Friday, February 22, 2008

Watching the Wheels...

Soon, I'll write all kinds of insightful posts about completing the book, and how it feels to FINALLY finish something and really start pursuing the dream I've had my whole life. Sadly, today is not the day for those posts, but stay tuned! ;) I've been listening to a lot of John Lennon here lately. I've always felt a strong connection to him, probably because on the day he died, my Mom held little 18- month old me up to the TV so I could see what she called "the end of an era." She told me later that it made her so sad to think that I'd grow up in a world without John Lennon, who'd been so important in her life. My mom is awesome, in case you couldn't tell. ;) So, yeah, always loved Lennon. And here lately, a lot of his songs, namely Watching the Wheels, Beautiful Boy, and Just Like Starting Over, have been repeatedly playing on my computer, and it's Watching the Wheels that I wanted to talk about today. Back in October, John and I left jobs that had made us spiritually, physically, and mentally sick. Not that teaching in itself was so horrible; we really liked the kids (well, most of them!) and the subjects we taught, but the place we worked was just a blackhole of suck. It was run by idiots and syncophants, and it had literally become a toxic place, at least for us. So we left. This was one of the scariest things I've ever done. I've never in my life left a job without another one waiting. Neither had John for that matter. But we were lucky in that we had a very fluffy financial cushion so that we could leave and not worry about it (lesson: save your money, kids). However, our leaving created some weird reactions in the people we knew. My good, true, loyal friends stuck with me and gave me nothing but support, something I've always been extremely thankful for. And then there were others. People I worked with for years suddenly treated me like I had the plague. Other people, people I didn't know as well, spread rumors about why John and I had left (apparently we were getting a divorce. Wish someone had told us!) I actually got an email from someone I had considered a casual friend that listed all the reasons my quitting was wrong, and how it was all John's fault. Yeah. Lovely. All of this, as you can maybe imagine, put me in a weird emotional place. I would LOVE to be one of those people who doesn't care what others think. In fact, I'm pretty sure I put forth that impression. But in all honesty, it hurt. I didn't like feeling like a pariah, and for the first time in a long time, I really doubted myself. But here I am, four months later, and I feel better than ever. I've finished the book. My son is awesome. John and I are better than ever. And I no longer work in a place that makes me tired and unhappy. So what have I learned from this experience? Sometimes, you have to take risks. Sometimes, stepping off the "merry-go-round" is all you can do to save yourself and your sanity. Sometimes, other people can take a running leap up your ass. Ever since I graduated high school, I was jogging on the treadmill. College six weeks after graduation, moving, marriage, new jobs, grad school, a baby, moving again... all in the space of THREE YEARS. Now, I'm not saying everyone should quit their jobs to follow their hearts. But I am saying that you owe it to yourself to step out of a situation that makes you unhappy. Dare to dream big. Dare to to what you want for once, and to hell with what other people say. Dare to be happy. Dare to keep a kid off drugs... Okay, wait, that was just the D.A.R.E. slogan (and if you remember that, welcome to Oldsville, my friends!) And in closing, bring it on home, John Lennon...

People say I'm crazy doing what I'm doing,
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin,
When I say that I'm o.k. they look at me kind of strange,
Surely your not happy now you no longer play the game,

People say I'm lazy dreaming my life away,
Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me,
When I tell that I'm doing Fine watching shadows on the wall,
Don't you miss the big time boy you're no longer on the ball?

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll,
No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go,

People asking questions lost in confusion,
Well I tell them there's no problem,
Only solutions,
Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I've lost my mind,
I tell them there's no hurry...
I'm just sitting here doing time,

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll,
No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go.


meredith said...

You are AWESOME!!!! Your post is very insightful. It's not easy to take risks, but man, when you's pretty freakin' sweet! I know I felt a lot like you did when I decided to take a HUGE risk and move to a city where I knew no one, had no job and a place to live for 3 months. What was I going to do in NYC after 3 months? But it all worked out and I am so happy it has worked out for you, John and Will.

Love you!

~Amber~Leigh~ said...

I have to admit, the title of your blog was very intriguing to me. I really do understand what you have said about Sparkman. I almost look at it as a blessing now, and I think I needed to work there for a year to understand why I can't complain as much anymore. It was the scariest thing ever, like you said, to leave a job without having one waiting (this wasn't necessarily my choice). Since I have been at Liberty, my life has been different. Sure I stress, have a lot to do, and get annoyed easily sometimes, but that's part of teaching. I love the school I'm at, my kids, my colleauges... it is a place I've grown fond of and comfortable with. I'm glad that you have a passion and something that makes you happy, because ultimately, nothing else matters. Thank you for voicing some of the things I've been thinking for a while. And for the record, I never once would believe any of those nasty divorce/etc. rumors. =) I know you much better than that. The sad thing is that many people at Sparkman are stuck in a slump and are never going to leave, for those same reasons some told you you shouldn't have left.

We can only hope that things will get better at Sparkman; yesterday, I lost my final tie to my former work place and my high school alma mater: I cheered for Bob Jones against Sparkman (girls basketball regionals to go to the final 4). I will always love the Sparkman from my high school days, but I can't love the Sparkman that exists now.

Now that I have thoroughly bored you, you can go visit my blog, =)

Felicia said...

The risks are scary because we have no way of knowing what will happen. But nothing big happens if you don't take big risks sometimes, and they can be worth it. I wouldn't be here in Alabama and have the opportunity of calling you friend if I hadn't of made that huge scary leap. It was damn hard, but worth it. John Lennon was great. It IS too bad we have to live a life without his beauty and influence. I love you honey. You are a very brave and courageous woman.