So how did a fantastically successful high school teacher (stop laughing) from Orange County find herself living in suburban Connecticut? Well, I’m glad you asked… oh, you didn’t ask? And you’re still laughing about the “successful teacher” part… that’s not nice.
I gave the quick and dirty in my inaugural post… I’m not going to give every single detail of my life thus far here, but I need to give some appropriate context to my current situation. I guess this could get lengthy… you have been warned.
Since 2005, I have worked for my high school alma mater. I started off as a secretary in the counseling office and worked my way into the classroom, first as a sub and then as a full-fledged teacher. From the time I set foot back on that campus in 2005, I felt I belonged in education. Looking back, I think I was looking for comfort and familiarity after a disastrous post-grad stint in Los Angeles (worked a terrible cubicle media job and kept myself in a painfully dysfunctional relationship).
Anyway… I loved teaching from the beginning. I had this wide-eyed (and pretty naive) optimism about it. I felt I had the opportunity to foster some good in the world. It was pretty awesome. And I adored my students. But it was getting harder and harder to be John Keating… outside of the classroom nothing was working right and subconsciously this spilled into the classroom. I had known for a while that I needed a change and in the Spring of 2010, I started looking for opportunities.
First I thought I’d apply to Master’s programs in English… incorrectly thinking I would remain a teacher for life. I labored over my Christmas break in 2010 on my applications. In the meantime, I barely had it in me to return to my classes. When the rejection letters started coming in, part of me was relieved. I had been looking for any excuse to leave Orange County… but this wasn’t right.
By a series of happy accidents I came upon a post-baccalaureate program at Columbia University where I could focus on pop culture (WHAT?!)… I applied and got in. I had no desire to live in New York City… but I couldn’t turn down this chance (educationally and personally). And thus began the complicated task of moving 3000 miles away from all that had been familiar to me for the last 20 years… selling all that I own and saying goodbye…
Of course, things never go as planned. I had to defer my registration at Columbia until January because I couldn’t get any financial aid (still working on that now unfortunately). I wasn’t prepared for the full time job hunt and apartments are hard to come by when you are jobless.
So here I am… staying with my sister and her family in beautiful and peaceful Connecticut. I’m eternally grateful to them for allowing me to stay here while I get things settled, but I never thought it would take this long. On a recent trip into the city (New York, that is… and it’s only 2.5 hours away by train), I had a moment of empowered clarity… I knew that I belonged there. It felt right. With so many questions left unanswered, it was nice to have some certainty. So now I’m stuck in limbo… all that I want is so close, but it feels very far away. It feels like I’ve been waiting for years for my life to start… but I have to wait just a little bit longer.
So is there more to this whole story of my life (la la la la)? Sure… but this is all you’re going to get for now…
Blog title song: “Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads