Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Waking Up to My Will

Serenity Series: March

"I've wanted to be a high school English teacher since I was 12."

I've been reciting this line for the past decade or so. This aspiration has driven my endeavors in university, travel, and then ultimately to graduate school. I've recited this line in application essays, interviews, blog posts, and Facebook statuses.

Last fall, I dove into a month-long interview process to work as a teacher assistant at a reputable charter school network. I did my best and surrendered the result to Krishna. Bam - I got my dream position. The principal and I agreed to try it out, see how things went. I was amazed and excited, thrilled to be so directly working and on the path of my lifelong aspiration.

My first days at the school were fascinating, and I was invigorated, inspired. Yes, yes!! This is what I want!

A couple weeks in, I began to feel conflicted. Many times I would come home and cry. Dread. My experienced was summed up in that word. I dreaded checking my work e-mail, I dreaded getting out of bed on days that I worked, I dreaded being at work.

True, I was very rarely engaged in work that related directly to teaching English and to working with students in meaningful ways. I often felt awkward, out of place.

During one particular meeting with the principal of my school, I was suddenly hit with the words: "I'm not meant to be a teacher. Not in this capacity."

That night I got down on my knees and sobbed and prayed to Krishna. Where do I go from here? What does this all mean?

Strangely enough, in the following days I felt lighter. I felt free. I felt as though I had finally broken free of a lifelong expectation that I had had of myself. Free of my history, free of that line that I had been reciting for over a decade in essays and interviews.

I shared with my supervisor my intention to leave the school, and she was understanding. I gave my notice of resignation to the principal, and she was kind and gave her blessings for me to continue on my way. So did all of the other teachers and staff in the building. My last day of work I experienced love and good will from everyone, including students.

I have felt deeply free the past couple weeks. I feel as though the world is open now, wide open. If I decide to work in a circus as a flame thrower, lovely! If I decide to pursue architecture, awesome!

If I decide to be a high school English teacher, wonderful!

Now I know that whatever I do pursue it is because I am using the God given free will of my heart and I would choose to say, "I've wanted to be a high school English teacher since this very moment." 

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