Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I've been hemming and hawing about allowing myself to write this post, but I figured I might as well just do it. I really do try and avoid getting too personal, so as not to alienate anyone, or make anyone feel awkward. But sometimes you just have to cave in and give way to what you really need. And what I really need to is just vent a little. I don't know if it'll actually make me feel better, but I can try, right?

I have been trying not to dwell on what "could be." I try to instead focus on what "will be." That positive focus has helped me get through the last 5 or 6 months without too much heartache or frustration. Matt constantly reminds me to look forward, not back, and without his constant reminders, I think I would be in a bad place.

In August, I was fighting a big bout of depression. It lasted well into October. I was down on myself for yet again not finding a permanent position. The first few weeks of school were rough. I would come home from work and cry almost every day. Matt did his best to comfort me, but there was really nothing he could do to make me feel better. There was only so much he could say, so many hugs to give me, and so much advice. I really struggled and have struggled since then to pull out of it.

One of the only things that has pulled me through to where I can say that I am getting better is this little place. I am perfectly aware how insane and ridiculous that sounds-that a blog where I talk to people I have never "met" has become a saving grace. But it's true. I think that starting this project nearly 2 and a half years ago has saved me many times from going into dark and cranky places.

Sometimes that is hard for Matt to understand. I think he sometimes struggles with how much time I spend reading or writing or looking at blogs. I don't think he fully understands how much this little place has helped me, and I'm not very good at articulating that to him. He sees this as a passing hobby, not as something that I can really hold on to.

The same goes for a lot of people in "real" life. For some reason, I am bothered by the fact that people might see this as my silly little blog. Many people think blogs are stupid and a waste of time. Many don't understand that for bloggers, their little home on the internet means more than their little homes elsewhere. I really struggle with getting people to understand that this is an important place and that I am doing important things here.

Or so I think. I mean, what am I actually trying to accomplish? I spent some time today going back rereading some of the earliest posts here. I can tell that I have grown a bit as a writer, which is fantastic, but have I really grown as a human being? Has this project helped me achieve the goal I had when I began?

This is where I start to question things and teeter on the edge of depression again. Because do I really want to be a teacher in a traditional sense? It seemed to make sense when I entered college, when I was in the program, and when I first started long-term positions. I love literature...obviously. I love to write and talking about writing and the writing process is second only to my love of books. I also love kids. I'm not trying to put on airs when I say that I have an ability to connect with students from all walks of life. One of the best feelings was having one of my seniors write in his final exam essay last year, "Thank you, Mrs. D, for not playing favorites and showing all of us that we are important and that we matter." How could that not matter to me?

But I continually wonder if my inability to impress administrators is a sign that I am supposed to move on to something else. Being rejected after every job interview for almost 4 years kills a piece of me every time. It got so bad in August that I bawled like a baby when I got a rejection letter (because apparently they couldn't call to tell me no). I really am a weak-minded and scared person. I can't handle that kind of constant rejection.

So again, I am stuck. I am not sure where I am supposed to go or what I am supposed to do. My greatest fear is to let the people I love down...and I have felt that way for years. I feel insecure when I am with the people closest to me. I feel like a failure and that they think that too. It is hard to look my brothers in the face when they talk about work. Both have fabulous jobs and are successful. My sister-in-law is back in school to be a physician's assistant. She is accomplished and working hard towards something that she wants. My younger sister took the initiative to apply for an internship down at Disney, where she's having the time of her life. Matt is working hard by being in school full-time and managing the restaurant where he works.

And I'm here. The only thing I seem to have going for me is this place-a lonely place on the internet that doesn't seem to matter in the grand scheme of things. I struggle every day to figure out what I want to do and who I want to be, and I seem to be making no progress. I am stuck in an endless cycle of hope, rejection, and fear. I don't know how to pull myself out of it, to find important substance and meaning in the little things. I don't know how to become the person I want to be-how to make those around me proud.

