It’s been an exact 4 months since my last post. Thank you to all my readers who faithfully comment, email, and react to my posts. I appreciate you. I just want to say, summer passed pretty quickly and I find myself wondering what did I even do all summer?
I worked all Summer.
Which is fine…let me tell you about my career adventures over the past year and a half and how I’ve had a lot of chances to reflect and adjust in life since Graduation 🎓
My career choices have had me feeling in a constant tailspin. Since graduating I’ve had 3 job titles. A special education teacher, regional trainer, and Co-Director of child care.
A month before graduating I got a job offer to a special needs school that was presented as the most socially sound and golden place any special educator would want to work for. I accepted the offer and started working a month after I graduated. That sounds impressive but, realize I never took a vacation or time for myself to rejuvenate after my 4 years of college and 8 semesters of 18-20 credits and 2 jobs.
In that setting I was overworked, put into illegal and dangerous situations on the daily, sexually harassed by some co-workers and students, and unsupported by my supervisors considering I was new to this specific population and new to the job. “Trial by fire” as my coworkers called it and urged me to apply Vaseline daily so I don’t get burned.
I admit I learned so much about how the government works with the special needs population, how mental illness is viewed throughout society, and how much of an umbrella special education really is. As most of you know, 5 months into the job I was injured by one of the students at the residence. He was 22 years old, 250 pounds and 5’10 and with his all his strength threw a chair across the room which struck my arm. After a few hospital runs, dozens of doctors visits, a couple sessions of therapy, and 1.5 months off of work I returned to my job. It was brought to my attention upon my return that student never received any type of consequences for hurting me. He never apologized. My supervisors in fact promoted him to a new classroom where more privileges are given. Needless to say I felt disrespected. Every day I walked the hallways and had to look him in the face, getting overwhelming amounts of anxiety as I never received any type of closure or apology from that student. I walked around fearful of him and got the feeling that he won.
After a few more months of working there I saw so many things that were unsettling to me. I felt unsafe, unprotected, unappreciated. Quite frankly I watched others around me who were so fantastic at their jobs be unheard, underpaid, unrecognized, and unsupported that I realized it wasn’t the type of place I wanted to work for. (Shootout to Jen, Ali, Arketa, Mr. Smith, Ms. Linda & Ms. Michelle for always making me laugh and supporting me.)
I began aggressively looking for jobs and I interviewed with this day care in Bayside and I loved it there. I loved the directors who interviewed me because they were real with me and I was real with them. Yeah, I was gonna be taking a serious a pay cut but I didn’t matter to me because working in a preschool seemed perfect. The Executive Director thought I’d be a good fit for the regional trainer position. And that’s what I accepted.
Once I began my position as regional trainer I was able to travel the boroughs during the week while training new employees and evaluating classrooms. I liked my job. I found myself learning the ropes quickly and I enjoyed working with the vast variety of personalities among the different centers we had. It was a few months in that position before I offered my services to be the Co-Director of Child Care once another Director resigned.
So, now I’m a Co-Director of Child Care in a day care center in Manhattan. I supervise 14 classrooms and 42 staff members. It’s crazy and always hectic. But that’s what I’ve been doing all summer.
Working all year round can be exhausting it’s true. But working all the time has it perks, like a constant paycheck, there’s always money in the bank, you’re building a skill set every single day, you’re overcoming different types of challenges every single day and it makes the time go way faster. I’ve made strides in paying off my student loan debt and paid for a couple masters classes.
However, you have to wonder, will it take me under? Haha just kidding. Most of you wont catch that little reference but that’s okay, I made myself chuckle.
Although I enjoy the paychecks always coming in, I miss out on so many things. My weekends consist of me doing 500 things because it’s the only time I have or I end up being a total slug and not moving out of my bed. They’re extremes I know but, I’ve also learned I’ve developed a social anxiety. So there are a lot of times during the weekend I’m anxious about hanging out. It’s hilarious to think I’m surrounded by people all day long but my own social life is non-existent and I get tense and awkward in groups of people in a recreation social situation.
I’ve been non-stop ever since college and I believe the momentum never stopped. And since I no longer live with my friends, I no longer see or have time for them. Or any other friends and family for that matter. Sad. But it happens in life, right? I’ve lost my social mojo I used to be the crazy one in the group and now I find myself being a spectator or the isolated hermit.
All this to say, I want all of you to think on where you’re at in life and ask yourselves “is it worth it?” Whatever it may be, you know your own circumstances better than I. Ask yourselves as a favor. Is it worth it? Because if it’s not, you’ll find yourself in a period of doubt and insecurity. And I don’t want that for any of you. Not when I know that life is too short to not do what matters. It’s always good to reflect and adjust. It’s just best practice when it comes to this game of life, just like any other game. You find what works and whatever doesn’t gets adjusted. It’s just important to find what works for you. Especially if you’re finding yourself in a state of insecurity or pain. Then you should definitely remove yourself.
So, my dear reader, even if I’ve never met you-I encourage you to reflect. Because life is unpredictable anyway might as well make an adventure of it.
Angela Maria 💕