I currently work three jobs. I work as a one on one teacher for a boy with autism, I sell Mary Kay, and I work for a local rental company. Sometimes, especially this week, I wonder why.
Why do I run myself ragged? Why do I work so hard for people who don’t seem to notice? Why do I take what little free time I have and fill it with more work?
Look at the picture above. Since I moved out of my parents place, I’ve never had anything like this before. I’ve never had a place where I can truly call it my own. I’ve never had a place that was always clean, taken care of, or respected. I’ve never felt safe.
I work my ass off for the things that I have. Even with everything I’m doing things are still tight due to health concerns, school loans, and unexpected expenses. Nothing will ever be easy and that’s okay, but life never ceases to test your abilities.
I just accepted ANOTHER job. That’s right…. four. I will be working four jobs now. Why not add driving a school bus to the resume right?!
What was I thinking?! Well, I was thinking that with this additional job I will pay off my student loans in four years. In one year I could pay off my car. In three years I could have a decent down payment for a new house to call my own rather than an apartment. (Each item has the extra money designated strictly to that one item)
Don’t call me lazy. Don’t say I don’t care. I do care. I care too much. I care too much about everything I do on a day to day basis. I want to be secure. I’m so thankful that I am surrounded by people who think that I am capable of doing these things. I need to learn to see what they see in me.
I’ve been so transparent about the idea that having my own classroom is not for me. I love what I do. Yes, it only impacts one child, but that one child has made more leaps and bounds than I ever thought was possible. That one child… well, he has opened my eyes to a whole new world. He has taught me more than I ever thought possible. Every day is a new adventure and I’m so unbelievably grateful for that. I can wake up every day excited to go to work to see what his next breakthrough will be. Sound familiar? It should. It’s the same thing you have with your 20-30 kids, except for I can see all those wonderful moments like I’m looking through a microscope. I didn’t accept this job for the money. I accepted it because I felt called to do it and it’s where my heart truly is. The money means nothing. It’s never a promised thing. What is promised is the joy of that child who discovers what they are truly capable of.
#grateful #stillateacher #teaching #paraeducator #bestjobever
So I’m going to admit something I haven’t even admitted to my counselor.
I often wonder just how many people would miss me if I was gone. How many would notice? Would it matter? I can think of maybe 7 people who would truly care. The others… well, they would be great at caring until the funeral, but would be gone after that.
I’m so tired of working so hard. Working on myself and my health needs. I’m so tired of working myself to the point of sickness because I’m so exhausted. I’m so tired of seeing my goals on the edge of the horizon, to have them ripped away time after time. I’m so tired.
No matter what I do I’m never good enough. I’m either too vocal or I’m too silent. I could be silent, but be in the room while something was said and yet it’s my fault.
At what point in my life did I become the bartering ram? When I try to stand for myself I get persecuted. The only people that don’t are the only ones I know would be impacted if I disappeared tomorrow.
I used to cut. Only two people knew that before I typed it here. Instead of cutting I now pinch myself to the point of bruising. That’s easier to explain than a cut mark. It’s nice to know I do still feel pain, but why have I started to feel so numb again?
It doesn’t matter what I do, or how hard I work. I’m never good enough for most people. Never. It’s always “why didn’t you get your own classroom,” “why aren’t you working your Mary Kay business more”. It’s never enough.
They don’t see that most nights I lay in bed, starring at the empty wall, trying to find my way back to reality while my brain is telling me my world is falling apart around me. They don’t see the tears I cry. They don’t see the many times an hour I zone out while crunching numbers to make sure that everything is going to be okay.
No one understands me. I’m so tired of fighting…
While I was waiting for my appointment yesterday I was sitting in the waiting room. I had been playing on my phone, but I finally decided put it down. I noticed there were four other people in the room, but every single person had their nose in their phone. It made me realize just how truly disconnected we are from the people around us in our everyday lives, yet I bet you can tell me about what’s happening to Bobby Jo in Florida who you haven’t seen since high school.
