Mourning the Death of a Career

I’ve been feeling very disgusted about my job search. I’m a college graduate. I graduated magna cum laude from a large university. I should be able to pick and choose. And I actually found myself seriously considering putting in an application as a waitress at a pizza joint. Seriously. What bugs me too is that I feel pressed for time. I need to find one soon, or we’ll be in financial trouble. And I simply haven’t had time to look like I really need to.

This time of year, well, it was always a new start. That’s what my old job gave me – teaching high school English, I mean. I got new students. I got a chance to do better. And part of me mourned not getting to do that this year. Not getting the do-over. The chance to be better. I have dreamed of school, students, and my old faculty peers every night for weeks now. Yes, I wanted to quit, but this has been harder than I thought. I am mourning the loss of my old job. Dana was right. She said in my guest book that once you’re an English teacher, you always will be one. So now I guess I feel a bit purposeless. Sort of drifting. I don’t know. I want to reiterate that I did really want to quit. I did really want to move on and do something else. But I’m disappointed. At times, that job was great. Like when student R. asked me to be her mentor even though I was no longer her teacher – just because she liked me best. Like when students really got interested in what we were learning. Like when students said they liked a book we were reading. J., who was a pain in the ass and every teacher I know hated teaching him, devoured The Great Gatsby over a weekend. He loved it more than he would ever let on. It wouldn’t be cool to reveal that, you know. And I never got to teach some of the literature that I really wanted to – British Literature. It is well-known among English teachers that teaching British Lit. is the prize. Every English teacher I have known decided to teach English out of a love for British Lit. I’m such a King Arthur nut – I would have loved the opportunity to really do King Arthur up right. So this has been bittersweet – watching my daughter start school, buying her school supplies, meeting her teachers. After all, I am not starting school, no one bought supplies for my class, and I didn’t meet any parents. Not that I was particularly a fan of doing so, but I digress.

So am I depressed? A bit. I’m mourning my old career. It will lessen over time. If only I could find a good job, I would know I made the right decision. If only.