Summer Update

I am surrounded by boxes. My one-bedroom apartment has exploded in a sea of cardboard, bubble wrap, and packing tape. So what am I doing? Procrastinating by writing a long-overdue blog post, of course.

Confession time: I’ve been absent from my blog for a while not only because it’s summer, but also because I think I’m experiencing temporary professional burn-out. I’ve been in a constant fight to maintain my career for five years. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, but it was mentally and emotionally exhausting.  While I kept up a brave face, being let go from my last job knocked me off balance more than I admitted even to myself.  After five years of constant fighting and overcoming, that blow hurt.  A lot.  It still does.  Now that the financial pressure is off (due to my husband’s amazing job opportunity), I gave myself permission to take a mental break from ambition and take some time to recover.

Don’t worry – I haven’t written off my career completely. I’m still job hunting half-heartedly, but as my sister pointed out, my version of “half-hearted” job hunting is similar to other people’s intense job hunting. I’ve updated my state license, sent out several resumes, and kept an eye on the job posting websites. However, I only apply to schools and jobs that really appeal to me, instead of scrambling for anything that might possibly work.  It’s mid-July, so by now I’m assuming I’ll just be subbing next year again, but I’ve come to terms with that. I’d rather sub than take a stressful job I don’t enjoy, and subbing can often lead to connections and potential opportunities, anyway.

All that is true, but it hasn’t taken primary focus in my brain, either. Like I said – the last five years have worn me out. I need a break from the mental fight, so after I packed up my classroom and filled out licensing paperwork, I gave myself permission to not think about teaching as much. My attentions have instead been taken by other things, such as apartment hunting, packing, and visiting family.

This move is a little different from the others, because it isn’t temporary. Ever since our move to Seattle in 2009, the longest we’ve lived in any one place is a year and a half. This time, we’re planning on staying for a while. Dan has a good job, and we found a beautiful apartment. Hopefully, we should be able to stay there until we’re ready to buy a house someday. That puts a different spin on things as we pack. Before, it was always about figuring out what we needed to get by and what we could leave in storage. This time, we’re actually emptying out our storage (giving my in-laws use of their basement again) and planning for the long haul.

I’m ready. I’m ready to settle down and build a community for ourselves that we’ll actually get to keep. I’m ready to put together a home, not a temporary residence. One of the many reasons I invested so much into my career in the last five years was that it was nearly impossible to invest in anything else too much. When nothing else was long-term and everything else changed around me, my two constants were my husband and my drive to be a good teacher. Even this blog gave me a sense of consistency in the midst of all the change. Now consistency won’t be quite as hard to find, so it’s OK that I’ve haven’t clung so tightly to my career in the last few months.

I still don’t know what the future holds. I never will, really. I don’t think my career is over. I believe that my turn as a teacher is still coming, that someday I will establish myself and build something awesome out of my crazy, unusual foundation. So stay tuned and don’t give up on me – it may just be a little while down the road.

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7 thoughts on “Summer Update

  1. I don’t know how searching for literary agents compares to job hunting, but I’ve definitely experienced similar ups and downs that you’ve had…being super motivated one day, then getting worn out after a while and needing an emotional hiatus for sanity’s sake. I just took a break from the agent hunt because I was incredibly burned out, but I agree with your attitude of not giving up completely. I’ve learned that often, just when you’re ready to call it quits, an amazing opportunity comes along to revitalize your motivation. So, don’t give up! I’m sure everything will work out with your teaching just as with my agent hunt, even if neither of us knows when that’ll be. Best of luck 🙂

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  2. Indeed, we all have a share of ours ups and downs and job hunting has always been my best companion because I too have moved to a different city almost every year or so. Can completely relate with your experience. Savor the moment and beauty of nature while focussing on your job search. Wish you all the luck.

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  3. We are about to move at the end of the month–but I’m not able to start packing yet because we invited friends to stay with us months and months ago! It’s starting to stress me out! I can also relate to the burn-out. I taught at a school for four years, and in that time, I taught ten different classes. This past year, I worked at a tutoring center instead and loved it. The part-time hours were a relief, there was no work to take home with me, and I got to work with students much more individually. If you don’t end up with a job for next year (which, it’s still early! Something amazing could still pop up), I’d highly recommend checking out different tutoring companies in your area. Best of luck with your move and new apartment.

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  4. My English Master’s degree is hanging up on the wall of my guest bedroom. I was a maternity leave replacement for seven years before finally taking the leap back into corporate America. I don’t regret my choice, but it was a hard one to make, especially since I loved teaching. But after seven years of leave replacements and interviews, I had to surrender.

    I admire your strength and resilience, especially when you are on the move. Best of luck!

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  5. You are in a good place, friend. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but God has you just where He wants you. I think a break from all this is a great idea, and I really believe that God will put other opportunities in your path now that you can settle in for while. That definitely will be great for your heart and mind! God has a place for you! Hang in there…when the time is right, it will all open up. For now, enjoy your freedom!!! I cherish every single second off! A part of me wishes we can switch places…would love it if my husband’s job allowed me to take off for a while! Enjoy the freedom!! 🙂

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