Friday, June 17, 2016


I've spent the day doing my favorite favorite things.  I finished my first book of the summer.  Yoga.  Thai food (Chicken Mango Curry, my absolute favorite!).  Library.  Coffee shop.  Iced coffee and computer time.
I've got a mildly busy summer ahead of me, but I'm also glad for these couple weeks of almost no scheduled activities.  (A couple weeks is the perfect number, because if I go longer than a couple weeks with nothing to do, things get weird.)
At the end of June, I'll be going on a roadtrip with Superman to visit friends in Minnesota.  Then, we are going to Chicago for my birthday.  Perks of an Army Wife. :)  He's gigging there for the 4th of July, and I'll be tagging along.  Woot!  I love Chicago!  Then I'm playing a musical at Topeka Civic Theatre (The Little Mermaid!) for the month of July and part of August.  (I love musicals, and its been way too long since I was apart of one!!!)  Somewhere in there, I hope to get offered the part-time pet-sitting job I applied for, and will be doing training for that.
And then it will be time for school!  I'm excited about the piano accompanist gig.  I know its somewhat of an odd career change, but I'm thrilled. 
I don't have that impending-doom feeling that I always get when I think about the summer ending.  I'm not spending my time prepping curriculum like I've done the past several years on my summer afternoons.  Instead I'm exclusively reading books and drinking coffee. 

Every once in awhile I think about how I'VE QUIT TEACHING, and it makes me feel weird.  This has been my identity for almost a decade.   A couple years ago, a friend of mine also took that leap, and I felt horrified inside, thinking "I could never do that!  Its too much apart of who I am.  There's nothing else I care about." 
It still makes me feel weird.  But I know this is right.  I scroll through education articles in my newsfeed, and read and hear friends talking about teacher-stuff, and I'm just left with a shell of disgust for the profession.   I just can't even.
I think about all the complex issues that went into my decision, and I realize the most influential one is contributed to "a bad class".  Every teacher has had them.  But mine Broke Me.  They started out as a great class.  They were amazing and I was so excited about their future.  They were quick, funny, kind, curious, skilled, coachable, resilient, and then somehow over the course of 2 years, under my supposedly-exemplary teaching, they became the most difficult human beings I have ever had to be in charge of.  And because they broke me, it was time for me to go.  I have lost all desire to ever be in charge of another human being ever again.  I will never forget that feeling of animosity that permeated my classroom everyday for a year due to a horribly bad combination of personalities, and resentment directed at me for not tolerating it.  As if the rest of the challenges weren't enough to stress a person out.  I just had enough.  Broken.

Maybe the broken teacher inside of me will heal someday and I'll go back to it.  Or maybe I won't.  Because this feeling I have sitting here, and I'm NOT experiencing soul-crushing dread at the thought of starting a new school year, is extremely convincing. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Life is good today!

I've experienced a lot of awesome things/changes in the past couple weeks.

1.  My House
Omg.  We moved in over memorial day weekend.  I.  Love.  This.  House.  By far the best purchase I have ever made. EVAR!!!!  There was a time there that I was worried we were going to lose it.  We made all our moving plans, and gave our notice on our rental and were scheduled to move out, and then this thing happened that was maybe going to screw all that up.  And as close as 5 days before the move, we were uncertain about having a place to move into.  And then everything worked out.  It was always fine.  I just worry way too much!
On our move in day, Superman and I happened to have tickets to the Zac Brown Band concert (his belated birthday present).  So we spent all day moving WAY TOO MUCH STUFF (time to purge!), and then dragged ourselves to the concert.  Totally worth it.  Zac Brown blessed our new home with his positive life messages.  And we ran into a friend, someone I'm convinced is my guardian angel.  (She was absolutely essential to my 2015 recovery.)  Took that as another blessing on our new home.

And I keep finding awesome surprises in our house.  There were the big perks we knew about before we signed.  And then little perks: like the glow in the dark stickers on our bedroom ceiling (not tacky ones), ones that look like we are sleeping under the stars; the heater in the master bathroom; the mudroom for the dogs; the awesome kitchen cabinets; the dimmer lights on most of the lighting.  The little things are important to me.  Its clear that we bought this house from good people.  Karma is real.

2.  My Job
I gave my notice at Northwest Middle School and I'm leaving teaching, perhaps for just a little bit, or maybe forever.  Not sure yet.  I have transferred, effective in August, to the Piano Accompanist position at F.L. Schlagle High School for the vocal music department (and 1 or 2 other schools, yet to be determined).  Its an hourly position.  Almost full time.  Full time benefits.  Sometimes irregular hours, depending on if its concert season or not.  I am thrilled to be using my music degree, and continue doing classroomy things but without all the responsibility.  I might absolutely love it and do it for awhile!  With my new free time and less responsibility, I am pursuing re-opening my private lessons studio, maybe doing dog-walking/in home pet-sitting (phone interview next week), and I'm researching freelance writing opportunities (not that I'm qualified to do that, but I'm reading up on it...!)  I went through quite a bit of turmoil making this decision, but after all was said and done, I have an intense feeling of RELIEF, and I know this is the right thing for me.

3.  Two more days of school left.
It has been bittersweet.  The staff and students of Northwest literally contributed to saving my life in 2015.  There are people and things that I will miss so much.  There are other people and things that I will not, hence the above relief.
I had my concert scheduled for last week and we ended up canceling due to the severe weather that evening.  It was a metaphor of my time there.  All prepared and organized and then forces beyond my control prevented the desired outcome.

So, I'm feeling incredibly lucky for all these changes as I sit on my amazing deck typing this post.  Life is good today!