Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's All About Knowing What You Want

Back in June, when my 6 month contract with Thomson Reuters ended, I found myself facing the frightening fate that a lot of people around the country are facing right now. I found myself unemployed, and that was pretty nerve wracking. On top of that, Jason's long term subbing ended and he found himself unemployed as well. It was less terrifying for us than for a lot of other people, because we had savings to live off of and I was getting unemployment, but the word "Job" was a the top of the priority list. Jason got a temp job with Domino Farms, and that helped a little, but I knew that I really needed to get a job. And then I did. I took a job in August with a company that offered me more money than I've ever made, and suddenly money wasn't as big a worry, which felt better. And yet, it also felt like a failure. I had several interviews for teaching jobs, and nothing came from any of them. Sure, I had a job, but it wasn't doing what I really want to do.

Now, after working in my new cubicle job, doing the thing that's making me a lot more money than I've ever made, I find myself wanting nothing more than to walk into a classroom and take over teaching a bunch of kids. And, it's becoming more and more painfully obvious that the more time I spend in the cubicle, the more likely it is that I won't ever get into that classroom. It's pretty heart breaking. What's worse is that I may be forced to choose between my family and my job. I've said all along that I don't want to pack up and move somewhere out of state just so that I can have a job, I don't want to leave my family, my friends, my niece and nephew, or my life that I've built here. As hard as it is not to be doing the job I've wanted to do for years, I can't say that I lead a bad life. I lead a really beautiful life. I don't want to leave it. So now I have to decide whether I want to be happy in my job, or happy in my personal life, and I have to wonder if the two are really separate entities. Right now I know that living in Ohio for the majority of my week, sitting alone in a hotel room, living out of a suitcase, that's not the life I want. And the travel is temporary, but the feeling I have about being stuck in that cubicle every day isn't. I can't work with my drama students anymore, and I find myself talking about them constantly while at work. I find myself missing those kids almost as much as I miss my family when I'm out of town. I miss the excitement I see in them every time I'm up there, and I even miss the things they do that drive me insane.

When taking all of this into consideration, I have to say the thing I have the hardest time dealing with is hearing people who are doing what they supposedly want to do, and what they claim is their dream and their passion (and some of those people are doing exactly what I wish I could be doing every day) and complaining about it as if it's the biggest hassle, or the worst thing they're doing. I hate seeing countdowns to the weekend, or to vacations from people who claim they're doing what they love. I am definitely not doing what I love, but I don't find myself waking up on Monday and starting the countdown to Friday. Sure, everyone has a bad week every now and again, but some people do this constantly and I sometimes want to say "Then quit and do something else!" When it's people who are teaching, I want to shake them and tell them there are a lot of people out there like me who want to do what they're doing so if they're so miserable, so give it to someone who really wants it. I think that the one thing I've learned from all of my work experiences since leaving my student teaching is that I know exactly what I want and I know exactly where I want to be. I just wish I knew how to get there. But, it doesn't mean I'll stop trying.