Questions and Decisions: A letter from a teacher’s heart

Friends, If you’re not happy with life right now, why? Is it the circumstances, is it the job, is it the people you’re around? What can you do to make yourself happy again? 

So the above questions have been some that I have been contemplating and really dwelling on the last couple of months. I have gotten to a place where I want to push pause on life and seriously do nothing- and I have NEVER been like this. For example, taxes are due and I just now decided to start looking through all my checks from lessons, payments from groups and my w2’s. Don’t worry- Dave and I finished our taxes last night- nothing like last minute?! But I am in a place right now where I just want to coast in life; I just want to do what I can to  “just get by”. I have never been in a place like this before, or even had this mindset- it is unknown territory and frankly, it scares me a little. I have felt completely overwhelmed this year and for the first time in life, I am unsure of my future. I am burnt out, underappreciated, disrespected and just so dang tired.

If you’re new here, I’m an orchestra teacher who teaches middle school aged children, and it’s my 5th year. I will be tenure next year and I have worked so hard to get there, but teaching is HARD and instead of it getting easier, I feel as though some parts have become more of a challenge!  I keep asking myself, ” am I still where I’m supposed to be? What else does God have in store for me?” These are great questions to be asking and honestly, we should be asking ourselves these questions and making sure that we are evaluating our lives on a regular basis- I’m sure it would make things a lot easier.

I live a very crazy, busy life and while I enjoy it, I have definitely felt the brunt of it this year. I have been super exhausted and literally sick the whole year- ( just got my sinus infection, or acute bronchitis back) … so done with it! And with this year being a very challenging year, I have contemplated quitting so many times and that scares me. But that thought is a hard thought for me… I mean, I have been working towards being a teacher for so long now and to give it all up seems like such a waste. I don’t want all the long nights of studying, practices, practicums, student teaching, and the last couple of years to be for nothing, but on the other end, I don’t want to continue putting effort into a career in which I am done with. Okay, maybe that is a little harsh- I don’t know if I’m “Done”, but  I am definitely tired and drained. Thank God, summer is on its way.

I know that this is a slightly different kind of post from what I normally post about- it isn’t one to give you tips, help you with your fashion sense, encourage you, or tell you about something awesome in my life. But i feel like it is so important to be open and vulnerable with myself and others, and i find that when I am, there are others that feel similar.  This is a newer feeling for me and like I said earlier, it makes me a little scared to even think about doing something other than teaching. But I have to ask myself the hard questions, and be willing to look the answers square in the face. I have to ask myself if I’m happy where I’m at in life and if teaching is making me happy? Maybe this is just a hard year and a rough season, or maybe it is the end of what I thought would be my forever.

I just need some direction, so to anyone reading this… I would love to know if you’ve ever dealt with something similar? Have you ever worked so hard to achieve something and it wasn’t what you ended up wanting? or maybe you’ve gone through a hard year or season, but you persevered?- How did you do it?

Looking for suggestions

Thanks so much!

Waiting patiently on some answers- Erin Ruscel

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