Wednesday, October 30, 2013

goodbye teaching career.

Goodbye teaching career.

I cannot WAIT to say those words. Officially. Formally. Permanently.

I feel like a traitor to my 20-year-old college self, who was so happily awaiting the day I would enter my classroom – my own room – and greet my students, plan my lessons, and make a difference in my students’ lives.

I feel like a traitor to my 8-year-old self, who loved playing “teacher” with friends, and asked for a mini whiteboard for my birthday, so that I could create the illusion of a classroom in my bedroom.

But I just can’t do it anymore. I just can’t.

Not only is it the build up of multiple years of disrespect of so many students, arrogance of honors students, apathy of SO, SO, SO many students…not only is it the isolation I feel while teaching at the secondary level because we are so separated by departments and subjects, the cattiness of so many female colleagues, the arrogance of male coaches who seem to focus on their athletics and just teach on the side…but also it is the fear. Fear of Connecticut. Fear of Columbine. Fear of a school massacre. Fear of what my students are capable of. Fear of the unknown. Just.Plain.Fear.

Without going into any detail, a student snapped today. He just went ballistic in the hallway, yelling absolutely terrifying things about what he wants to do to this school. He compared his wishes to the big stories we all know too well.

I was speechless. Though I do care about this individual and feel for him and his marred mental health…I care more about myself and my safety. I have children. I have a husband. I don’t want to lose it all or have those who love me lose it all (a mother, a wife) simply because of someone’s thoughtless act. I tremble at the thought. My heart actually hurts. Tears well up in my eyes. I have a very hard time breathing. My voice shakes and quivers. I honestly become consumed with these thoughts and cannot function as I know I should. I am not able to be the best mom I know I can be, because I am so clouded by this fear.

Is this how I should feel and be, when I show up at my job? My career? My place of employment? Is this fair? Is this right? Is there any other friend of mine who experiences these same feelings when he/she steps into work each morning? Why is it that way for me?

I’ve had it. Though I love teaching at it’s core – I love connecting with high school-aged students, I love talking to them, I love teaching them my content, I love when they come to me for help and assistance both academically and personally - I just can’t do it anymore. The stress and the worry and the anxiety is too much.

But what am I going to do instead?

Stay-at-home-mom? I would love that. But we are not there financially. And that’s ok. Someday.

Wedding planner? How do I start?

Photographer? I need MUCH more education. The passion is there, but wow – lots more education is needed.

Something crafty? Like I could sell on Etsy? Handprint plaques? Tutus? Wreaths? Invitations? Cakes? I would need to refine whatever craft I choose, in order to really excel.

Business world? Maybe an HR department somewhere would appreciate someone like me with an education degree?

My heart hurts just thinking about the crossroads I am at. I never thought I would be here. I thought I would be a “lifer” in the education world. But clearly, I am not.

I want to run for the hills right now, but I don’t know which hill to attempt, let alone what to do when I reach the top…

Someone help me.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

facebook: ugh.

Damn Facebook.

I need to take a break.

I periodically deactivate my account, but always sneak back on. Or I have my husband change my password, but then convince him to tell it to me. Just so I can see what’s new. What’s going on. I have realized that my motive is actually not so innocent; rather, it is quite self-detrimental. Whose husband did the sweetest thing today? Whose family portraits are to-die-for amazing? Did Niko’s ex-girlfriend get more “likes” on a recent post than I did? I know. Believe me, I know. I am hearing myself as I write this. How trivial. Stop it. Just stop it. Who cares? Walk away. It’s juuuuuust Facebook.

I WILL stop logging on. That, or I will change my mindset. I will recognize that real life is more important. True friends and actual phone calls, face-to-face interaction is more important. Comparisons will be my demise. Don’t let it be my demise. Take the higher road. Be happy with where I am and what I have. I am happy anyway…so why bring in the comparison game, and make me unhappy? Why do that? It is so not worth it.

