Monday, May 25, 2009

Self-Indulgent Arrogance

There’s a song called “In Another Life” by a band named Semisonic…from their Great Divide album. Some of you may remember Semisonic…God I hope some of remember record albums. Semisonic released a CD, not a record album, but I tend to be a bit old school. Anyway, sometimes I think my path in life is to continuously be in another life. To keep reinventing myself, you know? Some may say this is a really spectacular…I myself think it is one of the best things about ME. However, as I’m getting older I’m thinking that this path that I’ve embraced is not turning out like I thought it would.

I’m asking myself why the need to write down my interpretation of life, for people to read. Part of me is like, “How arrogant. People don’t really give a rat’s ass about your thoughts on life.” Then, I think well…it’s not for other people it’s for ME…to shed all the crap, er…I mean, challenges, that have been thrown my way. Who am I kidding? I like the idea of people reading about my world…I think I have an interesting world. I am not a scientist, repressed accountant, or lonely housewife. I’m just a teacher at an elementary school.

So…what’s so fascinating about being an elementary school teacher? Why should you keep reading? Why don’t I just get a journal and write down all my inner thoughts? I don’t know…maybe it is my take on life. I have had more experiences that the average Josephine out there. I think I have something to say…so arrogant or not, I think it’s something that I should be doing. Plus…it is really therapeutic. Who knows, maybe I’ll be discovered as the next great writer. HA! Come on, stranger things have happened…

I don’t know maybe I’m going through some strange mid life crisis. I’m a 44 year old woman who has never been married and is perimenopausal…if that is not a freaking crisis I don’t know what is. I transplanted myself from Los Angeles to Virginia four years ago and still don’t feel like I’ve found a place to fit in. Last year at this time I was in love…but now I’m mending a bit of a broken heart…whatever, it happens…what do they say, “Better to have loved and lost…” Are you fucking kidding me? The broken heart part of my world is well…a work in progress that sometimes just sucks.

Today was the 6th grade car wash. The 6th grade classes do a fund raising car wash…oh, I teach 6th grade if you haven’t figured that out yet. This is the 3rd year in a row we’ve done it...the weather was beautiful…and the kids weren’t completely out of control…it was a pretty fun time. One of the dad’s kinda hung around and chatted me up…he’s a pretty handsome guy…although he can be one of those difficult parents, but I’ve gotten the vibe before that he thinks I’m pretty cute…today he solidified my prediction because he was very chatty…almost flirty. I definitely played back. I know…he’s married…and one of the dad’s, but I gotta tell you it felt pretty good to have a handsome guy who’s my age think I’m attractive. Before you get any inaccurate preconceptions about me…yes, I am 44, but I’m not one of those women who has allowed her ass to fall to her knees or her stomach to blow up into a rolling ball of mush. Actually I’m really cute…if I do say so myself.

Remember the broken heart part of my life? Well, since January I haven’t really felt very flirty…so today was pretty cool to first, find another man attractive, then feel that sexual tension… I think many women my age often think of themselves as nonsexual. That the time for being sexy has passed. I find that rather depressing because being this age I feel more sexual, more attractive, more open than I ever did in my 20’s or 30’s. However, like many things that I’ve found in this life the sexy girl in me takes constant work and a little reassurance now and then. Hey, maybe this means that my broken heart is on the mend…I mean I did have some naughty thoughts about a man other than the broken heart guy.

After the car wash I got in my car to go home I looked at my phone…no calls. One o’clock in the afternoon…and no one calls. This is where I have trouble with living in Virginia. I moved to California when I was 20 years old and didn’t know anyone. After 4 years of living in Los Angeles, I was in the music business, both in business and socially I had “people”…you know to hang out with. Four years of living here and I have some “work” friends that I may go have a drink with after work, but not a person that I can really call on the weekends to hang out with. It’s not as pathetic as it sounds. I think what really is affecting me is that the people that I know through work or even outside of work have another life outside of work - as they should - that I’m not a part of - and shouldn’t be… I don’t really have a “Virginia world” outside of school…I got no “people” here. I’m reading this and I’m thinking this sounds so disgustingly pathetic…it’s not really…I had some “people” or a person at least all last year…that was really nice…Intellectually I know change is on the horizon with going to the new school next year and this summer in Spain.

I’ve always been a person who goes through “alone times”. Days or even months at a time where the phone doesn’t ring much, and I’m not really invited out or even feel the desire to go out by myself. I should be used to it. The outcome of this accidental trip to Hermitsville is always such great growth and a tremendous amount of joy…I know this…but right now in this moment on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend where I’m by myself in my apartment…it is well…a little uncomfortable.

So I try to take advantage of the alone time. Do some growing. I think a lot! Thus the need to write it down in this public forum - the voices in my head are starting to get to me. This time of life is so full of those forks in the road. I've experienced many forks with the choices I've had to make this year. When I say year, I mean school year…I sorta live my life year from September to June…teachers do that. However lonely this alone time is right now, I know that great things are about to happen…ok I HAVE TO BELIEVE that great things will happen…if I believe, it is real, isn't it?.

I love this time of the school year - winding down. Only one more “test” to do…teachers work to test…didn’t you know that?? Knowing that I will be at another school next year alone has brought such a sense of peace and lightness to my life. I think now that it is almost the end of my time at my current school can I truly take a step out and look at what a negative place I have been in. I take total responsibility for my participation in my experiences at my current school, but never in my life have I encountered a group of people so bent on being mean for the sake of being mean. Even the music business at its most cut-throat is like a pie eating contest compared to working in an elementary school where people go out of their way to be spiteful to fill the mundane boredom that is their unfulfilled lives. I’ve never really been a “target” in my work place before. For the last 3 years I’ve been exactly that…and on top of it all I’ve been learning how to be a teacher…it feels as if I’ve gone through some great war and survived with only a few permanent scars. What's the clique - that doesn't kill you makes you stronger - right. Teachers know that feeling welcome in the school you work at is one of the most important requirements. Elementary schools especially can be very cruel places to work…populated mostly by women who are well…pretty bitchy and have nothing better to do than soothe their insecurities by making others miserable.

The search for a new school and then accepting the offer is so liberating that I am looking forward to the next 17 or so days I have left to teach at my current school. This week especially I’ve felt myself separate…you know completely disconnect, especially with the students. I know that I may not see many of them ever again. I won’t be there next year for them to visit…this is a bit sad…I like seeing my students come back…and I’ve had 4 classes of 6th graders go off to middle school. Maybe for me it is necessary to disconnect with cold ambivalence because if I don’t I may never leave…that’s what being a teacher does…or has done to me at least. Disconnecting in the unfeeling way that I’m doing gives me permission to have no regrets, and more importantly no ties to the children…it hurts less that way. Be that as it may, I know that this isn’t entirely fair to the students, and I’m searching for a way to make them feel warm and fuzzy as they leave elementary school without being too “attached”. I'll let you know how that works out.

Yep - definitely self indulgent this blog...

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