Puddle of Goo #4
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
It's me again! Don't let the title of the post freak you out. You didn't miss out on Puddles of Goo 1-3. I've decided to start with the most recent darkness, which was a little over a year ago. You'll understand more of who I am in this moment if you know about my most recent metamorphosis. We'll peel away the other layers later.
In the fall of 2015, I returned to teaching after a 5 year hiatus. The truth is I needed to make more money than I was making. At that time, I was a Community Coordinator for a low-income housing community. I provided social services, and I loved that job more than any job I had worked up to that point in my life. I just couldn't make ends meet. Against everything I believed in, I went back to teaching. It made the most sense; my degree and most of my experience are in education. Instead of teaching elementary school, I thought I'd try my hand at high school.
The school year started without me even having time to think about what I was doing. Not only was high school new to me, but things had changed in education during the five years I was exploring other options.I always felt behind. I worked up at the school on Saturdays to get things finished. Did I mention kids hated my class? I taught English, and none of them wanted to read, write, or think. Most days I felt my job was impossible.
Then came October 2015. My son had his Bar Mitzvah, and I had Congestive Heart Failure for the second time. I was in the hospital for a whole week. As I focused on getting better, I stressed about what was happening in my classroom. I didn't know I would be out, so there were no sub plans. The kids didn't behave when I was there, so what was happening now?
I went back to work and stayed in "survival mode" the rest of the year. I was tired from my having a heart that didn't work correctly, and I just wanted to make it to the end of the school year. I kept telling myself that next school year would be better because I would be able to plan ahead of time. It would be better because I wouldn't spend a week in the hospital. It would be better because I knew what to expect with high school students, and I would be in charge!
To keep the story short, over the next 3 years, I dissolved into a puddle of goo in the darkness of burnout. Planning didn't prepare me for the day-to-day problems that arose in the classroom. Planning didn't keep me away from the school on a Saturday; I was always up there working. Planning didn't stop the feeling of being overworked and under appreciated. I was giving more than I had to the job, and it was giving very little back. I'd hit snooze for an hour to avoid going to work, and I'd come home and stare into space because I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I was not present for my family. I didn't have patience for them. I was fed up with every little thing. I hate to paint such a negative story, but it got to the point where the bad outweighed the good. I had totally dissolved into a puddle of goo in the darkness.
So what happens when you've dissolved into a puddle of goo? Remember, you have everything inside you to be the woman you want to be. So, I started to rebuild myself putting those pieces where they needed to be. What does that look like? I started making choices to put the pieces where they needed to be, so I would be the most fulfilled. I resigned from my teaching position because I decided to go into business for myself.
It was a risk and scary as hell, but once that decision was made, I felt lighter. I won't lie; the last year has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. There have been struggles. There have been low points. For about a week, I thought about going back to teaching. BUT.... I kept going. I kept reminding myself of what I wanted to feel. I kept working toward my goals. Comparing where I was as a teacher in a classroom and where I am now as my own boss (working on a business I love and believe in), I am in a much better place. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. I've broken free from burnout and created a life I'm proud of love waking up to.
"Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness and still become something beautiful." Author Unknown