I struggle every day against these kinds of insecurities. And I feel even more insecure that I am going to hit publish soon-what kind of backlash will result because of this level of honesty? I am sure that someone will feel uncomfortable because of this, but the other option is to continue to keep this negativity inside and not give voice to it. And perhaps someone will understand and be able to offer me a bit more guidance, say something new, or at least offer the smallest amount of comfort.

I can hope.


  1. Allie,

    Thank you so much for writing this post. This line really hit home for me: "I struggle every day to figure out what I want to do and who I want to be, and I seem to be making no progress." I have an MA in an obscure field that is basically useless in the midwest (where I live) and I work at a job I hate to pay the bills. I still haven't figured out what I want to be when I grow up and I have tried doing different things that I decided to give up on because they were not the right fit. Some members of my family have made it clear that I did not live up to their expectations and it sucks. Being stuck is no fun. Your blog is one of my favorites and has definitely inspired me to read more classics so, to me, it's not some silly little blog.

    The only thing I would suggest (and maybe you have done this) is talk to a mentor/friend, etc in the field of education to see if there is another area within the field that might be a better fit for you.

    Sorry for the novel but I just had to comment and tell you how much I appreciated that you felt comfortable enough to post this.


  2. Although I may not comment often, I read your blog almost every day. I've always loved classics and your little corner of the internet is my favorite place to see that other people also enjoy them. I'm very sorry that you haven't been able to find a permanent position. If it helps, I've felt very lost over the past year... I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh last December with a B.S. in Neuroscience. Shortly after that, I found out that I wasn't accepted into the graduate schools I applied to and so I had no idea what I was going to do. I'm now in a community college for the medical lab program, which I think will give me a job that I somewhat like while still allowing me a life outside of work (which a PhD research career would not). I think I'm relatively happy with my new decisions and direction in life, but I often feel like I've let myself and others down by not pursuing a more challenging position. I feel like I just went backwards by going to a community college instead of forward to a graduate or professional school. Hopefully, everything that happens now, and the decisions we make will lead us to the future we're suppose to have. That's what I hope anyways. Good luck in all of your future choices, whatever you choose to pursue is right because you chose it :)

  3. *hugs*

    I'm proud of you for being brave enough to write, then post this. I love my little piece of the internet. I sacrifice a lot to keep it going, but I don't think of it as sacrificing. I don't think most people really get what I'm doing or just how big it's gotten (or maybe they don't think it's anything at all but a waste of time and space). I also have no idea what to do with my life, but I know that where I'm at isn't it. At least I hope not anyway...

    My situation is a bit different, but I want you to know I understand your feelings because I have similar ones myself. If you ever need to vent, feel free to vent to me.


  4. Allie! I send you virtual squeezes through the interwebs.

    It's not silly AT ALL that your blog brings you happiness...and it's not pointless in the grand scheme of things. Yeah, to most people it's "just a blog," but anything that helps you live more intentionally is PRICELESS. And writing your thoughts down and sending them into the world is a kind of therapy you can't pay for.

    I can't speak for Matt, but I know my husband gets frustrated when he sees me hurting and can't fix it. He wants to be enough to satisfy my every need, but that's just not possible...or realistic. He gets a little jealous of the time I spend blogging, but it fills a need for me that he can't possibly fill. All I've done since college is edit everyone else's masterpieces; so, for me, my blog is a chance to be the creator every now and then.

    It sounds like you're under a dark cloud right now, but you're young and bright and talented. YOU'RE not to blame for the difficulty in finding a full-time position. This is a larger problem in the teaching field. The jobs just aren't as available as they used to be. Same for the nursing field. Same for print journalism (my own personal lost cause and source of much depression and frustration). Start looking at the areas you have control over, and try to give yourself a little grace. Your insecurity will tell you lies about yourself. Don't believe them. Even *I* know you're better than that.

  5. Blah, I was writing a long response here but all I really wanted to say is that you, Allie, are not alone. I know people in situations like yours -- wonderful teachers who can't find jobs. I know people who just can't figure out what direction their life should go in (me included). And I know people who really get something meaningful out of their blog lives and there is nothing wrong with that. So, keep your chin up and know that we're all here for you, rain or shine.

