As of tomorrow, I have three weeks left of the BEd. program. Now seems as good a time as any to reflect back on this year. I may have more to add later, but I've come to some realizations and I don't think those will change.
When I was a little girl, I loved school. I've always loved school. My grandmother still tells stories about how she was the bus driver, my sister was the student and I was always the teacher. My grandmother also became a student once she'd finished driving the bus. I was 4 years old. When I was in grade 12 and applying to university, I still wanted to teach and I applied to the faculty of education. All throughout my university career, it remained clear that I was going to be a teacher. I never doubted it. I've always been the person people turn to for help with their homework (except math... they knew better). I've always been the most sought after proofreader. I've always been the one who's notes get photocopied and studied before tests. I've always been the last minute cram session leader, teaching others little tricks to remember materials. And then this year happened.
You'd think that after all that, that teacher's college would seem like a good place to be. Well, I'd have to say no to that. I think this has probably been one of the worst years of my life. I could write a list of all the things I hate about the faculty and about all the rules of teaching. I won't, but it would be very easy. The things about being a teacher that I've enjoyed can be counted on one hand. Yes, they are generally weighted heavier, but there are a few things that weigh more.
I discovered this year that there's no way that I can be happy teaching a regular class. I love the teaching part. I love the kids. But it's taken too much. I had a breakdown yesterday, the first in a long time, and once I'd calmed down, I couldn't believe how long it had taken me to finally lose it. I've been holding back so many thoughts and feelings and ideas this year. I've been reining in parts of myself and acting counter to my nature for nearly a year. I couldn't believe how angry and frustrated I actually was. It's kind of funny now (it wasn't yesterday) but poor Angela was just sitting there watching me ramble, not making any sense. There was so much going on in my head that I wasn't even speaking in logical, let alone complete sentences. Angela might as well have been out of the room for how coherent I was being. I'm pretty sure that any job that reduces me to that (no matter how well I can do it) isn't for me.
So, once that realization occurred, I started crying and freaking out again. Because now of course, the career I'd thought I would have for my entire life is very clearly not a career I can do while maintaining a healthy mental state. I'm now in the land of aptitude tests and questions. I've been speaking to professors and asking them what the hell I can do with my life. I've never not had a plan before. It's scary and also... intriguing. Either way, it always comes down to one question: What do you want to do.
I don't know. I really don't. So that's my mission now. Uncovering potential careers.
Being a grownup sucks.