To begin, I need to take you back seven months to January 2017. At that time, I was feeling burned out and stretched for energy. For two years I had driven from Jay, ME to South Paris, ME every Monday-Friday to teach middle schoolers the art of being decent human beings…and some Science. I was getting exhausted from the forty-one mile trek (an hour drive to work, and then back.) Add in a logging truck, snow plow, or construction vehicle, and I was guaranteed to start my day grumpy and wishing I had two Yeti’s full of coffee instead of one. I tried to make the best of my commute. I listened to 37 audible books. I called my brother to catch up on life at 6 AM, as he was on his way to work too. With the greatest efforts, the daily drive was still wearing on me.
In January I made the decision to start looking for a teaching job closer to home. I told my administrators, who were very supportive. I had my resume ready, but I couldn’t bring myself to apply to new job postings in my area. Lurking around my responsible and practical mindset was a voice growing louder, saying, “Don’t go straight into a new teaching job.” I had been teaching middle school for six years. Before I began teaching: I graduated high school, went straight to college, got my bachelors, went on to get my masters and teaching degree, and was fortunate to begin teaching immediately. I love teaching, and it was difficult to accept that I had this other part of myself I had neglected for so long. I was missing the excitement of traveling, meeting new people, and not knowing what to expect from each day. I had been neglecting my drive to explore and try new things. My fixed work schedule and commute consumed my life.
To many people I have explained this to, they are worried about my decision to take a year off from teaching. They worry how it will affect my financial security, retirement funds, health insurance, and many other adult responsibilities that are taken care of with a steady paycheck. Totally understandable! I am still problem solving some of the challenges of being self-employed; but I have never been more excited for the adventures in front of me this next year.
June 23, 2017 was my last day of teaching at Oxford Hills. That day also marked the beginning of a 3 week journey to my wedding day. Stay tuned for more blogs coming soon! I have so much I’m ready to share!