I will stop comparing myself to other people. In real life too, but right now I am just going to focus on Facebook.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

how i became a yogi

When Lambie entered the picture, life reached a whole new level of intensity. I found myself consumed with mommy thoughts, mommy concerns, mommy worries, and mommy doubts. I found myself to be a very crabby wife – very crabby. I found myself to be a very critical, snappy, tense version of myself. Something had to give.

And so I found yoga.

My safe haven. My refuge. My sanctuary.

It's where I go when I need to just be with myself and not be responsible for anyone else.

I go, with my purple mat in hand, and though I am nowhere near graceful or fluent in my motions, I am grateful for every.single.minute. of peace and calmness that is granted to me. I breathe deep, pure breaths. I inhale. I exhale. I force myself to clear my mind. Sadly, I must admit that it usually takes about half a class for me to get to the “clear mind” point. But I get there. I then usually struggle to stay there, but I persist. I make myself focus on my breath. I stretch my back tall. I open my heart to the world. I leave my worries on the floor of the yoga center. I vow to leave worries behind and to be calmer and more at peace. I diligently make these resolutions because I have to. I need to. I need to have a goal in mind.

But what if I don’t get there? Like ever? What if I always remain this tense, anxious, critical person? What an awful description. I need to move far away from that reality. I need to open my heart, open my mind, go-with-the-flow, choose my battles, breathe deep breaths, stay calm, and believe.

That’s a tall order.

I need a mantra. Something short and concise. Or maybe a quote. Something to remind me to do all of those things I just rattled off, but not sound so intimidating. I love quotes, and am always reading them, looking them up, writing a few down…but I am yet to find one that completely encompasses everything I must remember to do in order to be the person I strive to be. Or the one that reminds me to just relax, enjoy the little moments, leave worries behind, and love myself harder.

I can see myself moving in a positive direction, inch by inch, day by day. Some days I slip backwards a bit (or a lot) but I pick myself up and make myself move forward. Love myself, and take time for myself. Yoga or an ocassional shopping trip...when I need to take a break from it all and just focus on me.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

my love of Momastery

Glennon Doyle Melton. Creator of Momastery. I love her. She doesn’t know me, but she is my soul mate. She is the thinker of my thoughts. The feeler of my feelings. The expresser of my words. I long to meet this amazing woman and tell her (through tears of course) what an incredible, wonderful human being she is, and how much validation she has brought me in my life. I am obsessed with her:
Love Wins.
We can do hard things.
We belong to each other.

I find that the harder I search within myself to be the best person I can be, I am simply trying to be the most honest, respectable person I can be. And the person I view as a role model of those traits is her.

we heart police officers

My oldest daughter, Bear, currently has an infatuation with police officers, police cars, and fire trucks. As in, we are constantly on the lookout for these guys and gals, as we drive to and from work each day. We commute on an interstate for about ten miles, so lucky us: we see a couple state troopers every day, if we’re lucky. While I am holding my breath that the state trooper won’t pull me over AGAIN for driving in the carpool lane, because they can’t see my little ones in the backseat and think that I am trying to pull a fast one on them, my little Bear is craning her neck, calling out, “I see one! I see a police car! What is he doing?” Seizing a “teaching moment,” I reply, “He’s being a helper. He’s telling that car to slow down and be safe.” Satisfied with my answer, Bear then repeats my explanation to me, as if I have forgotten, every.single.time. we see a police car or state trooper. Over and over! What is it with two-year-olds and their need for repetition?