  6. Hey, I know I don't comment here often, but I really love your blog, and I'm so glad that you keep up this little corner of the internet. I think it's great that you can talk about your frustrations to us. What kind of a community would we be if we only cared about your for your book reviews?

    I know what it's like to feel insecure and scared about careers and where your life is going. I am also feeling unsure about teaching right now. Trying to decide between teaching and grad school and what I want to do with my life, it's scary and frustrating and disheartening all around, and I'm still just a student! I can't imagine how much more frustrating it must be to have to deal with job searches and administration and all that. But it sounds to me like the problems are coming from outside rather than from you. Times are tough right now, and not being able to find a job certainly doesn't make you a failure.

    I know it's hard to change the way you think about these things, but try to remind yourself that those nagging voices telling you mean things are wrong. You write an AWESOME blog, and you have an incredibly brave and intelligent reading project going with your 250 classics challenge. You are clearly a very intelligent and motivated person, and eventually that is going to pay off. In the mean time, I don't know what advice to give you except to keep on blogging, because I'd miss you if you stopped.

  7. I don't know why this post would cause any sort of backlash. There's nothing wrong with you being depressed or overwhelmed or confused or anything else after four years of this. It's rough! And as for the blog? Most of us who are here understand exactly what you mean. My blog has saved me from self-destruction many times, when I was stuck at home with three little kids and unable to have any adult time. I need my place, just as you need yours - definitely something we all understand. I'm sorry those close to you don't understand so much.

    Sending you lots of hugs, Allie. I know we've talked about this a little off-blog and so there's not really much more to say. I'm here if you ever want to talk.

  8. You have not, for ONE second, made me uncomfortable. I am glad you opened up, and that you love blogging, and I really know where you are coming from. Life is just hard sometimes, and I get that... I think we ALL get that. To be honest with you, I've also suffered from depression for the past five years, not from a significant event or anything, but because my brain was made that way. So, I hear you and I know where you are coming from. Things will get better. I promise.

  9. It's not silly to be so attached to your blog--that's how you express yourself, so it's a piece of you out in the world. My blog is as minor as they come, but it's still my little baby blog!

    I just want to remind you that your talent for teaching and your ability to please administrators are two *completely* different things. They have almost nothing to do with each other, and at times you may have to displease admins in order to help students. Bureaucracy and learning do not always get along.

    Lots of teachers are out of work these days. My SIL, a teacher, makes a living by working through a tutoring service. Perhaps you could look around for something like that, that isn't directly in the school system? Just a shot in the dark there-- :)

  10. "For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." - Ecclesiastes 1:18

    I've seen you quote the Bible before as a source of comfort, so hopefully you'll receive the above with the love intended. x

    I live with a sort of constant melancholy. I wouldn't call it depression. It's just an acute awareness of both the sorrow and the joy in life. I read recently that Lincoln suffered this, too -- and that it's often a symptom found in a writer.

    You are one of the most giving people I know. Of course you would mourn the inability to share that gift. I believe you feel very deeply, and that you see very deeply into people's potential, and into the "human" part of being human. That's why you so love literature, and why this space means more to you than a "silly blog" or a hobby. You see more than just letters and avatars on this blog. You see the souls. For you it isn't a hobby; it's a chance to connect, to express, to be plugged into the pulsing world and be a voice that contributes.

    Your giving spirit, your soulful honesty, is palpable in your posts. That's why people return here. That's why this remains my favorite blog. You are kind, you are human and approachable, you are sincere. You compare yourself to your siblings because you are so sincere -- so able to see potential in people. "They succeed. Why can't I?" You scrutinize yourself, and you are probably harder on yourself than anyone you know.

    If this blog were a live book club, people would flock to you, Allie. Success is not measured by pay check or diploma, but by the friends we keep. This blog is your heart and soul. Not silly, not at all. (And I agree with others above; I believe we’d all agree a book blog is far more than a hobby.)

