Day by day, I’m feeling more like myself again. I’m on the list for a few schools as a substitute, but had to turn down some days due to a massive sinus infection last week. I’m actually beginning to come to terms with not teaching for a while … until I can count on my body to cooperate reliably … so I’m looking at other jobs. I’m being pretty picky in my search, and I’m still able to find places that will work with my situation. It’s pretty encouraging, but it’s also intimidating.
I’ve been a lot of things in my years; babysitter, sleepaway camp counselor, berry picker, hardwood floor gopher, engineering assistant, writing center tutor, art director, German tutor, teaching assistant, nanny, research assistant, receptionist, medicare billing specialist, photographer’s assistant, ballroom dance studio coordinator, bank teller, public health educator, project manager (oh I hated that job), substitute teacher, middle school teacher, summer school teacher … and maybe a few more I’ve forgotten.
I have a wide variety of skills (technology, teaching, writing) and interests (natural disasters, true crime, cultural identities), I like to be around people throughout my workday, I have a heap of experience working with kids from fourth grade to middle school in multiple different settings, I’m well-liked by students, parents, and peers in the workplace, but I’m sick.
I’m beginning to understand that I can’t be SuperWoman, someone else already has that job. I’m beginning to understand that I can give the best of me in everything I do. I’m beginning to understand that because I live with a chronic illness, I must take care of me first sometimes. I’m beginning to understand that those who love me don’t feel burdened when I ask them for help. I’m beginning to understand I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was, but I’m sick.
My skills, my interests, my history, they don’t matter much when I can’t be reliable as an employee. I lose heart in myself when I don’t do well, and if I can’t do well at full speed, perhaps I need to do well at three-quarter speed. I’ve at least got to move forward.