I should be at work now preparing for my student’s return to classes next Monday. I should be doing my job. The job I’ve had for nearly 22 years. But I’m not. I’m at home. I’m at home because I’m worn out. I’m burnt from it all. Twenty two years of dealing with young people who have become disengaged and disillusioned with mainstream education. Young people who have not fit in. Young people who demand extra care and attention.
I both love and hate my job. I love the amazing relationships we build with some of these kids. I love it when they really get what we are trying to teach them. I love seeing some of them grow and thrive in front of our eyes. I love the comraderie, the laughs, the subject I teach.
But I’m exhausted from the constant challenging behavior, the extra needs teenagers have these days, the lack of support we have, the constant changes implemented by management. I’m tired of being treated like the lowest of the low. Of constantly feeling undervalued and unwanted.
I suffer with my mental health and boy have I felt it over the last few years. My job has been the number one stressor in my life for so long now and it’s time I did something about it.
So I’m at home and I’m delighted to be here. I am super privileged to be able to take a year off work and have a job to return to. I am so lucky to be able to afford to take this time out to work on myself so I can rebuild my resilience and try to find that old sense of optimism I used to have in the early days and not the cynicism that drips out of me now.
I’ve written before about how much crochet helps me. It gives my mind a break from the stressful thoughts. It forces me to focus on the present moment. Try counting stitches while your mind wanders- you will end up frogging, I guarantee it! So obviously crochet is going to be a major component of my year off work. I want to make all of the things! There are so many patterns to try, so much yarn to squish, so many people to make things for!
BACK TO COLLEGE
In reality I’m taking this career break to return to college part time to persue a Degree in Counseling and Psychotherapy. I’ve always wanted to help others, like I have been helped through tough times in the past. Doing this degree will also help me learn how to mind myself and hopefully avoid getting burnt out in the future. Who knows, it just might be the start of a whole new career…