    I can’t tell you why you haven’t been hired for a full-time position yet – but I can tell you it isn’t you. I’m sure you’ve heard all the obvious explanations – “It’s just the economy; it’s the job market; it’s the lack of funding in schools.” So I won’t say all that. I’ll just say that you inspire here. You inspire me, and I know you inspire all the people who visit here – both the silent and the talkative. We love you just like your students. You challenge us to try new books. You approach them in such a way, they stop feeling intimidating. You inspire conversation – from anyone.

    You’re like a stream of water that rushes up upon a dam and turns left to make a new lake. You can’t find a permanent classroom. That must be a terrible feeling for one who so longs to give of herself. But you don’t quit. Instead you open a blog here, and you teach the world.

    Because you’re a teacher.

    You have the soul of a teacher, and if they haven’t figured out how to get you a classroom yet, you etch out a classroom of your own. You are giving, Allie, and learning, and growing, and changing. It would be impossible for you not to change. And I bet if your siblings knew how you see yourself, they would tell you that they wish they could be more like you. It’s a part of being human not to see ourselves. The gold tends to get lost in self-doubt. But it’s there. x

    "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." - Proverbs 27:17

  11. Warm fuzzy time -- Your blog is amazing Allie! While I may not be the best commenter, I look at A Literary Odyssey every time I get online. It is so much more than a "silly little blog" your thoughts/posts are so insightful and intelligent.

    It's strange, sometimes I feel that I am more open on my own blog that with actual human contact, the community is so welcoming and nonjudgmental. If this blog brings you happiness or is therapeutic that is fantastic, and know that there are loyal readers out there (no matter how virtual). You go girl!

  12. Unfortunately, most of the people I went through the credential program with ended up not being teachers. I think I've told you before that I ended up in a totally unrelated field after 4 years of substitute teaching (including a long term sub position). I have 3 cousins who also got their credential...and only one is a teacher today. The rest of us couldn't get hired, and we come from a family of teachers!
    Teaching jobs can be incredibly difficult to come by, especially if you're in an area where there's a college nearby. Lots of competition, few's so frustrating. Especially when you sub for people that you know are crappy teachers. And it was my experience that the administrators were totally oblivious to the subs. In the 6 months that I was a long-term sub, not once did anyone come in to observe me. I even had someone tell me that our district tended NOT to hire their subs.
    Depressing news, I know, but my point is that it's NOT you. So, I know it's hard, but try not to take it personally. Our culture is so focused on measuring success by the job that you have that it's incredibly difficult not to get down on yourself. My best advice is to keep on doing what you're doing with the need something for yourself, that makes you happy.
    I'd also consider (and I don't know if this is good or bad) looking for another job. I'm not saying give up on the teaching job search, but look into other avenues (tutoring? government work (that's where I ended up)? working for a local paper?)...something that interests you but that might not be teaching). Or...I don't know if you have Business and Career Centers where you are, but we do. Free services, staffed by multiple agencies like EDD and Social Services and job training agencies. They help with resumes and job search and often have leads on jobs that aren't advertised.
    Again, I hope I didn't bum you out even more, but I just wanted to stress the fact that it is incredibly, incredibly hard to find a teaching job...despite what the public thinks.

  13. I feel like if I mashed up my brother's and my experiences of the last few years I would have a post very similar to yours. It hurts me to know that there are so many of us, so many young people, hurting so badly, so stuck. I know that any more I am on edge, constantly, always expecting that somehow, someone will blame me for where I am, will put me down for it. For me, blogging--and reading--is an escape from that, and I cherish visiting with you and others via this medium.

    I wish I had any answers--for you, for me, for anyone who's here, but I can't find them. Know that you aren't alone. We are here for you, we understand. I have to believe that it will get better. Something has to get better.

