What Happened When I Quit My Teaching Job

Day 1
I knew that teaching would be endless heaps of relentless work. I was gung ho about lesson planning, parents, students, the whole sha-bang. What I didn’t expect was for teaching to completely take over every facet of my life. I thought about teaching all the time. I couldn’t even enjoy being out with friends or family because I was paranoid about things that I had to do for school. Sleep was no consolation either. I dreamt about my students every night. School took over my life. I began breaking out and having chest pains from stress. I knew that I needed to make some kind of change. I was beginning to lose it.

Day 2
Quitting Teaching:
My mental health was surely diminishing and I knew that at any moment it was going to completely take flight. I did not want that moment to be inside the classroom with my students, or anywhere in or near the school building. Between dealing with my crazy family and the upsetting education system in which I was working, I was drifting. Something had to go, and it wasn’t going to be the family. Unfortunately you can’t get rid of kin no matter how hard you try. Without a solid plan of next steps I quit. Against all the type-A in me I left teaching. Although I felt a huge load lift when I decided to leave, I took on a new type of stress. I quit my job to start a new position of searching for a new job.

Day 3
The Perfect Hunt:
It’s really hard to determine which is more difficult, finding the perfect man or finding the perfect job. I tend to be a very patient person when it comes to others, but I have very short patience with myself. When I do something, I like to see quick results. So when I set out on a job hunt, I wanted to find the perfect job within a week of applying. I sent my resume to every job I was interested in. At one point I realized that I needed to slow down with my resume sending. I went on an interview for a job and couldn’t remember the position I had applied for because I had applied for so many jobs at the same time. What was most disturbing was finding out that some employers considered me entry level and that a lifetime of shopping and working in retail didn’t qualify me for a position as a buyer for a high-end store. I have many passions, but writing and fashion are at the top. The perfect job would be writing about fashion. I’ve devised a semi-plan to get there. In the meantime, I was just slowly losing it.

Day 4
As I was walking through the mall I was stopped by a woman named Rhonda H. who told me I have “an interesting look” and gave me a card for an open call for a modeling agency. I figured if I could make a little extra money off my good looks, why not. The experience was interesting, but not one I would like to have again. After having my body parts measured, height measured with bare feet, and revealing my bra cup size to a complete stranger, I heard those three magic words, “it only costs.” I said my goodbyes and proceeded out the door. I wasn’t for the crowded room full of people, half of them stupid (not because they don’t know anything, but because they were willing to pay the $700 for comp cards), the other half too cute for anybody to speak to them. I wasn’t motivated to turn them down immediately because I am so savvy in the industry of modeling, or because I’d been ripped off times before and knew better. Maybe it was the unemployment status kicking in, and my lack of desire to pay that much money for something in one shot. I mean, we weren’t talking a chic pair of Dolce & Gabbana boots. The rule is simple: don’t go on a multiple casting calls in a week unless Tyra Banks is promising to send you to L.A.

Day 5
“Sex and the City” Overdose
Smart people say that too much of anything can be bad for you. Smart ass people then proceed to concoct a list of things to challenge this theory: cleaning, Vitamin C, family, love. The truth is, too much of anything is bad for you, especially family, and let’s not even get started on love. After watching Seasons 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 Part 2 of “Sex and the City,” naturally, I had an overdose. Dreams about my students (which I was still having; can’t shake old habits fast) suddenly became dreams about my students at club Bed with Samantha and Charlotte, bad-mouthing the post-it relationship ender Berger. As reality and the show started to merge, characteristics of Mr. Big and Justin began to blur and Justin started taking the heat for things that he didn’t recall having any part of. I love Carrie and her fabulous shoes just as much as any single gal, but inevitably I had to agree. Smart people are right, and an overdose is an overdose.

Day 6
I have a small group of friends whom I consider my closest. I can be pretty frank with them at any time. If Alana was dating a loser, I’d tell her. If Stanley brought home someone with terrible hygiene, I’d sit him down and break the news to him. But I have a rule against telling an acquaintance negative things about his or her other half. Thoughtlessly I broke my own rule when Linda, an acquaintance more or less, called with gripes about her recent love interest. He had ended things recently, telling her that he had some family problems and he couldn’t tell her more. Without even thinking twice the words flew out of my mouth as if there was no filter between it and my brain, “he’s lying.” I explained to her my theory behind it and also shared with her that I had used the same excuse in the past to avoid explaining the truth, and I was lying. She told me that she thought it made sense, and she called him and told him to lose her number. She erased his number from her phone, officially transforming their break into a break-up. And I was the person responsible for it. I never say never, but I know it’s never a good idea to give advice to an acquaintance about the opposite sex.

Day 7
White trash Helene
I listen to the Star and Bucwild show every morning on 105.1 fm. Much to my dismay, Star was not present one particular morning, and White trash Helene was left to be the primary host. She went back and forth with Chris the Queer and occasionally Killer Kaheem would chime in. It’s one thing to endure White trash while Star writes off her opinions and cuts off her sentences. But it’s another thing to have her run the show. Her voice is obnoxiously piercing, uneasy to forget. I’m sure she’s pleased with that. I can’t imagine anyone else would be.

Day 8
Subway Stories
Every time I get on the New York City subway someone begins a conversation with me. It doesn’t matter where I am, where I’m going or what I look like that day. Men, women, old people, cops; I always end up having a conversation with a stranger. I do hate, however, when creepy men hit on me for the entire ride. Some days I’m on the train just trying to read my Marie Claire, or gather my thoughts. It always seems to be that on the most stressful days some creepy guy tries to hit on me while riding the subway. Coming back from the dermatologist I was feeling really uneasy. It could have been the shots he’d put in my face for my acne, I don’t know. But anyway, I was not in the mood to engage in friendly conversation with the unknown. For some strange reason my expression came across as the exact opposite to the half drunk boxer who continued to tell me how “fly” I was and ask me for my number for the rest of the ride. This continued all the way to my stop. I was a little worried that he was going to follow me off the train. I think I would have run from him at that point. Luckily it didn’t have to come to that. Although, the incident slowly chipped away at my sanity, adding to my “I’m about to lose it” list.

Day 9
Chaos and Order
In an attempt to seal a permanent position quickly I sent my resume to about a million employers. The result: about a thousand interviews. Getting a new gig fast was at the top of my list of priorities. What seemed to have just missed being on the list by a small margin was cleaning my apartment. Everyday I’d come home and throw my clothes in a pile, throw my shoes in a corner, and put new dishes in the almost overflowing sink. As the piles of clothes, shoes, books, newspapers, dishes, towels and hair accessories grew my desire to clean them up and keep order decreased. I realized that the chaos in my life was being manifested through the appearance of my apartment. So I sucked up all my despair and cleaned. I realized that the more I let my apartment go, the more my sanity went with it.

Day 10
Fun Celibacy
Being celibate is a very hard thing. With my new found unemployment status I had to go on a super saving spree. So I decided to become fun celibate. No going out with friends for drinks, no dinner at Coffeeshop, no brand new boots from Miss Sixty, no ice cream stops at Cold Stone; no fun. I love “Law and Order: SVU” just as much as the next person, but if I have to spend another Saturday night watching the new Mulder and Scully, drinking Presidente, I’m going to scream. Of all the challenges I’ve ever taken on, I think fun celibacy is the most difficult. I am still trying at it. But I think I might cheat and finish myself off by buying a beauty lipkit on victoriassecret.com.

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