Six months ago, I was doing everything in my power to get a job. I was jumping through hoops, checking the job postings two to three times a day, and applying to everything that I thought might possibly be a fit for me. I was drowning after months of unemployment. Months stuck in a depressive cycle where it would take all my energy to get off the couch and heat up lunch. Months of coming unraveled in the depths of my soul and watching that reflect upon my daily life and relationships. I thought that any job would be better than the cycle that was pulling me downward to a dark depth that I still run from with all my might.
Three months ago, I was swamped at work. I cut extra-social obligations. I quit a board membership, withdrew my spot as a fundraising chair, and basically disappeared from site. But I told myself that the kids made it all worth it. And truly, the hugs, the “I love yous” and the smiling faces did make so much of it worth it. Things were tough there. Beyond tough really. But I wanted so badly to be the kind of person who could work there and work my way up the eventual chain of command. I started researching master degree programs and lamenting my prior educational choices. This new cycle, of working for the weekends and hating the majority of my life, was no healthier.
Last month, it became too much. We came home from our trip rejuvenated if jet lagged. I was ready for anything. Except what I walked in to back at work. The environment that was before quite stressful had become entirely toxic. I cycled between wanting to stick it out for the money and the potential to move up and hating every second that I spent there. I fixated on my educational choices as my problems. I quickly fell into the pattern of beating myself up for wanting a career in music and feeling worthless. I cried in the bathroom at work most every day.
And then I quit. I threw myself back out into the realms of unemployment and self employment. There are no guarantees in self employment. But I reclaimed my pride in my love for music. I remembered that what I love was and is worth studying. That I am not just a waste of educational output. I haven’t even started teaching yet, but for the first time since we moved here, I’m hopeful about the time we have left.