    At one point this fall when I was feeling lost, I saw for the first time Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement speech. I can only speak for myself, but this has been one of the few things that has really made me feel that everything will work out, that I can do it. His attitude is just so positive. I don't know if you've ever seen it, but if you are interested it is at:

  14. I will be praying for you tonight, Allie. I hope that's O.K. I know that my blog has kept me sane over the past few years of incredible stress, and so I do understand, as many others have said, the importance of your "little hobby." Not a hobby at all, writing on a blog can be a way of refusing to stew in our own anxiety and stress and worry, a way of forcing the mind to think and work and keep going.

    The Lord bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace.

  15. I think we all feel this way. I myself am very insecure at times, most especially when I talk about what I want to do with my life.
    I am working my way up to a great job in the medical field, but in truth, I still have this little thing in my head trying to tell me that I would be so much happier if I worked with/on what I'm passionate about - books, writing, literature.

    This 'little place' we call our blogs, to me, has been my safe haven too. Nobody can truly see its positive effects on my life, but at the end of the day, I CAN. I can see its effects. I can see how much it inspires me. I can see how it has affected me and my life. I am surrounded by books and bookish people all the time, and being around this world comforts and encourages me.
    All I'm saying is, you know how much your blog means to you. It's okay if people don't understand that. It's okay if you can't try harder to make others feel the same way you do. Sometimes that's just how it is.

    But don't let those things discourage you. It's hard right now, but you WILL get through this, somehow someway. (TOTAL CLICHE, right?) I know it's easier said than done, especially because we're not going through what you are going through, but be comforted by the fact that there are many of us here who have gone through or are going through the same things as you. Keep those people close to your thoughts to comfort you when you feel like a 'failure.' How these people read your posts and your thoughts, and even comment on them. Surely your blog readers wouldn't care about what you have to say if you were such a failure ;)
    Think about how your little place here. If it still makes you in any way happy or content about life, then it's doing its job.


  16. Allie,
    I read your post, was going to comment, didn't know what to say, couldn't sleep and so here I am typing at 12:30am. I know from experience that blogging can be a life-saving activity so don't listen to the voice that says that it is not important or doesn't matter. If it matters to you, it matters! And judging by the comments and the numbers (hundreds) of followers, it matters to a lot of other people. There are many ways for people to spend their time and the fact that many (like myself) choose to spend time reading your thoughts - wow!

    My family has endured a horrific tragedy and we are slowly healing. My two daughters are seeing a therapist which has helped them - someone neutral that they are comfortable sharing their feelings and thoughts. One has also found yoga to be very therapeutic. For me, my "therapist" has been reading, my journal and the blog that is dedicated to my deceased son. They have saved my life.

    The only thing I can say, which I say to myself everyday, is to take one day at a time. Be kind to yourself, comfort yourself. I used to think that was such selfish thinking but it has helped me get through the pain of the last three years, It is when I am taking care of myself that I can take care of others.

    I appreciate your openness and honesty.

  17. I know exactly what you mean about this blogging experience being important and that the "outside" world just doesn't get it. But why must we meet someone face to face to strike up a true friendship? What about the penpals of the old days? Case in point, Julia Child's "friend" who was her penpal and friend for many, many years before she actually met her in person. Everyone has their niche or 'hobby', if we must call it that. This just happens to be ours. The plus side is that our 'hobby' comes with a ton of friends.

    I also totally understand your discouragement about the permanent job. I was in school for seven years, attending part-time for my bachelor's in history and English and my federal loan money capped out. So, I can't go back to school, I can't find a job working from home and it's pretty much impossible to find a job that will work around my sons' school schedule. We just simply can't afford the before/after school care for me to work full-time. Yes, it is majorly discouraging. I wish I had a magic solution for you to feel better, but I do know that comparing yourself to another's accomplishments will only make you feel worse. You are an accomplished person because you went to school and got that degree. That is something to be very proud of and someday soon that perfect employer will recognize your unique talents and you will get that permanent position. I have found that thinking positively has really helped me to not get depressed and discouraged. How I do it, I don't know. I just have it in my mind and I do it.

    I wish you luck with all your endeavors. And if this blogging thing makes you happy, then you should continue. I know I just met you through the read-a-thon, but I'm sure I speak for others who know you in saying that your presence in this community is important.

