At the beginning of March, I did a big, scary thing.
I walked down to my principal's office and told him I would not be returning to my teaching position in the fall.
For those of you who don't know me very well (especially outside of this platform), you may not know how big of a deal this was for me. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was five years old. Literally. I have it in writing.
I've spent the last ten years of my life working toward that goal. Four years of college, six years in the classroom, plus three years of grad school during that time. I've spent my nights making Christmas stockings for my students, decorating my classroom, coming up with fun, creative projects (at one point, my fifth grade classroom was full of six foot tall recycled sculptures), and truly loving it. Sure, I've had my moments over the years when I've wanted to quit. I think that happens in every job, but always in my heart, I knew that I was a teacher and that's what I was meant to do.
Until this year. This year, I hit a wall. It wasn't the school, the students, my boss, or my colleagues. It was me. For the first time in my life, I wasn't loving it. That creative spark wasn't there. That desire to connect with students and families wasn't there. My heart wasn't there. I tried to ignore those feelings, but they were persistent.
During a really low point, on the verge of a melt down, I prayed and asked God to tell me what to do. In that moment, He said, "You're done. It's time to be done." I've never heard that voice before, I won't pretend that I have, but it was real and it scared me. It also gave me the push I needed to take action. I wrote my letter of resignation and the next day, I did the big scary thing.
I had no plan, not much in my savings account, and had no idea what we would do after the school year ended, but for the first time in a long time, I felt lighter and I knew I had done the right thing.
Since then, a lot of things have fallen into place in my life. I was able to give nearly all of my teaching supplies to a sweet friend of mine who is filling my position next year (which makes my heart so happy), I was suddenly able to pay off a lot of our debts and save some money, and a new job opportunity pretty much landed right in my lap (more on that next time).
Today, I want to leave you with this... Your life is too short to be unhappy. Your peace of mind is worth more than any job that is causing you stress and stealing your joy. You're allowed to change your path at any point in time. You're not stuck. Do the big scary thing.