There’s something about not having an intentional job that makes me feel unproductive, unsuccessful, like a runaway balloon with no destination. I am currently substituting. I love that I have more time and energy to write and explore what I want to do with myself. This time of my life is definitely allowing me to discover who I AM in more profound ways, and to spend time taking care of myself. I am eating healthier, resting more, spending a lot of time in nature, meditating, and celebrating all the little things in my life. At the same time, I am feeling quite unanchored. I’m just moving from one classroom to another, not knowing what I’ll be teaching until the day of the assignment. I’m with students, but I don’t get to build long-term relationships with them. There are no long-term goals or projects to fulfill at work, and though that forces me to recognize and live in the moment, there is a part of me that feels uncomfortable with that.
Yesterday was the first time I substituted at Hoover High School after deciding to step away from teaching. It was more nostalgic than I thought it would be; after all that is where my career as a teacher began. Both the school and teaching have been such a huge part of my life and my identity. It all came full circle – going back to Hoover as I say goodbye to teaching and transition into a new stage of my life. So many memories in that place – so many long-lasting friendships that transformed me and shaped me the way the concentric circles of a tree help to shape its growth.
I’m finding myself opening up more and more to what the universe brings me; living in the moment will do that to you. So much of our identity is wrapped up in what we do, and I know that is part of why I’m feeling such a sense of loss. I am grieving for something that had become an aspect of my identity, and part of the grieving process is to understand that I am more than the teaching profession that was a part of me. I have to learn that I am my heart and my soul.
I am a teacher at heart, so that means I am a teacher anywhere I go, and no matter what I do. Once I can see that I AM, despite what I do or not do, I will feel anchored again.