Yesterday, I left Hamilton as a teacher for the last time. I said my silent goodbyes to the building and the district, and had emotional goodbyes with my coworkers that have become family. But despite the sadness I felt leaving my friends, I finally felt at peace. My ability to breathe changed – it became lighter and easier. I felt my energy calm and stay calm for more than just a few minutes. I was a middle school music teacher for seven years, and as scary as it is to leave a profession, one that I spent five years of college preparing for, everything in my body knew it was what I needed to do. Don’t get me wrong, I still cry every time I talk about not seeing my friends at work every day ((takes a deep breath)), but I know in my heart that they will be lifetime friends and family.
I have spent a lot of time this week thinking about everything that I learned about myself from being a teacher and meeting the friends I have through teaching. The students taught my that I have more patience than I ever thought possible, and that cursing loudly behind closed doors to maintain that patience is a total NECESSITY. I learned that I am a full on mama bear when it comes to protecting and defending the people I care about, and those people can include a student that I had for three years. Being a teacher definitely helped me prepare to become a mom. My first class of sixth graders that I had for all three years before sending them off to high school showed me that I was meant to be a mom. ((takes another deep breath)) And I will get to see them graduate from high school tomorrow. My students also taught me that children are stronger than you think, and it’s impressive and heartbreaking at the same time. Teaching in Hamilton, you hear so many too many stories about the awful home lives that these kids have, and for some of them, you would never know, because they are polite rays of sunshine. For the others, you just hope for the best, and pray that you don’t hear about them in the news for something awful one day.
I don’t really know what changed to make me decide to leave teaching. I don’t think it was one specific event or reason. I give my all to everything I am passionate about, and I knew it wasn’t fair to my coworkers or my students to stay, if I couldn’t give 100% anymore.
My coworkers were the best daily cheerleaders for me. If I was having a bad day (which unfortunately happened a lot), they would all rally to cheer me up in a way that seemed effortless to them. If any of us needed something, at least two of us would step up to help. They taught me to laugh at myself, embrace my (not so) inner bitch, take care of myself, highlight my strengths, and tackle my weaknesses. I will always miss seeing them every day, and being spoiled with knowing everything going on in their lives, but I know that it’s not goodbye, it’s just see you later soon.
So, what now? I’m pursuing styling full time! I am finally and completely becoming my own #girlboss. In addition to having my own clients, I have been applying to other styling jobs, and I have a lot of events and collaborations in my future. I’m excited, I’m scared, but most importantly, I’m ready.
My husband, my honey bunny, and my family have also been absolutely incredible in this process. Poor Tony has to hear me on a a daily basis going from “This feels so right, I’m so excited” to “Are you sure I can do this?????”, and he handles it with such strength and a calm, soothing energy. It’s amazing, and I can’t fully express my gratitude for that. I know it’s been hard for those closest to me to watch me to take this leap, and that’s why it means the world to me to have their support.
Here’s to the future, keeping my chin up, and always moving forward.