Saturday, January 20

Where am I, what am I doing now?

I just reconnected with a friend from the Rice Ultimate team. I sent her off a long message, mostly ramblings, so I thought they belonged here as well. ...

Thanks for the super long update. I will try my best to respond in kind. So yes, I am living in the Bay Area and I teach high school (public) in the Mission. It is simultaneously rewarding and heart breaking. The US public school system, especially in big cities and in very rural areas is in the shitter. I never imagined the levels of segregation. The number of parents who don't know how to be a parent and the disrespect that is being accepted of the students across all levels.

As for living in the Bay Area, I think I'm reaching saturation. For life as a teacher, I go to bed by 10 and am up before dawn. This is not the lifestyle of the Bay Area. So at times I feel as though I'm just paying a high premium to live in a place that I can't benefit as much from. However, the natural beauty and coastal access is definitely still alluring.

I am living with my beau. He is also a teacher at my school, we got together towards the beginning of last school year, thus we've been together just over a year. Living with him is almost too easy. We get along really well, but still question whether we have that burning passionate love. However, we both know we're not done with each other yet and may never be. We've both applied with a company that organizes job fairs for international schools and in February we're going to interview hoping that we'll find a school and country where we can continue to work together and live.

However, I don't know if teaching is sustainable for me, so I've also contemplated the "what else?" I've thought of opening a yarn/knitting/tea shop as I've become a knitting fiend and I love tea. But that would take many hours, stress and start up capital. So I've thought about returning to my very first job out of school (as they recently called and told me they want m back for twice what I'm earning now) for a few years to save up some money. But then again, maybe teaching in a different environment would be sustainable and I'd still have all the vacation time - the biggest perk in teaching.

... I've also toyed with the idea of grad school, a masters in math or a PhD in math education. But not knowing where I want to end up it's hard to commit to. The boy has his whole life planned out and I just can't imagine that, but at the same time, it would be a load off to know exactly what I wanted to do.

For my opinion, I see nothing wrong with flagging the professional stuff and working in an outdoors store. However, going back to retail means that you'll usually be working the hours that most people are out playing. I think the harder part is that as we get older, it's harder to get back into the professional world once you leave it.

Like you my plan is generally to go with the flow. I don't really stop to ask how long that's sustainable, but William often does of me. I still seem to have this idea that if I don't like what I'm doing I can just go off and try something else. I know that I want to be doing something where I'm not working 12+ hours a day, but also not selling off my soul wholesale, though teaching I feel like I'm having my soul stripped away piece by piece.

Anyway, this is supposed to be about a plan for you. Basically I have no guidance, except that maybe not all jobs can be satisfying, but it's the life outside of the job that can be.

> Its been an educational
> experience seeing how relationships evolve—almost
> sinusoidal in passion and frustration and
> contentness but constant in friendship and
> commitment and love. I’m not sure if this is
> “normal”—would be interested to know of other
> people’s experiences and if we are ‘just like
> everyone else’?

Your relationship sounds "normal" to me. It's often that I think the boy and I are an anomoly, in that the moments of frustration are rare. I've always heard that relationships are "work" but I don't feel as though I work very hard at mine. But also, outside of the bedroom, I don't think I would use the word passion to describe our relationship, which at times has me concerned.

So I think in our own ways, we all question our lives as being normal or not and often for me "is this what real life is?" Yes! Job hopping, city hopping, partner having this is all part of it. At times I wonder if I'm driving or just along for the ride, suprised at the next destination. But maybe that's all part of it...

Alright, there you have it. The wanderings of my mind. I hope life continues to take you down the path of adventure. So nice to "chat" dear friend!



greta said...

hi emily,

i saw your post on the "what's your job in real life" thread, and then linked to your blog. hope you don't mind.

i also hope you don't mind if i comment on your passion situation. i am married to my partner in life and we have two wonderful little boys. i am a believer that this whole romantic notion of marriage, and passion-ful days, is not all that realistic. not to say that a marriage should be passion-less, but the passion isn't what will sustain the marriage.

i know my husband has the same goals in life as i...i know that he has the same commitment to this thing called marriage and family as i...i know that he will wake up at night with a crying baby, and will be a true partner in rearing our boys. i know that he'll pitch in whenever and where ever i need him to. there's more, but i think you get my point.

have fun with william! and, i'm sure with time, you'll just know.

i'll enjoy seeing where your travels take you!

take care of you, greta

Katherine said...

Hi Emily,
I'm with Greta--the passion thing is hard to sustain but good manners and good will toward one another can carry you through the hardest of times. I've been married four times--for twenty-one years to my present husband--the one with good manners and good will--and I highly recommend it for the long haul.
Your career musings sound familiar too--I've had more of them than husbands--but knitting is a constant. I look forward to meeting you next week.
Nate's Mom (Katherine)