This isn’t a pretty post where I list solutions in life, but rather I need a place to write. So, here I am. I put in my two weeks notice into my job and there have been so many tears. I’d be lying if I didn’t explain that a large part of my identity comes from my employment and my perceived contribution outside of my home.
Before I graduated from my graduate degree, the political environment greatly changed my opportunities to work; people are afraid to learn English if they feel they might be deported or they feel anxious to come to a country that they feel is not pro-internationals. When I found my teaching job, I was just very grateful to finally have one! However, since 2011 I have placed over 1000+ job applications and I’ve learned some common threads in my time being unemployed: this is the lesson I am learning over and over.
I love what I teach and I love whom I teach.
However, it doesn’t excuse how I have been treated in many past jobs or this one. For the past year, I’ve largely ignored a lot of issues because it gave me the opportunity to teach. I’ve learned post-undergrad that most jobs have dysfunction, but I’ve also learned that there is a time when it becomes an inexcusable amount too.
There have been many jobs that I’ve had that have been a sinking ship from the beginning, but I stayed on because of my contract or because I was afraid to have another line on my resume. I always thought that my job situations in the past would improve and I usually found without fail they became worse; dysfunction often serves people, it helps control people, and often the metaphorical cement was already dry before I came into the position. The older I become though, the more I realize that I have to be more loyal to myself rather than to a job.
I’ve become better and better with each teaching job I’ve had, but it doesn’t replace the feeling of inadequacy I have that I won’t have a job again soon. We planned our vacation to Europe this fall with my employer, but it makes me virtually un-hireable while job hunting in any other teaching situation until November. I’m also experiencing a lot of guilt that our budget is now tighter before such a trip.
I am floundering a bit in my identity right now and I want to see this optimistically, but I struggle. However, I know that I want to be the type of person who does not become bitter because of set backs. I want to cherish my positive memories and cling on to hope that everything always works out the way it should.
A realization and great comfort that I have had is: a teacher is still a teacher even when they don’t have a classroom.
I have no plan B or plan C. I do, however, have a husband that has been very supportive of me and agreed it was time for me to go. I have friends who have listened to me. I have other underdeveloped talents and dreams to focus on even if I am still currently gathering them together to decide where to begin. I have an opportunity to eradicate the false perception of myself that connects to sources outside of my God, myself, and my marriage.
This life is a classroom, a constant one. I want this to be more of a season of opportunity than of grief though; this year I said I was going to flourish though and I will.