After teaching for 20+ years, I began to realize I really wanted to do something different. Each year, the idea of returning to the classroom as a full-time teacher became more difficult to swallow, and by spring 2022 I knew something had to change.
I toggled back and forth with different ideas: extended leave, virtual teaching, winning the lottery, but none of those options seemed viable. Eventually, a colleague suggested teaching part-time. It would provide some guaranteed income while offering just enough wiggle room to pursue other interests. It didn’t solve all my problems, but it was an option worth considering.
Little did I know that a naively candid conversation with my administration would result in the decision being made for me. That’s right, my full-time teaching position was cut in half before I even had the chance to make up my mind. I could either teach part-time or be split between two different schools. Some friends pointed out that it seemed the universe was saying, “Here’s your chance. Jump.” And so, jump I did. I decided to take the part-time position. I didn’t know if or how it would work out, but I stepped out on faith and took a chance.
Here’s the thing about stepping out on faith: It’s not like walking up a nice sturdy staircase. Nope! It’s more like climbing over rocks to reach your destination. You have no idea how far it is or how many times you will slip, fall, or twist your ankle trying to get there.
I didn’t have to wait too long for some things to work in my favor. Within a month, I was offered a position as an instructional designer with an ed-tech company. Now I had a part-time teaching job and a part-time ID job. It looked like everything was lining up perfectly. Or so I thought.
As with any new position, sometimes you will knock it out of the park, and sometimes you will strike out. In my new position, those two things were constantly taking turns. By the time late fall arrived, profits were low, and I got the boot. (I didn’t even know the boot was there.) Imagine thinking you’ve arrived at the top of your mountain, then you suddenly lose your balance and fall all the way down. I thought I finally found what I was supposed to do with my life, and I failed at it—big time. Not to mention I lost half my income with it. Glad I didn’t quit my (half) day job.
Eventually, I got myself together and began applying for other jobs. Opportunity came once, another one will come again, right? Well, no such opportunities came. Over the next several months, I got a couple of freelance gigs here or there, but nothing permanent or even long-term.
The school year was drawing to a close, and I had only worked part-time most of the year. Job applications were getting me nowhere, so I began to wonder if there was something else I should be doing with my time. I felt a little tug in the direction of writing. I wasn’t an avid writer. Outside of a couple of unpublished children’s stories and a handful of half-started articles, I really didn’t have much to go on. Yet, I still felt compelled to write something. I just didn’t know what.
I began writing a story based on an idea I had. It was good too. At least the beginning. I had a great set-up, but like the rest of my ideas, I just wasn’t able to finish it. I also tried writing a self-help book. But that didn’t work either. I gave up. I must’ve not heard correctly. Writing was definitely not for me.
Then, a couple days later, a story came to mind. I sat at my computer and began writing. It just poured out of me. And after a couple of writing sessions, I finished it! My first completed piece in over twenty years. But anyone can write onestory. Could I continue to write?
I spent the entire summer writing. Different genres, different lengths, but nonetheless complete pieces. With all the excitement and interest in writing and submitting stories, I still had bills to pay. So, I continued applying for jobs. Did I get any of those jobs I applied for? Absolutely not. If I had, I probably would not have time to write this story.
It’s now fall of 2023. I am still teaching part-time. I am still trying to climb up those wobbly rocks, hoping to get to my destination and see that beautiful view. My problems haven’t been solved, and I’ve gotten a few cuts and bruises along the way. But I carry my laptop with me in case more stories come to mind.
I don’t exactly know how this story ends—if I’ll get my dream job or if my stories will get published. I just know that during one of the most turbulent chapters in my life, I was re-introduced to my love for writing and my faith in the Man upstairs. No, I don’t know how this story will end, but I choose to continue writing it and trust the author.Leave a Comment