    I'm keeping you in my thoughts.

    I initially stopped by to check on you for the read-a-thon. If you're still reading, I hope you're enjoying it.

  18. Chin up! Don't give up on your dream of being a teacher if that is what your heart tells you. You never know what the future may hold. I am studying to be a teacher also and so can completely understand the disappointment you would feel with being unable to get a full time position. Maybe you should move to Australia where we seem to have some sort of teacher shortage ;)

  19. Oh Allie, your brothers were helped to get the jobs that they have. Yes they are good jobs, but if you listen to them, they also are frustrated with what they need to do to maintain those jobs. As for your sister-in-law, it took her working in the field that she got her bachelor's in to change directions and go back to school.

    I really feel you need to relax and enjoy the accomplishments you have attained. You have a degree, a wonderful blog, a husband who cares for you madly and a family ready to back you up.

    I myself never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up and did what I most wanted, stay at home with my children. I decided not to go to college-I was scared back then of failure. That was hard with one income and four children. Many times I questioned my decision, but today, I am so grateful that I stuck it out and loved every minute of it, even when I got down and out and depressed. (yes we all go there at times)

    I told you I always wanted my girls to go and get a degree, I didn't care what it was in, but I wanted them to experience college and all that goes with it. To have that piece of paper, to say, see I did it! Don't forget, you did it. If you end up not using that degree for the job you end up with, so what? Does that really matter? Yes you love teaching, but maybe it was your starting point, you need to move forward, there just may be something even more special for you to do. Don't limit yourself.

    Now as for a teaching job, you know the kids love you, just like we all do. I really believe, that your path is meant to take this road. It can be frustrating and depressing, but along the way, you develop new talents and friends. This blog is a great avenue for you. I have learned so much from it. I think those who are literal, see life differently, so please do not compare yourself to your brothers. As for your sister, what she is now doing is helping her to get out of her own funk. You know she has struggled herself in her life with difficuties. We all have our issues, it just takes time to find what works for you.

    There are many teachers in life. I feel a Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, Aunts, Uncles, friends, your blog, etc. are all teachers. I know you love the classroom and the feedback. I really believe you need to go back to school if only for yourself. To be doing for yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and those around you. You may need to take a job outside of what your actual degree is in. That is okay. We all do what we need to.

    Please get out of that apartment every day, take a walk, look at what is around you and enjoy the simpliest things in life. Journal your thoughts and feelings, then move on from them and go accomplish something new you've wanted to do. Don't hold yourself back. You need to take care of yourself first. When you realize that you are the beautiful person you are, in every way possible, then you can move forward.

    Love you, Mom

  20. Everyone has insecurities. So you are not alone, trust me on this. It's so scary to think about the future sometimes-what if my choice isn't the best, what if I'd just go against all odds and follow my paasion for literature.

    The thing is that fear tends to overwhelm most of us to the point of just giving up. And as far as I've read on your earlier posts, it's not you, it's the system. Maybe if you get to talk to someone in your position you'd gain a new perspective. And if a student wrote that to you, it must mean something!

    I doubt that your relatives are judging you for your lack of 'big girl job'. I doubt that's all you mean to them.

    It's OK to build a support system here! We'll never judge you.

  21. I hope you know that we dont look down on you. It's hard to look down on someone who has dealt with so much and still is an amazing person. It's more like the opposite, we look up to you. You're doing amazing things, you have sooo many stories from things that kids do to show they appreciate you. I don't know but I have never heard of some of the things they've done for you; you must be special. So just know that you HAVE made a difference and you HAVE helped changed kids for the better.

    Don't feel like a failure, you've done so many things and have made it through so much more so than what a lot of other people have gone through. That's an accomplishment and you should be proud. Yeah the job thing sucks, but you have a close-knit family, a really weird but super supporting husband, and have memories of lives you have changed since college.

