Sunday, January 25, 2015

Just Keeping It Real


     So this is me just being real about some things that I went through in the fall. I don't write any of this to reflect badly on my profession, place of work, or people I work with. I'm pretty sure we all have "Been there and done that," when it comes to being in a place where we are not sure about the path we are on. If not then I envy your total grasp on this crazy thing called life that we have no instruction book for, GPS, Siri, or Google search to help us with. 

     So I'm still not even sure why... but with the start of the new school year this past fall semester came a lot of changes and a lot of negative feelings about where I work and what I do. It was like I was in such a funk and couldn't get out of it. It then got really negative, or better yet, I got really Really negative, and it just seemed to snowball from there. One thing that I've found is that if you're going to be negative you will find a lot of people that will happily join in on your negativity party, heck they even seem to show up with streamers! But really I can't (and won't) blame anyone else but myself because when it came to the Negativity Party I was it's planner, host, Dj, and caterer, and I threw quite a Bang up party!!! 

     I found EVERYTHING to be unhappy about, everything to complain about, and everything that was, is, or ever will be wrong with teaching and the education world. So I got this great idea that I needed to do something else and I signed up for nursing classes. I've always been someone that needed to be in control and I felt that this would give it back to me. I would have something to work towards and it would get me out of a job that I had convinced myself I hated and blamed for my unhappy feelings. It would give me a backup plan for when I couldn't stay down here any more and be the fix for all I felt was wrong. Now I knew that nursing wasn't going to be fix-all, but it was me doing something. My kids knew I wasn't happy, heck everyone around me knew. I guess looking back this is what I'm the most disappointed in myself for, that I set this tone of negativity in my classroom for a semester :( 
(Last week one of my kids even made the comment that I had been in such a great mood and seemed to be having fun like I use to. That really hit me and made me realize how much my attitude sets the tone in my class.)

     So I took a pre-req class, changed my major, and signed up for another pre-req for the spring semester. Everyone couldn't believe that I would leave teaching and art. I can't say I did either. But I felt that I was unhappy, wanted some type of control, and felt that change was the only way to do it. I felt that one day I wouldn't be able to stay where I am and that I wouldn't be able to find another art teaching job, and that things in the education world would only get worse. I felt that the only way to fix it all (to be happy again) was to get in front of it all and make a change. I kept thinking that I needed to have things in place for when I couldn't take it all anymore and had to, or needed to, leave education. I know, I'm the queen of borrowing trouble and worrying about days that have yet to come...trust me 34 years and it's something I'm still working on!! I was just wallowing in my negativity and what I like to call my "Valley Moment." You see I've always known that I'm a mountain top or valley person. I tend to have those moments where I'm so positive and can take on the world, embracing life and enjoying every minute of it. But I also have those valley moments where I want to crawl under the covers and lament all of the things I could have done, should have done, or worry about what will happen. I see now that I battle moments of depression. 
I know... thats hard for me to admit but I said battle, meaning that it's something I'm not giving into! It's hard for me to even admit to myself that this is something I struggle with. I mean I'm a very blessed person, from a great family, serve the Lord, and am saved by grace. Really what do I have to be depressed about? Should't I just be able to give it to God and deal with it. Yep, I should...do I always do it? Nope... But like I said its something I battle and I'm learning to recognize that it's ok to have valley moments but just don't stay there.

     While in the midst of my valley moment negativity party I realized that I had to change this and I had to change me. The only way to be Happy and have Joy was to change me, myself, my attitude, not my job or what or where I do it. I started to pray that God would show me what to do. My greatest fear in life is to not be in God's will. I felt like He had released me from teaching and if I wanted to do something else He would bless it. But I also needed to realize that not a job, person, situation, or place was going to make me happy. That would only come when I decided to choose Joy, seek God, look for the positive, and find inner peace. I love teaching and I'm not saying this to brag because I know its God, but I'm really good at it. I knew deep down that I would miss it and that making a decision while leading the negativity conga line in my valley moment would not fix anything! 

     The whole time I was throwing my tremendous negativity party I kept on saying that I would be happy if they would just let me teach! If they would get rid of all the PLCs, school scores, SLTs and teacher blaming crap...come on all my teacher friends out there, you know what I'm talking about. I kept on saying if only they would just let us do our jobs and support us, appreciate us more, and pay us more then things would be great and I wouldn't want to leave. But I had to come to grips with the fact that I was the one that needed to change. I had to choose Joy, look for and focus on the positive, and be grateful for all that I did have and not what I didn't. I had to be the change that I wanted to see (seems someone pretty smart once gave that great advice). Yes, things in education will never be perfect. We deal with mini people that are trying their best to figure out how to so this thing we call life, and lets be honest I can certainly cut them some slack since I totally get that it's not always easy to figure it all out. Plus, school is the only other place besides jail that you're required to go even if you don't want to. haha!! There will always be bad days, things I want to change, things I can't change, and the fact that I can't do it all. But thats ok, I will be ok. I just have to remember to focus on the good and let the bad be a lesson while letting it roll off my back. Also that I can choose to be happy and to have Joy while living this crazy thing called life. I can be happy doing what I love, teaching, and know that no matter if I'm in a valley or singing on a mountain top (You know we all just had a Sound of Music image flash in our minds haha!) that I make the choice about how I react. And I may have to remind myself over and over till hopefully I don't have to remind myself, that I choose Joy and to be grateful. 

     When I thought about what my word for this year was going to be (This Link will explain more about my Word for the Year) I thought about Contentment, Happy, or Happiness. Then I looked up those words and one thing that I found that helped me choose Joy for my Word for the Year was I found that Contentment, Happy, or Happiness are all based on outer factors, they can wavier and be altered by things and situations. But Joy, thats something that you choose and comes from within and isn't contingent on others, jobs, money, or situations. Thats what I want! I want and need to have Joy in both the mountain tops and valleys. I found this on Pinterest and loved it.

 The Viking Runes - Joy reminds me of a mountain top and valley and that I should have joy in both.

This blog was all first just an entry in my journal but felt the need to share. In my journal I drew this based on what I had found above.

     So I decided that I would miss teaching and that I wanted to be a teacher not a nurse. I love my job and what I do and the difference that I know I make there even if it's small. I love the kids that God allows me to be apart of their lives and that in many cases I even learn a little from them. I love that I have a job that sometimes makes a difference and allows me to do something that is sometimes fun and different. I still don't like all the crap that comes with the job I do, I really wish we got paid more (who doesn't haha!), and I know that I will still have some bad days or weeks (I do teach High School!). But I have more Good things to dwell on then the bad stuff. I'm have some really great people that I work with, I have a great administration that really tries to do whats required of them while still being understanding of all that we as teachers and trying their very hardest to support us. I have some really really great kids, some that make the day worth showing up, and I have decided that I'm going to look for the positive even if some days the only good is that I have a chair that swivels :)

    So chalk up my brief moment as a nursing student to: me exploring my options, seeing I do indeed have them (I got a B in my Micro Bio class), and venturing out to see if the grass is greener only to finally realize that my grass may have some weeds in it but it is green and greener yet when I water it with positivity.

~Till Next Time :)

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