“In New York, they say you’re always looking for a job, a boyfriend, or an apartment. So, let’s say you have two out of three, and they’re fabulous. Why do we let the one thing we don’t have affect how we feel about all the things we do have? Why does one minus a plus one feel like it adds up to zero?” ~Carrie Bradshaw (Season 5, Episode 5)

Life according to my favorite show ever, Sex and the City. And though I’m no longer a New Yorker (I spent two years in the big apple), I can relate to that feeling of wanting it all, whatever “it all” may be. Ever since last Tuesday I’ve been trying to stay chill and go with the flow as I wait to hear back about my interview. Easier said than done.

I’m not writing this to whine or complain, but more to share my story since I suspect I’m not the only one struggling on the quest to find a fulfilling job or career.

A hipstamatic pic from yesterday’s walk during lunch

Here’s the short version of my story:

I graduated with a degree in education grades k-5 and high hopes of making a difference as a teacher. I taught for two years in an urban school, learning that life’s not fair especially for those born into such extreme circumstances. Poverty is a complicated issue and if there were easy answers the problem would be solved. I met so many loving people who really cared about the students and their families. I’m not going to get into the details about my first school, but it was mentioned in the Philadelphia Inquirer’s 7-day series on education, for which they won the Pulitzer Prize. (Click here for a brief summary.)

I saved this for a while, but then decided it wasn’t serving any higher purpose so I recycled it

I left to teach kindergarten at a city charter school one mile from my house. Days before the school year began I was told that the only position they had for me was middle school Spanish, take it or leave it. It was too late to find another job so I decided to try my best. It was a challenge from day one. Again, I don’t want to rehash all the details but this school was also mentioned in the Inquirer’s series, this time for questionable practices. It was tough and I felt so many emotions, including disappointment in myself for not being able to make it through the year. In the end, I just didn’t feel safe going to work anymore.

Green & dewy after the rain

Meanwhile I had signed up for yoga teacher training on the weekends (mostly just because I love yoga and wanted to learn more about it, plus I thought it would be fun to use at school). I ended up quitting my teaching job three days before yoga teacher training began. I was fortunate to live with M, who gave me a few months off before looking for my next gig. We decided maybe it was time to leave Philly (his job is in South Jersey, where’s he’s always kept a place to stay). At the end of summer I moved to New Jersey, started substitute teaching and worked at a wellness center part-time.

Now it’s May and I’ve found out that around these parts hundreds of qualified applicants vie for each open position. I was lucky to get an interview. I’m really hoping I get the job because I miss teaching. Even though I wasn’t cut out to make it long-term in an urban setting, I still very much want to have a meaningful career. And so I wait.

How do you stay calm when you are waiting for an answer?

I’ve been taking walks, getting fresh air, napping, practicing yoga, breathing and spending time with friends



Filed under Happiness

6 responses to “Waiting

  1. I commend you for your time in the urban schools, even if it wasn’t long-lived. Documentaries such as “The Lottery” and “Waiting for Superman” have given me some insight into the problems and challenges inner city schools face. My husband and I are also watching Season 4 of “The Wire” now, which centers on the Baltimore public school system. I know it’s TV, but I’m sure it is based in reality to a degree.

    When I am waiting to hear back from someone, I put on techno music and dance or just drum in my living room!

    • Thanks. When I was working there I didn’t even know how disadvantaged the kids really were/are. Now that I’ve seen what they have in a “regular” school (laptops, smart boards, computer lab), it’s really unbelievable.

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  4. oh my dear….! i’ve been having the exact same thoughts running through my head… if it’s not one thing , it’s the other… and that very same quote from sex and the city has been running through my head! everything always happens for a reason, but sometimes it’s hard to really feel that way! anyway, the right thing will come up for you, best of luck!

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