Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Putting On a Happy Face

Dear Diary...

I consider myself a happy person.  Most of the time.  Sure, I have my moments where I sound like a crazy banchee, and I scream and get mad... but usually after a cup of coffee I'm all better.  There are times when things are said or done that make me upset, but I'm not a major dweller.  I can usually get over things pretty quickly.  Even knowing that I gained 30lbs last year, and that I had completely let myself go only caused me to feel mildly upset with myself.  Wait.  Let me rephrase that.  I'm very upset that I gained 30lbs last year, but I didn't use it as an opportunity to fall in to a dark place that made me cry or kept me constantly brooding.  That sound better?

Again, for the most part, I like to be a happy person.  Yesterday, however, I heard the words that automatically put a lump in my throat, made me want to scream from the top of my lungs, and crawl in to a dark place and never come out.  The words?  "Are you planning to start looking for a teaching job soon?"

Even though I tried to not make any resolutions this year, one thing I wanted to try was to not stress too much about finding a job.  Last year was probably one of the worst years of my entire life...and I've had many bad years in my life.  I've been through adolescent rebellion, teen pregnancy, and an abusive relationship.  I've been homeless and a single mother with barely enough money to make ends meet.  Despite all of that, I got through it all.  I got through it and took all of it as lessons learned.  In my mind, I needed the bad to better appreciate the good.

When I sit here and think about it, it's not fair to say that last year was the worst year of my life.  I also had my biggest accomplishments.  I graduated from university.  I received my diploma.  I received a teaching license.  All things to be very proud of.  Yet, how easy it is for me to forget those wonderful things once I start to think about the hell I went through with job hunting.  After hours of hitting the streets trying to meet with principles and get some interviews, I would come home and cry.  I would sit for hours in a fetal position wondering what I'd done that caused me to not even be given a chance.  I would go several nights in a row without sleeping.  After some of the hellacious things I've been though in my life, it was not being able to find a teaching job that put me into one of the darkest places I've ever been.

I can't go through that again.  I just can't.

But the truth is?  It's going to be inevitable.  Despite making the promise that I wouldn't put myself through that hell again - I have to if I want to ever achieve my dreams.  This isn't just about finding a job to pay the bills, this is about fulfilling a life long dream 25 years in the making.  Having my own classroom and teaching kids is all I've ever wanted from life, besides having a family.  I was one of those girls that planned her life before she finished her first year of elementary school.  I was going to be a mommy and I was going to be a teacher.  Period.  That's it.  That's what my life was going to be.  I'm half way there, but something inside of me won't let it rest until I get all the way there.

Yesterday, after being asked the question that tore away my insides, I just put on a happy face.  I nodded, because I was worried I'd cry if any words actually came out.  The nod symbolized my realization that yes, I'd be looking - again.  And since giving that nod, it's all I've thought about.

This morning I really started thinking about all of this, and while I don't plan on spending the next 8 months going on and on about how sorry I feel for myself and how frustrated I am that I can't even get an interview I know that there are going to be times where I start to feel those twinges of last year.  The same year that made me forget my weight loss efforts.  The year that made me go from a woman that felt like a million bucks after losing 88lbs to a woman who felt like a complete failure over not being able to finding my dream job and gaining 30lbs in the process. 

While I know that there will be some repeat of the devastation I felt from last year, I have to focus on something else.  This year is different.  At the end of the day, if I don't end up with my dream job - once again - I do have a job.  I'm in a school.  I'm teaching kids.  That counts for something.  I have something to fall back on this time around.  I'm not even going to think of how much of a financial strain I'll be placing on my family, once again, if I have to repeat this year again.  I'm not. 

Maybe, just maybe, if I try things the opposite way around this year, I might make more progress.  What do I mean by that?  Well, if I focus on my weight loss first and the job second, I might be able to put my energy in to pounding out my frustration with exercise rather than pounding it out with food.  I may be able to set an example within myself.  If I can focus on losing weight rather than focusing on rejection, maybe the rejection won't sting as bad when I'm receiving compliments over how great I look.  Maybe I won't feel so overlooked if I'm feeling great about how I feel both inside and out.  It's just a matter of flip flopping my mind.  Focus on the weight loss first, job second. 

Will it be easy?  Oh, heck no.  But, I'm not that kind of person.  Nothing ever really comes easy.  There has to be obstacles in my path before I can win the race....I just have to chose whether I face the obstacles head on or just give up.  I don't want to give up.  No, I won't give up.  2012 IS going to be my year that I make some serious changes.  Period.

Till next time. ;)


  1. I love that you don't give up. That's all that really matters. Too many settle. I'm glad you don't.

  2. You have no idea how much that simple comment means so much to me. To have someone who appreciates the fact that I never give up, and I don't "just be grateful for what I already have" is so refreshing to hear. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  3. Joanna, finding a teaching job is HARD! I know that from experience. But you will get through that process, in order to get to the main event: teaching in a classroom, as the actual teacher. That is a high! Keep believing! :))))


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