time, having taught in a classroom for only one year, and says if I decide to quit, I will see that other jobs are not all roses and tulips. (P.S. - I never said they were.)
My dad, who got me through college so I could become a teacher, probably felt satisfaction in knowing his oldest daughter finally had a job and was on her way to the life she is supposed to lead. I feel I let him down, and gave him more to worry about. On top of that, he most likely doesn't trust in my ability to make decisions and will feel justified now more than ever to make those 'big decisions' for me. (P.S. - Not happening.)
My boyfriend, who I promised that once I became a teacher and became more financially stable, things would progress in our relationship. I think it's been hard for him to hear these past five months that this teaching job of mine isn't the right fit. That this next year might be spent finding the right fit. He must know what that means for our plans to start trying to make it on our own, and must struggle with wanting to be supportive and needing our relationship to progress.
(I just don't know what to tell him.)
My sister, who looks to me as the person who 'has it all together', has already expressed that she thinks I'm being foolish. She just graduated, has in internship lined up for September, and is on her way to being the nutritionist she went to school for. My one prayer for her is that it's all she imagines it to be. At dinner the other day, my mom joked,
"Let's hope we don't have two strike-outs."
Yeah. (deep sigh)
My principal, who I pretty much begged for this job, will most likely hate me. I think she perceives me as her diamond in the rough...the superhero who swooped in last minute and saved her ass a lot of trouble and aggravation finding a teacher for the 'special class'. In her mind, I 'got her back' and will be swooping in next year to save her the trouble again. (Little does she know...)
My current students, who maybe hoped to have me next year, or would at least have liked the opportunity to wave to me in the hall or visit my classroom...
...my responsibility to them and my potential students and my innate people-pleasing mentality, not wanting to disappoint anyone, has been in conflict with what I believe my soul is telling me.
I believe my soul is telling me that teaching is not IT.
I believe the universe has something else planned for me.
I believe that at this shift occurred because at 27 years old, I have only now tapped into a positive and deeper realm of myself that is pointing me toward what I am supposed to be.
However, fear inevitably follows.
...a conscious, active decision of bravery and trust on my part must follow still.
I believe that is the ONLY way I'll get to where my heart has pointed me this year.
Oprah wrote this:
"...getting to what feels right often comes from things going
wrong...who you're meant to be evolves from where you are right now." see quote here
No better a quote sums up this first year teaching, I think.
But WHAT IF?
What if I leave teaching and it's a mistake?
(I feel it will be a mistake if I don't try something else.)
What if I gave up on teaching too soon?
(The alternative? Spend another year or two hating my everyday.)
What if I fall flat on my face and produce nothing for myself?
(What if I discover everything I've been dreaming of?)
My 'WHAT IF's get trumped by the potential of what could be for me.
Am I a fool? Maybe, but I deserve a job I adore. I know this for sure.
I. Deserve. A. Job. I. Adore. ...and everything that comes with it.
"If you want to be given everything,
give everything up."
-- Bird York, "In The Deep"