The older I get I find it to be increasingly important to be myself. To be true to who I am, and not to what others expect of me. As a person who finds it hard to say no. This is truly a revelation. You can’t be everything to everybody and still be YOU.
I have been a teacher for the past twenty three years. In May I decided to call it quits. I retired, or so I thought. I knew I wanted out of the traditional classroom with aggressive back talking eight graders, but I’m not through with teaching. I have a class of adults that I teach, one night a week, but I still feel the need to do more with adult literacy. That’s who I am, that’s what makes me happy. Statistics state there are over four million adults that can’t read. That’s heartbreaking, not to be able to enjoy a good book, or read a menu in a restaurant.
I had a friend to tell me recently that I was settling for teaching, cause I was too afraid to explore anything else. This really got me to thinking, am I selling myself short? She said that with a master’s degree I could probably get a job in corporate America making twice as much as a teachers salary. I thought about it and she’s probably right. But I quickly came back to myself. Am I be true to my authentic self? Is that where I can be of the most help?
Besides, that I tried corporate America four years before I came to education. When I look back at those four years, I want to pull my hair out. I remember I took a job at an insurance company because I listened when other people told me that I needed a better job, since I would be raising my son by myself. After four years and a near nervous breakdown I got laid off, (thank God). I literally ran out of the building on May 30, 1996. I’ve realized that I am best when I am helping others, and it’s OK as long as i’m happy. So I applied for a teaching position with the state prison system. I went on the interview a few weeks ago, I haven’t heard anything it’s still pending, but that OK I’m believing God that’s my position. I remember when I was walking the prison yard with the interviewer he looked at me and said, “you don’t look the least bit afraid or intimidated.” I smiled and said no, I’m not it’s just another group of God’s people that need help.
I don’t believe in chances or coincidences. I believe I retired from one phase of education to go to the next phase. No, my friend doesn’t understand and that’s OK. I choose to pursue my passion and be true to myself.