I couldn’t take the silence anymore and I noticed the woman sitting next to me had these adorable boots on. At this point one person had left and there was four of us left in the room. All it took was one compliment towards her boots and three of the four of us had a great conversation that in a time span of 8 minutes went from talking about shoe shopping with her to talking with the guy on the other side of me about shopping at Cabela’s and then the three of us talked about our favorite football teams for the remainder of the time.
It’s so simple to connect with people once the technology is down. In our world today we are so connected to every single person around the world, yet we are so disconnected from those who live in our areas. I love technology, but I do hate how disconnected we have become from the people around us because of it.
Albert Einstein once said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”
Sadly that is about to become the world we live in. Our phones control us. We are so easily influenced by what we read on Facebook or twitter, that people are losing touch with our true reality. Propoganda is everywhere we look on our phones, and guess what, we all fall for it at one time or another.
I challenge you to put your phone down for an hour and just enjoy the people you have around you. Enjoy your husband or wife without your phone. Enjoy you friends you’ve surrounded yourself with and get to know them better.
Don’t let technology push away the people who are all around you every day. Our love stories start with “she swiped right” now instead of “he bumped into me at the supermarket and we started talking”, or “I saw her from across the room and I knew I had to talk to her”. Cleanse yourself of the need to never put down your phone.
I can’t tell you have many times I almost gave up in 2015. It wasn’t just school though. December of 2015 I was going to go in and drop out of school so I could get a full time job, maybe two, and focus on trying to stay above water when it came to the finances. The end of November and December I honestly did the bare minimum it took to get passing grades because the rest of my time was spent applying for jobs.
I hated and still do hate how hopeless I felt. Going to food banks and asking people for the essentials was the worst feeling in the world. Knowing that I couldn’t help provide for the family made me feel ashamed.
2016 is almost over and I look at just how far I’ve come.
I graduated from Eastern! I kept pushing with the help of those around me and I accomplished my dream.
I was promoted at my summer job. They’ll never know just how thankful I am for the opportunities they have given me since I started there in 2013.
I accepted a para position which I am loving! Watching him with his little victories is more rewarding than I ever thought possible.
I finally got my butt in gear and I started making something of an opportunity I had sitting right in front of me.
My family has stood by me while I sit and panic about the circumstances I’m in and they’ve reassured me it will be okay. Honestly though, I can listen to it all day long and sometimes I don’t truly hear it.
I’ve been posting about Mary Kay a lot lately on my personal page, but by running my own Mary Kay business, I know everything will be okay. I know it will work out and I know that the $$ doesn’t have to be an issue anymore.
Sorry for the long rant, but I’m so proud of the things I’ve accomplished and so grateful what this year has shown me in my family, friends, and most importantly, myself.
It took me a long time to realize I had anxiety. The depression on the other hand… well, I had known about that for many many years. That started in seventh grade when the bullying was beginning and then I lost my Grandfather on top of it. I struggled a lot throughout my school years, but with the help of my friends I made it through.
When the divorce happened my anxiety was out of control, but I would hide it. I would lock it away and let it eat at me like crazy. I was falling apart. Most thought it was because of the divorce, but it wasn’t. It was because of the inner battle I had going on within my own head. Everything became a chore. Part of that was because of the emotional and mental abuse I had taken for so many years and I was slowly waking up to just how bad it was.
I couldn’t cook myself dinner without going in to a panic. I couldn’t clean my room or what area of the house was considered mine, because I didn’t want to face it not being good enough. I had been put down so many times for so long that I had forgotten what it felt like to have confidence within myself. I over thought everything I did. Absolutely everything. It was miserable and I kept trying to hide it from the people who were closest to me.
One day my friend asked if I had ever gone to counseling. I hadn’t and I had no idea what it would be like, but when he said that I had realized just how unfair to him I had been by unloading all my worries and stresses on him. Throughout my time in counseling I started to become more self aware. I started to realize how much damage had been done and it was when I had finally became aware of what had really been going on. I remember breaking down in tears realizing that while I had been trying to help others I was neglecting myself and my own well being.