Well…our love of law enforcement has actually led us to the local police station THREE DAYS IN A ROW now. After work, I go to my parents’ house, nurse Lambie, change her diaper, bargain with Bear about putting on her shoes, and then make a grand exit. A few days ago, I made the mistake of telling Bear “I know where we can find police officers, for sure!” since we were having trouble spotting any that day. I found myself driving over to the local police station…only to pull into the parking lot, put the car in park, and then literally just sit there. Creeping around at the police station. In a mini van. That would be me. We counted the police cars. We got really excited yesterday because the fire truck (in the adjoining fire station) was not parked (hidden) in the garage, but rather it was in plain view in the parking lot. For three days now, we have just waited for a police officer to say hello. We haven’t seen one yet. I am sure, however, they have me on their parking lot cameras, and have my license plate recorded as “that creeper woman who arrives every day at 5:07 and stays for a few minutes.” I swear, if we were to see an actual officer, I would jump out of the car, introduce myself, and ask him/her to come say hi to Bear. I really would.

Let’s just hope this happens soon.

Divorcing Friends

Divorcing friends. Not a fun process, in my opinion. Often necessary, but even still, never without a second thought or a couple of regrets.

My best friend, attached-at-the-hip, soul sister friend and I separated a little over seven years ago. Seven years. It sounds like an eternity. But she still crosses my mind way more frequently than I like to admit. Did I do the right thing in walking away? She was a bad influence and liked to turn happy hour into happy night way more frequently than was necessary. She judged me in a harsher way than is ever necessary or called for…and didn’t do it out of love or friendship. I walked away. I know for a fact that if I had stayed with her and her partying ways, I would not have dated my now-husband, married him, and had two beautiful girls. I would still be doing the single thing. She hurt me so badly: my pride, my self worth, my confidence. I needed to assert myself and cut ties with her. I needed to be true to myself and respect myself and love myself.

I am a better person without her.

I repeat: I am a better person without her.

I expanded my friendship circle when we parted ways. I figured out exactly what I need in a friend. I learned to value and appreciate my friendships more. I like to think that I gained more self confidence when we parted ways, but I secretly don’t know if I did. The quiet voice inside me all too often asks, “Are you sure? Are you sure you should have done what you did? What if you were still best friends with her? Would you be happier?” Damnit. Go away quiet voice. Stop making me second-guess myself.

I treasure my life with Niko, Bear, and Lambie. I treasure my beautiful, wonderful friends and our healthy friendships. I am grateful for the self-awareness I have acquired.

But part of me will always miss that friend.


I am married to my best friend. We have two beautiful daughters who make us feel like the luckiest people in the world. I adore them more than I could ever begin to explain. I teach high school math at my alma mater. Hablo espanol. I get super excited over little amazes my students. They constantly ask me why I don't teach kindergarten. People tell me I have a lot of energy. I am fast-paced...I like to get the show-on-the-road. I am extremely organized. I cannot whistle. Baking is fun. I pick up pennies when I find them because they are lucky. The fastest way to get me mad is to tell a racist joke. I am an enthusiastic person. Crossword puzzles relax me. I can be really bossy. I love nail polish...especially on my toes. I love anything Spanish. mmm...I like wine. I am very much a perfectionist. I am scared of birds. Especially geese. I get impatient and antsy quite easily. I talk too loud when I am excited. Don't EVER ask me to ride a horse. Ever. I am independent. I try to follow my heart and be true to myself. I hate olives. They're so gross. I love peanut m&ms and can never eat just 2. Same goes for chocolate chips. I have to sleep with a fan on at night. I always take two fortune cookies, in case the first one has a bad fortune. Every day I try to be the best person I can be. I have my nose pierced. I ran a marathon in 2007. I sweat the small stuff...but I'm working on that. I pray. Every night. I have strong convictions and I stand by them. I believe in myself, my husband, and our relationship. I try to embrace the idea that every morning is a "clean slate." I have amazing people in my life and I am very thankful for them. I like to be in control...but I know I need to work on that a bit (or a lot). I need reminders (all the time) to relax. I get stressed out. I have anxiety. I have a big heart. I treasure love letters. I enjoy the little moments. I am grateful to be where I am right now. I am a strong person. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, lover, best friend, teacher, learner, friend.