I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life’

I know it may be a foreign concept to some, but work can actually make you happy. I know that being only one day back into teaching, that I am ‘speaking too soon’. But I am really not. There was not one day teaching in Thailand that I questioned my love for my job. I loved it; every part of it. Even the mind numbingly boring parts. Even the parts that can be a bit frustrating. And my students, oh my students. I loved each and every one of them. The ones from my practice teaching in Australia, and especially my students in Thailand. Even the ones who can be a bit of a pain in the ass; hell sometimes those can be your favourites. For two years after returning from teaching in Thailand, I worked jobs that were just not as fulfilling to me. Sure, working with children at the Y before and after school care was still working with children in some way, but it wasn’t the same. And as interesting as training men (some women, mostly men) how to drive forklifts and scissor-lifts can sound, the office work involved just didn’t challenge me. And I am a person who needs a challenge to be interested in what I am doing.

one of my favourite pictures of my students and I in Australia, 2009

So here I am now, back to my passion, back to doing the only thing I have ever wanted to do. I should be over the moon, and in some ways I am. I had a huge smile on my face all day, while working one on one with students, being back in a classroom again. But at the same time it was hard for me, as independent and self assured as I may come off sometimes, it felt weird to have no one to share my happiness with. For the last almost four years whenever I was excited or happy about something, I have had one person in which I would text or call or tell, immediately. And it’s a painful realization you come to when you go to text that person to tell them you are so excited because you have your first teaching day, and you know you shouldn’t. You can’t. As much as you want to, that person can’t be your person anymore. No matter if you are friends or not. And really when I started to think about it, it wasn’t so much having someone to share it with, it was who I was sharing with. I remember many times giving advice to friends after breakups saying ‘you don’t miss him, you just miss having someone’. And I thought maybe that’s what this was, I just miss having someone to share it with. But I have people to share it with. I messaged my family and friends. I instagrammed it. I facebooked it. It wasn’t the same. And that’s okay. It’s a process, so I am told. It doesn’t just happen over night, that urge to message the guy you love, who you spent years sharing these things with.

It’s funny how you can be fully aware of all these things, and it doesn’t seem to matter. Your heart still hurts. You still need to go through the emotions. Deal with the pain. But at the same time, you can’t let it overshadow the fact that you are in fact doing what you love to do. You are finally getting your life back on track to making yourself happy. And that is what I am doing here. That is why I came here. Because really when you think about how many hours a day we spend at our jobs, how many hours of our life, should we really be wasting it on jobs that are making us miserable, or unchallenging, jobs we aren’t passionate about? I understand for some it’s financial, bills to pay, no other options. I have been there, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying to get to that place. That place where we wake up every morning ready to start the day, because we love what do. We want to go to work, because it fulfils us.

My hope is that for the people I love that they are able to figure out what it is that makes them happy in their careers and they are able to find jobs in that field and be successful, in their own right. It may not happen right away, but if you want something bad enough, it will happen. I graduated from teacher’s college 5 years ago next month, and I have left the country, and now the province. But I will never give up on the dream of having my own classroom someday, preferably a little closer to ‘home’.

One thought on “I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life’

  1. Sara, because of your immense passion for teaching, you WILL get there. Sure it might take a bit longer for some than it does for others, but you will…I have no doubt in my mind that you will. All of these teaching jobs in between are just part of your journey. You love to travel and maybe you're meant to experience all of these places before settling into a classroom of your own close to home.

    Trust the process. XX


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