Well, here goes nothing . . .
I’m trying out this blogging thing. For as long as I can remember I have been passionate about writing, good conversation, making connections, and being creative.
I am passionate about many things.
When I was in college, I tried to find a way to fit them all into a single dream job. Teaching seemed to be the thing I was called to do. I loved every minute of lesson planing, I loved the challenge of trying to find new and better ways of presenting the content, I loved building relationships and rapport with my students, I didn’t love grading . . . but who does?
Sure, to be the fantastic teacher I wanted to be I had to put my writing on the back burner, I had to forgo some of my former creative pursuits in favor of the creative undertaking of good teaching, but it was worth it. Life was good. I was a teacher. I was proud of that.
But life changes. I got married, had kids, bought a house, and developed new interests.
Instead of wanting to spend all my time planning innovative lessons, developing more efficient classroom management techniques, and cultivating young minds, I found I wanted to plan delicious dinners, develop meaningful connections with other adults, and cultivate my own children.
Still, I loved teaching. I missed my kids and sacrificed my personal life, but the trade-off was worth it. Then education started to change. It became more about data collections, standardized tests, and less about actually teaching. I saw the rights of the 25 students in the room being sacrificed to the needs of the two or three. I saw administration more concerned with pacifying problematic kids (and parents) and catering to the latest district initiative than doing what was actually best for the school as a whole. And it started to get harder. With the births of each of my two children it became harder. When we bought our house it became even harder.
Then one day I woke up and realized that education had become something I didn’t even recognize, my house was a disaster 90% of the time, I was anxious and depressed, I never had time for myself, and I was paying someone else half of my paycheck to spend the time that I so desperately wanted to spend with my kids. The trade-off wasn’t worth it anymore.
I lost myself. I was struggling with postpartum depression, baby weight I couldn’t lose, conflicts within my family, stress, disappointment, disillusionment, and failure.
It seemed I didn’t know who I was anymore. I wasn’t giving my all to teaching, I wasn’t giving my all to my relationships, I wasn’t giving my all to my family–my kids. It was time to rediscover my passions and, most importantly, realign my life and my identity around the things that truly matter.
So here I am, about to leave teaching behind, at least temporarily, and embark on a different journey. A journey of being a better and more present mom, a journey of being a more thoughtful and engaged wife, a journey of being a happier and healthier woman. I don’t know for certain where this path will lead but, for the first time in a long time, I can’t wait to find out.