When I grew up I figured motherhood would be a walk in the park to some degree, maybe an impatient jog at times if that. No, I’m really serious. I knew I was more emotional than most but didn’t think I would really STRUGGLE (like, slam face first into the hurdle post then belly flop onto the track) with handling the responsibilities of being a parent. Plus, all the females in my extended family had 3+ children so naturally the whole monkey-see/monkey-do thing totally hijacked me ever pondering the concept of even wanting kids in the first place.
I remember being asked those typical adolescent questions of “what do you want to do with your life” and “how many kids do you want” then responding this answers like “a teacher” and “3 like all the females in my family.” Each time I said it, I felt a stirring in my heart–like puzzle pieces that clashed ever so slightly, not quite meshing together.
That’s kinda how choosing my college major turned out too. Being a teacher was common amongst family folk, and I was told over and over again how stable of a career it is with benefits and great time-off for family + being able to touch lives, man, sounds like a dream right? Well, that’s exactly what the problem was for me yet again–a dream reality created in my head versus the one that actually transpired.
#rant: Instead of inspiring little pupils through literature into wicked life changing epiphanies and cultivating education that would carry them through a lifetime, instead of that, I was served a script to read and only “allowed” to teach a single novel that entire year cause the rest was dedicated to standardized test preparation (bye felicia, I did my own thang after I threw my hands up at the system #jesustakethewheel and taught a rogue advanced novel to my AP class who flippin’ loved it). I was told what to teach, how to teach it, when I could teach it, and how I could grade it. I was told how to do my job by my boss, my peers, my students, and their parents. I was put in a box, that felt more like a prison, and fell into a my first bout with depression in my life. I went through the motions, but the inner turmoil I endured caused frequent anxiety attacks and chronic issues with IBS. I missed 24 days out of the school year due to my physical body unable to cope with the emotional stress I felt.
And it wasn’t just that specific environment either, y’all. That’s the thing so many people didn’t and still don’t get: to me, public education is a broken system. No matter the district. No matter the heart and passion and love of teachers who run it; I’m not speaking to those heroes at all. It’s the system of standardized testing itself that needs fixing, and every single teacher can agree to that fact (comment below if you disagree, for real. I’d love to chat it out).
Many, many people have asked me (and still) why I quit teaching? Why after only one year. Why do I only want one child, even? (trust me, everyone knows it all and says I’ll change my mind. Well, those who know me well know I’m stubborn as hell so God will have to make the call on that one, folks.) Why do I feel so hell bent about these things? Because I’m learning my limits instead of ignoring them for the first time in my life.
Maybe approaching 30s does this to people, I have no idea. But as I grow more in age I realize I wanna grow in spirit right along with it. I don’t want to live a life where I constantly struggle with feeling satisfied #beentheredonethat. God has bigger plans for me than the life I have lived because I am still here breathing and living another day more than yesterday. And so are you. That in itself, is proof that you were made for more.
So choose more. Right now, ten minutes from now, a dozen years from tomorrow: do more for yourself than just doing what you’ve always done. You deserve what’s to come.