The doing of real-life tasks and accomplishments that make you officially not a kid anymore (although you really have not been a kid for some time, but you liked to pretend)
That is now my life. I am beginning to “adult.” On Mother’s Day I purchased my first car on my own, a couple of weeks later I graduated college, and now I magically have bills and loan payments so courteously mailed right to me. Ah, adult life! And to think I always wished I received mail…
With graduation comes the most repeated questions in the history of any person who has graduated.
“What are your plans?”
“Do you have a job lined up?”
“Are you going back to school?”
I have been answering those questions much differently than I had imagined I would when I started college. Many of you know I have always had a desire to be a teacher and work with children. I definitely have a true passion for that. But first semester of my senior year (fall 2015), I completed a wonderful, challenging, and eye-opening student teaching experience. I worked in an incredible school with a hard-working teacher and supportive staff. I loved it. But there was more I had to admit to myself. Just like every late fall/early winter for the past 10 years, my Crohn’s disease took over. No matter how healthy a state I had helped my body get to, I was reminded of the true nature of this disease: my body works against itself.
I managed to only miss 2.5 days of student teaching and I was so grateful it was not during my two weeks of “take over,” when the students, lessons, discipline, etc. was all dependent on me. But it made me think about if I felt as awful as I did during my take over. What if it were a year later and I was a first year teacher? I would be spending every moment not teaching at home planning lessons, assessments, stressing over parent communication, and a boat load more. I knew teaching was a lot of work, but I found myself truly wondering if it was a career I could handle.
Having been a student up until now, a career always felt so far away. I did not wonder (or let myself wonder?) how I will keep up with the demands of teaching on my darkest days when just getting out of bed is an accomplishment. Alas, I came to the conclusion that at least right now, teaching is not what is best for me. At first, that thought sounded dreadful and scary. But now it feels like a weight is lifted off of my shoulders. I don’t have to be a teacher this fall. Maybe I will find a way down the line, but for right now I can relax. It’s my life and I am going to what is best for ME.
It’s a freeing type of feeling when you remind yourself that you have the power to make every small or large decision in your life. You live for you and no one else. When I remembered that my health and happiness were the most important aspects of my life, the decision was easy.