Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What A Year

Last year at this time I had recently quit a job that had been making me miserable more often than it made me happy.  I quit via an email sent from my phone in the middle of the day and never looked back.  I felt immediately better. I had no job lined up and was finishing my last two classes of grad school but I somehow felt totally calm about the situation.

I took last summer as an opportunity to figure out if teaching was really it for me.  I have worked in only high stress teaching environments: a high school for at-risk youth, a school for cognitively delayed children with emotional disturbances, and an urban charter school who was not making it's state mandated goals.  I applied to teaching jobs for high schools but more selectively than in the past.  I even applied at a non-profit as an event planner.  I looked into editing and writing jobs.  I scoured job search sites for anything that remotely interested me and came up largely short.

As I completed my MA in English I came back to the idea I'd had when I first started it; I could teach at the college level.  I started applying.  Mostly to proprietary schools but to others as well.  Finally, I got a call, and by the end of the interview I was being handed the books for the courses and sample syllabi.  I taught four courses last fall and while I still was teaching a stressful population I loved it.  I met awesome people and I really bonded with several students.  Unfortunately they had to tell me they couldn't offer me four courses again.  I felt a little panicked.  Someone was looking out for me though and the school I really wanted to teach at offered me three classes at a significantly higher pay rate.  And that is where I remain.  I have reclaimed the joy that teaching is to me.  I love it.

Sure, I still have moments of stress but everyone does at their job.  Largely though I feel reinvigorated.  I am trying to learn as much as I can about teaching at this new level.  A part of me still really really wants to teach high school in my old school district.  But now, I know that even if I never get to I can still be very very happy.  I am finally on a path that I feel incredibly confident about and that excites me.

I have so much other stuff on my plate right now as I enter this next phase of my life, my thirties, and I can't wait to share it with the people that matter to me.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Running Out of Time... Till 30

Here's the list:  I need help!!!!!!  

1.  Buy a home.
2.  Go Dancing
3.  RUN a 5k in under 30 minutes- train for a half marathon
4.  Dye my hair
5.  Host a dinner party
6.  Go 30 days in a row without fast food
7.  Save enough money to cover my bills for the summer
8.  Crochet an adult size blanket.
9.  Make $500 on Teacher's Pay Teachers
10.  Make my book review blog active again
11.  Read 3 non-fiction books (any suggestions?)
12.  Take a picture a day
13.  Be published or at least submit my essay for publication
14.  De-Clutter my life
15. Visit MOCA
16.  Find Love
17.  Spend quality one on one time with as many friends as possible
18.  Go see The Cleveland Orchestra
19.  Take or at least book an out of state trip (other than my already planned trip to CALI this summer)
20.  Join two professional organizations
21. Fly a Kite (Thanks KD for the suggestion!)
22.  Purchase REAL art
23.  Complete 30 Random Acts of Kindness
24.  Buy a VW Beetle
25.  Complete a 1,000 piece puzzle
26.  Eat at a fancy restaurant
27.  Write thank you notes to people who have made a difference in my life
28.  Drink 2 bottles of water a day for 30 days
29.  Take a class- either art or dancing
30.  Go to Amish Country

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Good Bye 2013 Hello 2014

2014, as everyone is well aware, will see me turn 30.  If I didn't fully accept that I was an adult before, I really have to now.  It seems crazy to me because college and high school feel like they were yesterday.  I had a great time in those parts of my life.  But now, I have to say, I think I'm hitting my stride.  I learned a lot about myself in 2013 and I plan on carrying those lessons into the new year and, of course, I plan on learning even more.

I learned:

I have to let go more.  It's a work in progress, but I'm happier when I do.

I have to make sure I am happy with myself or everything else suffers.

I need to maintain my confidence in my abilities.  Constructive criticism is good, and I should heed it.  But I also have to trust to know when the criticism is unwarranted and therefore I shouldn't let it bring me down.

I really am self-sufficient.  I can and will accept help, but if it's not there I can survive without it.

I am loved and supported.  So many people this year showed me this in so many ways.  Many of them probably don't even know it.

I really really do still want to be in education.  I started the year doubting my career choice somewhat frequently, but now I know, more than ever, that this is the field for me.

I am more intelligent than I give myself credit for.  I've always surrounded myself with crazy intelligent people- intentionally and unintentionally.  Sometimes I think this has made me feel less than.  However, I've discovered I have a voice, and I have things to say, and I am well versed in many topics.  I am not average or dumb.  (But no, I still can't do calculus or stats.)

I have good instincts. I need to trust and follow them.

I am a work in progress, we all are.  I'm feeling awesome about my life right now though, and I can't wait to keep living it and growing in it.

Happy 2014 ya'll.  Let's make it a good one!