I have busted my ass as long as I can remember. I had a part time job starting at the age of 14 and always had a job since then, aside for the 6 weeks I didn’t in 2014. I have gotten an education along the way. Constantly pushing myself to prove, mostly to myself, that I’m not a moron. I was never an A+ student. I was an A/B student with the occasional C in math. I hate math. I’m an artsy type, so that isn’t abnormal.
In the 20 years I have been in the workforce I have worked in all kinds of places. I started out filing papers in a doctors office after school. I then moved on to retail in Jewelry, Kmart, then on to lots of restaurant jobs, back to retail, back to food, back to retail. Then in New York City I ended up working in education. I always said I wanted to teach. More specifically that I wanted to teach Art History. I had such great teachers in college that I wanted to be just like in my own way. I thought I could do it. So I set out on a path to do it. But turns out that path involves a PhD. So, I started with the Masters. I went to NYU and got that taken care of, amazingly. I never thought I would be smart enough to hang with the elite of NYU, but I graduated with a 3.6 GPA. So, you’d think I had the ability to tell myself I was pretty smart by that accomplishment, right? Nope. Still thought I was a moron.
I came home from New York and got a crap job. I stayed in that job and moved up for a few years. Then I went back to school for a degree in Library and Information science. I always saw so many openings for librarians when I searched for jobs. What the hell right? I busted my ass to get through library school in 18 months. I worked in a library for 2 years, one year in grad school and the other year just after. I like it. It was fun. Being surrounded by so much knowledge on a daily basis. I graduated with a 3.95 because I got an A- in a class. So, you’d think that would set me straight, and I would be confident in my knowledge. Nope. Still always second guessing my skills, what I knew how to do, etc.
I got laid off in 2014 from that library job. They didn’t want to hire me, as I was just a temp for a year. I suppose it isn’t good to be progressive around some folks. I accept that. At that point I was unemployed. I got 3 unemployment checks before I started working in retail again. Some crappy things happened with some friends of mine, we had a huge falling out in July 2014. And being really upset about not having a job, etc didn’t help.
One day I got an email from one of my undergraduate professors that I had kept up with. She said she would be taking a leave of absence for the semester of Fall 2014 and would I be interested in teaching her courses. She had 2, but could get me in line with a 3rd so the money would be worth it. Lucky for me a great friend of mine let me crash in her spare room for a few months. I moved. I took a chance. I cut a lot of ties with a lot of people, and took a chance on myself. I was SO scared of doing this teaching thing. University level teaching. It had been 4 years since I was in an art history class. I had no idea how to make a lesson plan or what kind of assignments to create. Hell, I didn’t even know what book to take my notes from. But I do know how to bust my ass, and I figured it all out. Yes, there were lots of bumps along the way. Yes I probably learned far more than my students did the first couple of semesters, but what I never stopped to take note of is the fact that I did it. I faked it the whole time and I made it. I’m a far better teacher now than I used to be. Going into my 4th academic year, reflecting on all of the hard work I have put into this career, I can say that I am much smarter than I ever gave myself credit.
My journey in getting Yoga certified has been a big contributor to that confidence. I still get nervous getting up in front of a class of people the first day, I know this because I taught my first adult class last Thursday and I was terrified. But I know what I’m doing. I have to remember that. Yes, I’m still learning, and hope to be forever, but I know the basics well enough to tell the people about it and even guide them through a practice. Yes, I will screw up. Yes, I will say the wrong thing. In all of the classes I teach. Some days I will be more tired than others. Some days I will be stretched too thin and others I will be bored to tears. But no matter what is going on, I will know that I have the ability to do what I am doing. People that know me on a personal level, they see it more than I do, and they tell me. The old professor that gave me her classes in 2014 emailed me yesterday telling me that she is continuously impressed by me. She has been my colleague for 4 years now and I can say I am equally impressed with her. She has always been a role model and without her guidance I don’t think I could have made it through the past couple of years. Honestly, my whole department has been really supportive and provided lots of guidance and feedback.
Today is the first day of the semester, even though classes don’t start until Aug 16. Today I got the Dean’s welcome email. I usually don’t read all of the emails from him, but this one I did. Turns out they gave everyone a raise. Me included. Sticking with it, and busting your ass pays off sometimes.
In Yoga news I have 2 more weeks in the After School program on Tuesdays. I have a Thursday evening class for adults. And tomorrow I’m going to meet with a studio owner to get things set up for a position in her studio. I can do this. I have the skills. I have the knowledge. I have the time. Onward and upward I go. I have been busting my ass. I will continue to bust it. And things will continue to pay off. I have some goals to reach by the end of the year, and I’m well on my way to accomplish them.
Thank you to all those who support me, encourage me, and inspire me. Without you always telling me that I was actually good enough, I may never have figured it out for myself.