At this point in time, I am searching for a job…not just any job: a teaching job. As my brain tangles itself in thoughts of self-doubt (per-usual), I need to remind myself, “Lauren, this is not just a job! This is the opportunity to change lives for the better; to tell them everything you wish you would have been told at their age!” This is such an important message to remind myself of as society’s brainwashing of “work = bad” begins the slinking into feelings of dread. I remind myself this work is not bad. Work is challenging and challenges are good. Challenges are good because they’re going to stretch me and being stretched means I will be better. This is my opportunity to become better and I’m fighting for it with an enthusiastic grin, sitting across from a principal, a vice principal and a veteran English teacher. I am in the midst of my interviews and they are scary.
I merge onto and screech off of highway after highway to arrive at middle schools and high schools alike: buttons to press, a flowery voice to slip on and sing that “I am here to drop off my resume for Principal so and so” as if I’ve been graciously summoned. I am selling myself with resources like my resume, letters of recommendation and official transcript; scraps of my self summed up accordingly on paper. All I can do is hope that going the extra mile, as they say, and locking eyes while I shake their hands, deliver my goods and express my genuine enthusiasm at the opportunity to work at their school will grant me release from this state of not knowing; this blasted time of transition. The one principal I shook hands with could see the strip of sweat below my lip, the hint of desperation in my voice and the painted over disappointment when she told me the position I’m applying for just got reduced to a “.87” position (not full-time–which I figured out as she followed the news by saying “it could turn into full-time as we see how many students apply this summer”). She saw ME and I could tell she wanted to help; her regret for my new situation was apparent with the furrow of her brow and the words of encouragement about potential for the position to turn full-time.
My stomach aches and I still sweat with the AC spitting a light mist onto my toes and nose. I test out a different perspective: “This is your journey, Lauren…your journey into the next chapter of your life and it is exciting! Aren’t you excited?!” But I’m hot and hungry and tired of merging onto new highways and just as quickly leaving them to arrive in a new town, where someone might want ME to positively touch some young lives.