I’ve been out of the situation for almost 11 months, but I still struggle daily. I doubt myself constantly, but I continue to remind myself just what I have accomplished in such a short amount of time. What I’ve come to realize is that what has truly helped me is admitting that I had the anxiety. By admitting it was there I’ve been able to stand up for myself. It’s not an “in your face” way, but more of a “right now it’s just too much and I can’t handle that right now” kind of way. I’ve been able to vocalize to people when I’ve had enough and I can feel it’s becoming just too much.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t always have to be strong. You can rely on people around you whether it’s your parents, your siblings, your friend, or someone at school or work. You have a support team and it is okay to rely on them when you need them.
Don’t worry, I know 2016 is almost over, but if you knew what kind of year I’ve had it would all make sense.
To start off, my name is Brittany. I’m a 24 year old Para-educator with a teaching certificate and endorsement in middle level mathematics. I was married in 2013 and divorced in 2016. I suffer from anxiety and depression, but I thrive on the positive things this life has to offer. I’ve learned a lot about myself since December and I hope in some way that this blog will help someone else.
Now, let me tell you a little bit about my story…
The end of 2015 was the worst year of my life. December 11 I had to put my best friend of over 11 years down. He was the best dog a kid could ask for and the pain is as fresh today as it was the moment I felt his body go limp in my arms as he collapsed while I held him through his final moments.
On top of that my husband left me (don’t worry. It was the best thing to have happened). I’m so thankful he did and while his timing was selfish I’m almost thankful, because I don’t know if I could have survived the loss of Boyer in the mental state I was in.
December 13,2015 is when my husband told me it was over. December 14 is when I packed a bag and took my valuables and moved out at his demand. Before you feel sorry for me, I want you to realize just how much of a blessing it was that he left. Moving back in to my parents house was the first day that I had felt safe in a long time. It was the first time I had gone home and heard encouraging words instead of insults and slams against who I was as a person. It was the first time in a long time that I had gone home and had absolutely no fear that one day that wall may become me against his fist.
The hardest part about the divorce wasn’t that I lost my husband, or that he left me. The hardest part was the fact I had broken my wedding vow. For years I was trying to fix something that couldn’t be fixed. You can’t fix something that the other person doesn’t care about and that is what I was trying to do. I never once did anything for myself, but I did it for the vow. For over a year I had been thinking to myself about divorce, but I didn’t have the courage to take the stand and leave.
You may be wondering just where the “New year, new me” comes from. Well… it’s quite the list, but it’s a valuable one. Since the moment I left that house my life began improving. Here’s a small list of the things I accomplished since that day.
•moved out of my home
•stood up to my ex
•filed for divorce
•passed my certification tests
•accepted a Math is Cool coaching position
•was accepted into the student teaching program
•turned in my mathematics portfolio
•divorce was finalized
•sold my home
•completed my EDTPA
•PASSED my EDTPA
•graduated from college
•received my state certification
•bought a new car
•was promoted at work
•received a raise
•got a new job in the teaching field!
•found myself again
•most importantly, I found my courage and my strength
When I list it out, I have so much to be thankful for, and that is just the last 11 months. Those are only the giant victories too. There are so many others that I didn’t list that it’s hard to believe that’s all happened since December 13, 2015.
Not only did I accomplish all of that, but I found the love of my life just 2 months after he had left. I found someone who lets my personality shine. Someone who accepts my flaws for what they are and helps me push through the anxiety and the depression. Someone who enjoys doing the things I want enjoy doing, and someone who just enjoys the real me. For once I know what it feels like to be loved and that’s an amazing feeling, but that’s for another day.
I want this blog to help someone. One day I want someone to read it and know that they can make it through anything. That no matter what life throws at you, it’s how you handle it and come out on the other side that matters.
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about leanrning how to dance in the rain. -unknown