In the past few weeks, I’ve been applying for new jobs that are in the education field but don’t require me to stand in front of a classroom. I have signed a contract for next year, but just barely missed the budget cuts this year (due to being one of the youngest/newest in the building). There’s no guarantee that I’ll always have this job, especially considering that more jobs will be lost next year. To be completely honest, I’m pretty sure I don’t particularly want this job much longer anyway. My heart’s not in teaching, but I can recognize that while also appreciating that this has been the best place for me for the past three years (and maybe for the next few).
As I try to figure out what my next career path is going to be (anyone want to hire an instructional designer? educational consultant? pay for law school?) , I am realizing that “teacher” has been a major part of who I am. I don’t discount that it should be a part of me, but I was making it the first thing I say when people ask about me.
“Tell me about yourself.”
“I’m a teacher…”
Not cool. So, this summer, I’ve spent some time trying to figure myself out. As shy and awkward as I was in high school and college, I was much more confident in who I am, what I stand for, what I like. During the past few months, I’ve read more books, tried new things, and I’m slowly learning about myself as an adult (not a student, not a teacher, but a person). It’s been an invaluable experience, and one that I know will allow me to be a better wife and mother when the time comes.
Last week I went on vacation with my mother to the Middle of Nowhere, South Carolina. It was a lesson in calming down, taking the time to do less and enjoy the nature that surrounds me. In that one week, I felt better and more secure about myself. I have a renewed energy to enjoy this time I have off work because there’s no telling when I’ll get another summer free. A renewed desire to focus on myself again and truly appreciate these things I’m learning about Me.
I realize that all of this may sound a bit hokey. But let me end with this: I’ve realized this year that I’m more than a teacher but haven’t found a way to focus on that. The past week has somehow, in the quiet, allowed me to see myself again. And, I’m so excited about what the future holds as I learn about myself as an adult.