Remember back last year when I was whining about how all I wanted was a full time job? Well, I finally got a full time job. And you know what? It sucks.
Now, every day is not the worst, and the paycheck is pretty nice. But because I work in childcare, I am pretty much working 12 hour days, which does suck. I leave my house at 6:15 in the morning and I get back around 6:45 at night (if I don't go grocery shopping or on a walk with friends). I hate that. I feel like all I do at home is feed my cats and watch TV. I don't feel like I have any time to do anything productive, like clean my house, read my book, or even write my much-anticipated blog posts. I haven't played a video game in months (shocking!), and the only friends I see are the ones who go walking with me every week.
I feel stressed out and completely drained. I know this job is not for me. I know that I do not want to do this for the rest of my life (let alone the rest of the school year). Because I am always looking for lessons from my conflicts, I also know now what it is that I am chasing.
Sometimes we don't always know what we want. Our brains are smart and good at tricking us. They're all, "You want that full time job! Go get it!" and we get it and then are miserable and can't figure out why. But it's because the full time job was not what we truly wanted. What we wanted was the security we feel from the bigger paycheck, or the freedom we thought we could have with more money. As it turns out, we didn't really want the job, we just wanted the money, but we weren't open to all the different avenues it could come through (like... for example... blogging?).
I had to sit down with myself and try to think of the real reason that this job is bothering me. Is it really that I can't manage kids? That these kids are horrible and they're purposefully testing my limits? Of course not. I manage them just fine. Kids are kids; they test limits, need to know how firm their boundaries are, and forget rules all the time. That's how they are. I just can't see the progress they're making under my leadership because I see it every day. (My boss came in to my site on Friday and complimented me on the progress I've made just by being more respectful and consistent!) So it's not the kids. It's not the people I work with. Is it the hours? Hmm.
Perhaps if I had a 9-to-5, regular full time job I would feel better. I would feel busier and more relaxed at the end of the day. I wouldn't have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning or go to bed at 9:30 at night. Perhaps I would have more time to do a morning workout, clean the dishes and cook breakfast, to go grocery shopping at the end of the day, to cook dinner and do some cleaning around the house. Hmmm. Or maybe, those hours would leave me feeling just as drained and exhausted, and I still wouldn't want to do anything.
What I'm really chasing here, it seems, is freedom. I desire freedom from worry, from having to do things like everyone else, from having to shove myself into that cookie-cutter that frustrates me. I value my time, and want to be able to feel productive and proud of myself. I want to be able to chase my passions and do things I love without having to worry about bills or when was my house last cleaned or do I have time for a nature walk today? Now that I have figured out that freedom is what I want, comes the trickiest part.
Actually finding things that make me feel free.
So what would someone who loves herself do?