Tag Archives: life changes

Things I Can Do Now

Sometimes I get anxious about my new career path– because change, no matter how good and how healthy, is always difficult for me (and, like, everyone on Earth. I know I’m not unique in this. I do think I am slightly more panicked/anxious/dramatic/unable-to-calm-the-fuck-down-y than the average human during a transition, but I recognize that general feelings of discomfort are pretty universal. So if anyone else is out there going through a time of change, feel free to hit me up for some commiseration. Or just try the exercise below. I found it extremely therapeutic, and I think it would make both my therapist and Oprah proud.)

Here’s a nifty list of things I can do now that I am no longer a classroom teacher, just as a reminder that I made the right choice for myself.

  1. Pee
  2. Pee in a bathroom that is a bathroom, not a closet or former jail cell
  3. Breathe without inhaling germs
  4. Breathe (in general)
  5. Go to the doctor
  6. Not go to the doctor, because I’m not sick anymore
  7. Have air conditioning when it’s hot
  8. Have heat when it’s cold
  9. Overall do my work in temperatures humans were meant to exist in
  10. Read the news
  11. Curse
  12. Curse while reading the news
  13. Not eat a packed lunch
  14. Not make a packed lunch
  15. Not make 5 packed lunches at once on Sunday night because the process of packing a lunch is so depressing, I have to do it all in one shot
  16. Cry. In the moment I feel like crying, without having to find the nearest janitors closet.
  17. Raise my voice without fear of abuse charges
  18. Make an important phone call without fear of being caught
  19. Answer an important phone call without fear of being caught
  20. Read/write an important text/email without fear of being caught
  21. Eat a snack without fear of being caught
  22. Drink a hot beverage without fear of being caught
  23. Not fear being caught for doing things all humans need to do to be human
  24. Wake up no earlier than 7:00am, as God intended
  25. Teach the way I want to teach, teach everything I planned to teach, and use my actual personality while teaching, because behavior management is no longer the priority
  26. Be honest, not politically correct, with parents.
  27. Truly know and care about every single child I work with (some classroom teachers are able to do this– I found it impossible)
  28. Be appropriately compensated for the work I do and the effort I put forth
  29. Feel effective
  30. Feel appreciated
  31. Pee (it’s worth repeating)

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Avoidance

Therapist: “So there are a lot of changes going on in your life right now, and I know change gives you anxiety. But you’ve spent most of the session so far complaining about the NYC heat. Are you sure there aren’t other things you’d like to discuss?”

Me: “Ok. Fine. I’m just really hot.”

Therapist: “I understand. You’ve made that quite clear. How is the transition to the new apartment?”

Me: “Great!”

Therapist: “Say more.”

Me: “Well, the bedroom gets really hot…”

Therapist: “Nope.”

Me: “Ok yeah I hear it now.”

A Few Clarifiers About My Retirement

I am in day 2 of my retirement and I feel the need to address some questions/comments/concerns that have come my way regarding my decision to leave classroom teaching. This is not a rant– you’ve all been awesomely enthusiastic about it. Just want to clear up some confusion.

1. To be clear, I only left classroom teaching. I am not retired and lying around doing nothing. I’m not sure why this is so confusing for people. Maybe it’s because I keep calling it “my retirement.” img_7921-2

2. I did not quit my job because I met a man to take care of me, and now I don’t have to work. That is absurd. This is real life, not Real Housewives of Potomac.  img_7921-2  I am still working. But yes, Eric did give me the support, encouragement, stability and gentle kick in the ass I needed to finally leave something that was making me unhappy (and had been for years) and move on to pursue things that bring me joy and contentment. And for that I am eternally grateful.

3. “But I thought you love the people you work with?” I do. With all my heart. They are now some of my best friends on earth, and will remain so. The people I met in my 7 years at that school are the only reason I stayed as long as I did, and I never could have made it through without them. They are my family. My actual job, and all the political/administrative limitations placed on it, is what left me unfulfilled. Not the people. My co workers are, and always will be, the brightest spot in my memory of classroom teaching.

4. “So what are those things you’re going to pursue?” As of now– full time tutoring (which focuses on all the aspects I love about teaching without the systemic BS that prevents me from actually helping children), getting more involved in mental health causes, working on my blog, pursuing freelance writing opportunities, and, honestly, whatever else I think of that sounds exciting!

5. Which leads to the final question/concern: “But if you don’t have crazy stories about classroom teaching, or crazy stories about dating, what are you going to write about?”

Yeah, well, I don’t know, people. I’m just hoping it turns out better for me than it did for this guy.

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