Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Sometimes I feel like I'm in the wrong profession. For one, i'm a whopping 23 years old. And I teach high schoolers. Full time. HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS. I just graduated from high school what, like 5 years ago? What on earth qualifies me to be back here and in charge no less?

And so then sometimes I feel like I don't fit in. I'm the youngest person on staff. Everybody is married with children, mostly. I mean, there are a few of us floaters that are in committed relationships and marriage is looming on the horizon line but not quite here yet. And you know, that's fine. There's nothing wrong with being the minority except when it comes to relating to your co-workers... But really, they are awesome and try to include me in things and drag me to lunch and ask me how I'm doing. It's nice.

But then there are bad days. Dudes, teaching is hard with a capital h. Yesterday was the roughest probably, in my history of teaching days (which is pretty limited, i mean, let's be honest). But still. You know what I did? I went home and cried and contemplated quitting my job and then I cried some more and felt like the worst teacher in the history of ever and wondered what the hell I'm even doing here and is this really what I want for my life? And Nathan was taking a stupid final for three hours and couldn't even text me back which just added to my already heightened emotions because I was lonely and exhausted.

It was gross.

Today things have been going much smoother and I don't feel like I want to flip tables and storm out of school anymore, so that's a definite plus to finishing out my Wednesday. But I still go back and forth in wondering if i picked the correct career.

Honestly, I love being in the classroom and working with students but there is a lot of outside work that just makes me crazy. They tell you to give it three years before you give up, but at this point in time I'm not sure if I want to. I fully reserve the right to let the remainder of the school year change my mind, so this assessment of my feelings is extremely tentative.

However, I have been thinking about what maybe I would do instead. Going back to school and getting my bachelor's in fine arts and then a master's in fine arts sounds like a good idea, but I'm not sure I'll really like it once I get there. I think I'm just enormously missing being a college student and the freedom that comes along with that - I felt like I could do anything while I was in school. The world was my oyster. And now I'm feeling a little...trapped, if I'm telling the truth.

Which scares me because I want to travel the world. I want to live overseas. I want to do something wild and crazy while I'm young and stupid. I don't want to be too scared to leave my job because there might be something better out there. I could go live in Italy and teach watercolor painting on the coast and go explore the Tuscan landscapes. I don't want to have things here holding me back. I want it to be okay for me to just pack up and go and do something extraordinary.

I don't want to be complacent and just accept my lot in life and never leave the road I've been travelling down. I want to go and experience life. In my heart is an urge to wander and I can't suppress it forever or it will kill me.

Look, I know I'm not a bad teacher, but we're all allowed to have bad days. And I know that I love teaching and that it's something I am good at. And I also know that my principal and my co-workers have my back, they're here for me to help me because they want to see me succeed. All I'm saying is that I have bigger dreams than being a high school art teacher for the rest of my life.

And that's a little scary, let's be real. But they say that if your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough.


  1. I love how you finished this. "If you're dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough.". That's something I've been thinking about a lot. I'm at the point in my life where I need to make decisions about my future, and I'm scared... big time. But I take that as a good sign ;).

  2. Any job that puts you in charge is scary. If you'd rather not be scared, quit teaching and go to work at McDonalds. But then again, you'll have no more chances to influence the next generation of artists nor will you have students who grow up and come back to tell you what a difference you made in their lives. I mean, nobody who eats at McDonalds will ever seek you out and tell you how waiting on them changed their life for the better. As gramps told your dad one time while he was complaining just as you are, "if you don't like what you're doing then get out of construction and go find an easy job where you don't have to think too hard." That shook your dad up to the point where he realized he loved construction and needed to dig in and become the wood artist he always wanted to be. You are arguing with yourself and that is always a lost cause. Just realize that everyone who is in the working field has good days and bad days, just like the big corporate giants do. Dig in your heels and set your mind to be the best art teacher that school every saw. And always remember the big plus that teacher's have: all summer off for traveling the world. Who could ask for more than that? Love, Oma

  3. Goodness gracious, love do I know exactly how you feel. Burnout is easy to achieve as a new teacher. I am getting there and I'm not officially a teacher yet. My day today was something akin to your yesterday. Worst ever!!

    That being said we totally are young and the world is still our oyster! We can do anything if we take that leap of Faith and follow our hearts. There's time. Though I have college fever, too. Everytime I leave that down I yearn a little more and it digs at my heart a little stronger. Especially this last go.

  4. Hey Nat! I totally get it... teaching.. I mean could we really have picked a harder career for ourselves?! I know teachers are highly under-appreciated, so here's the thing to keep telling yourself: What you do MATTERS. Don't let a horrible day get you down about the career choice, because I have a feeling you rock at that job. Chin up and keep moving with it =) In the meantime... maybe it's time to start a small savings for a trip you really want to take ;D

    P.S. I'm reading a book called "A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live" by Emily P. Freeman. I think you're at a perfect season in your life to pick this one up and read it.


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