Lately I keep getting this visual of myself as an overflowing cup of water. It’s a short, 8 oz glass and the water is dribbling over the edges, tinted blue as the sunlight hits it through a window. Oh yea, it’s elaborate.
High expectations are rarely met. I know this. We all know this. Still I fell into the trap. I imagined how wonderful this year would be compared to last as far as my professional life was concerned. I am a 7th grader – I know what’s going on now. I rule the school. My lesson planning skills were going to be sharper and more efficient. I was going to push my questioning strategies. I was going to mentor those around me with rays of positivity and the little experience I had racked up. I was going to be a team player and volunteer to help with things outside of the confines of my classroom.
I’d like to think all of the above happened for at least a week before falling apart. Sure I might not be hiding under my desk crying anymore, but there is frustration breeding within. Every couple of weeks I decide I’m going to try to adjust my mindset to determine how my days go. Or I decide to try putting less pressure on myself (without feeling guilty). None of it lasts.
There is SO MUCH TO DO. Always. I have a new respect for lifetime teachers that will never leave me. It has settled into my bones. I often find myself questioning who I am as a person.
I have always had a pretty strong work ethic. I was passionate about social justice, the nonprofit sector and kids. And now? Now I fantasize about a corporate job that is not 24/7, allows me a bit more space for work/life balance, surrounds me with adults whose success is not never-endingly dependent on me. I crave freedom, and I dislike myself for it.
I want to be selfless. I want to use my knowledge to help others. I care about kids, I do. But dammit I am worn out. I am tired of feeling that my work is NEVER done. I am tired of people only noticing when things go wrong. I am tired of doing 10 different jobs and calling it 1. I am tired of keeping track of millions of papers when I can barely keep track of my own stuff. I am tired of being on the receiving end of a pre-teen’s angst. I am tired of feeling inadequate, and at the same time too exhausted and mentally drained to do anything about it.
And maybe the grass does always seem greener on the other side, even if it’s really just brown and patchy up close. Still, I would rather find out for myself.