Today has been an amazingly, fantastically bizarre day. It began alright… better than alright, actually. I slept over at a friend’s house. Well, slept may not be the best verb, but there were multiple attempts to sleep. Instead of actual sleep there was some video game playing, a bit of drinking, and I distinctly remember watching Amelie amidst the other non-sleep related activities.
The result: I’m tired today. More than just tired, exhausted! Like took a nap in a Wal-Mart parking lot exhausted (true story).
Meanwhile, I took a personal holiday day to figure out what I’m doing with my life. There’s been modification to my resume (and submitting said resume to potential new schools), an adventure at the library, working out some financial stuff (as in trying not to lose all my stuff), all topped off with an interesting discussion with a lovely gentleman from Bristol (England, not Tennessee).
Said young gentleman is backpacking across America. He’s seriously doing that thing you see in TV and movies where the hero just takes off and decides to visit various places, following the wind… or the whims of the people he meets. Apparently, today’s adventure (for our new hero friend) involved going to a gun range for the first time in his life (something I have yet to experience) with a couple he met last night while experiencing the Houston night life.
I’m a bit jealous of that kind of freedom. The spontaneity to just grab your shit and go wherever. He’s just about convinced me that I should take a few months and just…go.
There are, in theory, ways to do just that, so perhaps I’ll look into it.
Either way, the point of today’s post was to discuss my wondrous adventures today and the fact that even though everything seems to be falling apart, I do see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Feels like I say that a lot. And perhaps I’m lying to myself about it, trying to convince myself, but I think I see some of the signs lining up.
The frustrations with the new school have left me questioning my ability to teach again, but when I discuss it with people, almost unanimously, they all tell me that it sounds like my way of teaching is just better suited for college, or at the very least a higher level than what I’m currently teaching.
Being told by observers of my class that my “lecture” style and format are on par with the newest methods (or new to the local district anyhow) leads me to believe that teaching is my calling.
But being scolded for my “lackadaisical” classroom management, because I expect the students to be responsible for their own learning, always fills me with a feeling of disgust with my chosen profession, and thus disgust with myself.
I find myself feeling this level of contradiction inside on a regular basis, and the attempts to fix it exhaust me, causing me to waiver in my resolve about my job, hell, my life in general! This week alone I’ve hoped to find some sort of reset button easily a dozen times.
The Boy has been pretty instrumental in keeping me grounded when these feelings arise. Part of me finds this surprising, as he was also pretty instrumental in creating pretty intense feelings of self-doubt in me before, but, for the most part, it feels like this evolution of our relationship (generic term, not romantic) is how we should have been all along. He’s become someone with whom I can trust my innermost secrets, and he gives really good advice… when I give him the opportunity to do so.
For instance, with my latest round of self doubt, he pointed out that the people who mattered were the ones telling me that I was doing things the better way, while it was the people whose opinions didn’t matter that were being naysayers. He even tried to “gracefully back out” of the discussion because he couldn’t understand why I was listening to their opinion at all.
I had to really think about that one. Why was I listening to those people? Why did their opinion matter at all?
The best thing I could come up with was that those were the people I saw on a regular basis and it’s uncomfortable to feel hated by one’s peers, especially if you’re a people pleaser (which I decidedly am).
People keep asking me what it is that I want to do, and while I don’t always have an answer for that, I do know where I want to be: Houston.
I really like Houston. I like the feel of the place. I like that it has this heterogeneous atmosphere that I think depicts what it means to be American: the idea of mixing and blending cultures and classes so that each place/person/experience is unique.
So, I went looking to find a job back in the city, as opposed to a good hour’s drive away.
If I’m honest, I’ve been looking since Spring Break. The new school has just a few too many problems: too many administrators who are unwilling to
take responsibility make decisions, too many rules, and yet too few standards. Instead of feeling like I have the freedom to do things my way, I feel like the lack of structure (and thus lack of consequences) makes me anxious. I, like my students, require a bit of consistency to feel safe in my environment. My old school felt like a prison due to all it’s rules and red tape; this one feels like a madhouse of shifting priorities and structures.
As I said, this led to quite an adventure. First and foremost, there was last night’s fun time. And what a time it was! I haven’t had that much fun in a while, nor felt that…not special precisely, but just generally comfortable. It was like that feeling of being home again for the first time in a really long time. Not that where I was last night was in anyway my home, but it was a place where I feel…safe.
Don’t mistake me, it’s not that I don’t feel safe with my roommate, but she and I have discussed that our little neighborhood isn’t exactly Mayberry!
Plus, while I live there, it’s never been my home. None of my stuff is there, and it’s not organized in the way I would arrange things. That’s not a negative to my roommate, just we decorate and arrange things differently.
Thus being at the home of a friend who has helped me to rediscover my inner strength while letting me relax (and not feel like I’m shirking some unknown responsibility while relaxing), and that was back in the city that I love, was pretty awesome!
Then, after my little Wal-Mart nap (see above), I went to the library to edit my resume and print it out. While there (and waiting for it to open), suddenly two police vehicles showed up, parked really close to my car (with the expired inspection sticker), and began questioning the woman who had somewhat randomly moved to the curb near my car nearly 15 minutes prior.
Apparently said woman had called the cops…claiming she’d been raped outside the library. Now, I’m not generally one to make light of rape (it’s a very serious subject, after all, and not to be laughed at), but if she was raped, it was the quietest rape I’ve ever been witness to, which, surely, I would have been witness to it as she arrived after I did.
It took nearly an hour to work out the actual details of the event, and it turns out she was bipolar and had quit taking her meds.
People, don’t stop taking your meds. Nothing good ever comes of it!
Also, don’t cry rape if there was none. It tends to make things worse in general for everyone.
But I must give credit to the Houston PD. They questioned everyone and looked at surveillance footage and even called in a supervisor to make sure she was crazy before they discounted her claim. They even talked about taking the two (yes two) men whom she claimed raped her into the “station” just to be sure.
Then she accused one of the officers of rape because of how he looked at her and they realized she was nutty.
The rest of the day was relatively boring, until I met our new young hero from Bristol. I don’t expect he’ll come up again in conversation (unless to be remembered as an inspiration…you know, on the off-chance I decide to up and just go), but he was definitely an interesting young man. He spoke to me of what his impression of Americans was so far, and apparently we’re much nicer than expected…even the New Yorkers! We also discussed how his feelings before taking this trip were the same as mine about my life: this idea of “what now?” He made quite a few valid points about why I should just drop everything and go on holiday abroad, but I don’t think that’s really where I’m headed.
Though I reserve the right to change my mind; after all, I have had several friends around the country offer to let me visit them over the summer…
Side note: I did have a pretty lengthy feeling of deja vu while talking to him. I generally take those as good signs, even if they are just a “glitch in the Matrix.”
Overall, not as productive a day as I’d hoped, but I did take care of some things of importance, and as it was the first truly positive day (as in nothing bad happened to me) in a long time, it’s helping me to feel like I don’t need to be rescued from my life anymore, similar to the woman in this song: Rescue, by Yuna.
This artist has become one of my new favorites, and today’s post title comes from this song, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.