Fun fact: I've sat at this computer almost every day for over three years, and I've hardly read any of the stuff I've written after it was written.
I write it. I edit it. I hit Publish. And then that's about the last time I look at it, unless I'm looking for a specific post.
So, when I saw that today I'm supposed to write about what my life was like this month last year, it felt kinda weird going back and reliving some of those memories.
This time last year, I was a hot ball of mess. I was stressed to the max about finding a job. I was trying to finish out my last few weeks of school working as a teaching assistant, hoping and praying with everything inside of me that it would be my last few weeks working as a teaching assistant.
Rather than give a play by play for the entire month... I'm going to go back to May, 2012 and provide a few highlights from each week. Fun, right?
May 1st - 7th:
I was still on my weight loss kick. Not being that successful, but I was trying. I make several comments about how stressed I am about trying to find a job, and how it affects my ability to focus on my weight loss. Story of my life, really. There's usually something stressful playing on my mind that interferes with my weight loss efforts.
On May 3rd, I had a job interview with the district I was working in. It was a district wide interview, meaning I got interviewed by random principals who graded me on my chances of being referred for open positions in the district. I have no idea how I scored... but guesses are, not very high. Definitely not my best interview because I was so nervous I just rambled on and on. Thinking back now, I don't remember a thing about the interview its self. I do remember leaving and sitting in the parking lot for several minutes crying like a baby.
Towards the end of the week, I was an emotional mess. I cried several times. I prayed. I asked for signs and guidance that I was on the right path, and that I could make it through the turmoil life was throwing my way. It was a dismal end to the week... but not really out of the ordinary for what I'd been encountering for almost a year before.
May 8th - 14th:
At the beginning of this week, I received an offer for an interview in a school within the district I was currently working. For some reason, I really felt like the signs and guidance I'd asked for was coming to light. I felt confident, and started to feel a little better about what was coming my way.
We had a spirit week at work, and on the day of my interview it was 80's day. I got all dressed up and had a blast being silly for the kids - which is something I'm really good at. That afternoon, I had to make a quick change in to interview attire to head to the interview that I thought was going to change my life.
The interview was OK, but I didn't walk away near as confident as I walked in. I somehow let it go, and finished out the week. It was Teacher Appreciation Week going on at school, so I had a lot of stuff to keep my mind off of job hunting. Kinda. Not really.
I celebrated Mother's Day the way I do, by writing a post about how awesome it is to be a mother. I finished out the week not feeling very well. Kinda how I feel this year... because of allergies.
May 15th - 21st:
On May 15th, I received a phone call that I really didn't think that much about. It was from a school in Missouri that wanted me to interview with them. It was so far off my radar of being anything but a fluke, I hardly even posted about it. Thinking back now, I remember that phone call...every second of it. It happened while I was on my lunch break in the teacher's lounge. I remember that it was the principal that called. I remember that she asked if I was interested in interviewing. I remember setting it up for the week after school got out for summer. I remember getting off of the phone and actually telling the teachers I was eating with that the interview would just be good practice. If I couldn't find a job in the district I'd worked in for a year, what kind of chances did I have getting a job in a different district let alone a different state?
The few days after that call, I focused on the last few days of school. I focused on getting ready to move to my mom's for the first month of summer break... because I agreed to move in to her house while they went to England so that I could take care of the house and her foster children. I remember how devastated I was finishing out the school year with no more interviews in the school district I was working in, and feeling hopeless about the one interview I had in Missouri.
Then, the last day of school came and went and I moved in to my parents' house. I was a little more relaxed at this point - only having been there a couple of days. That would soon change and by the end of the time at my parents', I was pulling out my hair. HA!
May 22nd - May 31st...even though the 22nd is the only important date:
May 22nd, 2012 was a day I'd been waiting on for almost 25 years of my life. It is a day that will go in my memory along with the only dates that I remember - my kids' birthdays. It was a day that would forever change my life, and I had no idea until the moment it happened.
On May 22nd, 2012, I drove to a tiny town in Missouri - right across the Arkansas border. I remember telling myself all the way there that this would be a great practice interview to think about some of the answers to questions where I just ramble on and on. I remember telling myself to just be myself - because there was no chance in the world that this school district was going to hire me. I didn't know a single person in the county. I didn't know a single person working at the school. And I had learned enough about hiring to know that unless you've got someone on the inside - the chances of getting a job in a school are slim to none.
I remember sitting in the office waiting for my turn. I remember the person in front of me leaving and getting the "We'll call you to let you know" spill as they were heading out...and laughing on the inside at how I'd be hearing those words in just a little while. I had already psyched myself up to not leave wondering and sitting by the phone waiting for a phone call... that would never come.
I remember walking in to the interview room and being greeted by two principals, an assistant principal, the superintendent of curriculum, and a 4th grade teacher. They were all nice enough, but my nerves kicked in straight away. I remember after the first question, basically hearing my death certificate signed.
"Tell us about yourself"
I go on to deliver the spill about being born in England, to be ripped from my home at 12 to move to the smallest, run down town in America.. a place I hated, where people made fun of me, and I wanted nothing more than to be taken straight home.
Then, the assistant principal turns to me and says "That's where I'm from".
OK, thanks for your time... I'll be leaving now.
But, that didn't happen. He laughed. They all laughed. They continued with their questions. They were genuinely interested in my answers. I felt my confidence rising again. I reminded myself to just be myself, let them see who I am... because even though I won't get this job, I need to act this way in all of my interviews.
And then it happened. I was told right there and then that they wanted me. That they thought there was a place for me in their county. That they were willing to offer me a job right there on the spot.
Key heart wrenching music, tears, hugs, and me almost collapsing.
And that's when it happened. I became a 4th grade teacher in a small school in Missouri. The school that didn't care about who I knew. The school that didn't care how hard I'd been trying to prove myself for the past year. The school that had known me for all of 30 minutes and that's all they needed to know.
And one year later? I know that I'm where I am supposed to be. I know that everything I went through to find a job was leading up to that point. I know that finding a job in a school that didn't know me and hiring me based just on what they heard was a thousand times better than getting a job somewhere because of who I know. It recharged my self worth. It made me realize that I really was born to teach... I just needed to find the right place to call home.
I found that place one year ago, this month.