Week 9: Don’t Jump

Happy Sunday! Or, if you’re a teacher like me, Unhappy Last Day of Vacation Before Real Life Resumes! I should probably be working on my lesson plans or updating my literacy stations for this semester but there’s just too much in my head that has to come out first. So, thanks for being here to help me wade through it all. #externalprocessor

A week or so ago, I went on a really nice date with a really nice man. There’s plans to go out again but that won’t happen until my next day off of work which isn’t for a few more weeks. So until then, I’m in an awkward limbo stage. One date does not equal exclusivity, even if it was an 8+ hour date (a fact I confirmed with this man. Mary warned me that one should typically not ask these types of questions but truly, I don’t care. And he was gracious about it, very clearly communicating his opinion on the subject and assuring me that while we weren’t exclusive, he did like me and was excited about getting to see me again).

Now what?

No, seriously, I’m asking: what do I do now?

I feel conflicted. I’m not saying that this particular man is the man who will be my husband – I think you’d need to have me committed if I was making that claim after knowing someone for a matter of weeks. And I’ve met a few new people on both christianmingle.com and eHarmony.com who seem nice enough, but there’s something intriguing about this other guy. I like him.

Ugh. I’m such a girl.

I’m a very impatient person. Having a plan at all times is a necessity and I thrive when there’s structure, stability, and security. But I have no way to plan for this and in the absence of a plan, I jump back. I analyze every conversation and decide that they all point to not what’s obvious (that this has potential) but to something negative. If I let myself, I will sabotage every relationship I have, whether it’s a friendship or something romantic.

The point of that entire last paragraph is that by admitting that this is my pattern, I can change it. It’s possible that there’s nothing beyond a second date with this particular man, but I can’t count myself out before I find out.

Yeah. Not a bad week, but not a happy, bubbly fun week. Thank goodness for the distraction of work that starts again tomorrow!

And, because I can’t close out one of these posts without something ridiculous that’s happened, one of the guys I’m talking to on christianmingle.com can’t spell. Like, pretty much at all. I’m not the best speller ever but I know that neighbor isn’t spelled “naubor” and this guy doesn’t. It makes me question his claim that he has a Bachelors degree.

Alright, I can only procrastinate finishing my lesson plans for so long. Thanks for giving me the space to work through these thoughts. And for not judging me out loud or to my face. 🙂

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A Balancing Act

If you were to make a list of things I was good at, dealing with change wouldn’t make the top ten. Baking? Yes. Working with kids? Of course. Change? No. Especially when it can’t be defined as totally positive or totally negative.

Here’s the thing: I love my job. I get to spend my day teaching kids reading, math, science and the best part is, I get to make it fun. What we do in kindergarten is such a huge part of a student’s educational foundation, and it’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly. The students come to class excited each morning and even though it’s only been 5 weeks, I’ve seen an amazing amount of growth in each of them. Being there makes me feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be, doing what I was made to do.

(In case you hadn’t picked up on it, this part of my life change is the good part.)

But, here’s the other thing: My school is 45 minutes away and my kids are allowed in my room at 7:15 (in fact, by the time this posts to Facebook and Twitter, I will have already been at work for 15 minutes), so in order to get to work on time and feel set up properly, I need to leave my house between 6 and 6:15. This puts wake up time somewhere in the 5:30-5:45 range. Another thing that doesn’t crack the top 10 in “Things Kyla is Good At” is being awake in the morning, so you can probably imagine my daily battle with my alarm clock. By the time the day is done (ok, fine, we’ll be realistic – by 11am), I’m exhausted. I have 19 five year olds in my class and while I have infinitely much more support/resources than I did previously, I’m still the teacher and still the one who is responsible for what they learn or don’t learn. My day doesn’t end at 1:45 when the kids leave, or even at 2:45 when my contract says I’m allowed to leave. I have meetings with coworkers and parents. I grade papers (yes, even in kindergarten), write plans, and analyze what I could do better the next day. I go to bed thinking about projects I can do with my kids to make lessons accessible to different learning styles and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night just to write down ideas. Every night I go to bed between 9 and 10, simply because I can’t hold out any longer and stay up any later.

(Here’s the part where the change is bad.)

I am exhausted, pretty much all the time. My free time and my friends’ free time don’t line up. At all.

I am not so foolish as to think that everyone else’s world would pause because I was not available. I am selfish enough, though, to want it to. I tried to hang out this weekend with two people I care very much about but haven’t been able to see lately. I should’ve been excited about the time I got to spend with them, but instead I was sad.  Sad because I had missed so many of the little life events that I used to know about as they happened. Sad because I had missed these people and knew it would be a while before I’d get to see them again. Sad because their worlds had continued without me. And sad because this, this inability to spend my free time with them, had begun and the more I thought about that, the more upset I got. Instead of enjoying the time I was getting, I was awkward and finally muttered some excuse about needing to leave and walked out.

I am embarrassed and upset and overwhelmed and at my breaking point. And I’m done with that.

One of the things that I believe strongly in is that there’s always hope because there’s always someone bigger who can redeem situations that I judge as hopeless. For the past few days, I haven’t been able to find any. I talked to Katie about some of the things I’m dealing with and her suggestion was that I take time to sort through things and find some resolution. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

My life has shifted. There’s no denying that things are different now and to try to maintain the same lifestyle I’ve been able to enjoy for the past few years is futile. But dwelling on that isn’t the right decision to make. If I spend the whole time staring in the rear view mirror I’m not going to see where I’m going and I won’t be able to enjoy where I am. So relationships will have to change, and the biggest issue for me to overcome with that is accepting that change as both positive and reality. Bear with me as I struggle to figure this all out, especially when I seem distant. Those distant moments happen because I feel the weight of everything and will probably continue to happen until I find a balance and a peace with all of this.

If you’ve missed me lately, know that I’m not avoiding you. And that more than I can adequately express, I miss you too.

A New Adventure

A few weeks ago, I made a very important decision. I’ve waited a little while partly because I wanted to get all of my ducks in a row, and partly because I didn’t want to have to deal with all of the emotions that go into this change. I’m ready now, I think, but even if I’m not, it’s time to share: I’ve accepted a teaching position with Alachua County Public Schools and won’t be returning to Westwood Hills in the fall.

This was actually a really tough decision to make. I have great coworkers at WHCS and I adore my students. (Yes, I realize I wouldn’t have the same kids in the fall since I wouldn’t be switching grades. There’s a huge difference, though, between seeing a child every day in morning assembly and possibly never seeing them again. I’m allowed to be sad about this.) SBAC is a better opportunity for my teaching career and the bottom line is, it’s where I think I’m supposed to be.

As strange as this may sound, thank you to all of the people (students, coworkers, and parents) who made this decision hard. You are what is good about WHCS, and what I will miss. And thank you to all of the people who love me enough to pray for me and listen to me lament making the decision that is right for me. I appreciate you. A lot.

With hope,
Kyla