    Plus, you're a wonderful sister and I have and always will look up to you. Trust me I know the pressures with our crazy career driven family lol, but at the same time we cant compare ourselves to them. It's more of a timing kind of thing for all of us but everyone knows how theres practically no jobs for teachers now. What we all see instead is a strong woman who keeps trying because this is her passion, and that's something to definitely be proud of :)

    Love youuuu. And I miss you a bunch. You better come down to see me soon!

  22. Others have already said all I want to say so beautifully, so I'll keep it short. But I want to tell you that you and your blog inspire me constantly. There are so many odd similarities in our lives (married our high school sweethearts at the end of 2009, same age, adore classics, live in the midwest, etc.) and so seeing what your going trough at different points alway hits home for me. I was laid off for awhile in 2010 and really sturggled with it. Seeing you create something so wonderful out of that frustration is amazing. This blog is not just a hobby. It means so much to so many. I don't have many friends who understand what my book blog means to me either, but that doesn't make it any less valid. Keep blogging, keep hoping, keep striving to make your life everything you want it to be. Your passion has already found a way to teach others, it's just not in the traditional classroom sense right now.

  23. I've got nothing helpful to say, but keep blogging! Keep going, one day at a time. And keep blogging! :)

  24. Others have said it much more eloquently, but the bottom line: we love you, we get it, and this is not your fault. There is a huge community of book bloggers that feel exactly the way you do -- saved by being able to reach out into the void and connect over a shared love. Reading and education and all of those wonderful things are not cherished the way they should be. Your abilities in the classroom have not been cherished the way they should be and I pray that that will change soon or that you'll find another place you feel comfortable and valued.

  25. Your mum's comment literally just made me cry, how lovely! Anyway, you know what, we all (and that's a lot of us!) come here and read your blog because we know you'll have something insightful and wonderful to say, and that's a lot! I've been more or less unemployed since I graduated in 2010, and I know how difficult it can be- the rejection and the feeling like you're not good enough really piles on top of you until you feel like you can't do anything ever. But you can, and you do! Sure your blog's just a little corner of the internet, but it still reaches loads of people, and sometimes even inspires us to start our own blogs (that was me, by the way!) and mine has helped me through some really tough times.

    And, I know it's hard but try not to stress about figuring out what you want to do- I know it's difficult not to feel kind of aimless, but we're still young and I think we're allowed not to know what we want to do yet! And if what you want to do is teaching, then it's not your fault that you haven't been given the opportunity to fully show what you're capable of (and, just personally, from reading your blog, I feel like that's a LOT). I guess I'm just trying to say don't feel bad about yourself, because you're pretty great. And keep allowing your blog to make you feel good, because that's totally a good thing.

    Oh yeah, and, you know, *hug*.

  26. Allie, I'm sending you a virtual hug! And I think I send one for your Mom, too. I hate to tell you how old I am-no, I refuse to tell you how old I am! But I still don't know what I want to do with my life. Except love my husband, love my daughters, love my family and friends. Everything else falls away-really. You said you haven't impressed any administrators-I think you should not make that assumption. And if you impressed the students, that is much more relevant and important. The education field is in a state of flux. Please do not judge yourself or your level of success in this perfectly crazy environment. I don't think you really need advice, but here's a question: have you considered going back to school for writing? Or simply starting a writing project based on this blog, why you started it, etc. etc.? I've probably asked you that before, but it seems like a natural step. And, hey, this *little* blog is the awesomesauce.

  27. Oh, Allie, what an honest post. While I may differ a bit from previous posters in saying (quite strongly) that I don't ever think that your blog life should be more important to you than your off-line life, I know how great it can feel to connect to a community of people you never knew existed before.

    But I can also understand the concern of your family and friends if you lapse into spending more and more time online and less time with them. It's so easy, sometimes, to slip into a life where you feel understood and ignore the life where you feel rejected, but I think that can be a really slippery slope. So chin up and make sure you keep up your hobbies!

    As for feeling like the market is trying to tell you something- I know that feeling well, as a business school student! Have you asked for feedback from the interviewees that said no to you? That can be really telling- they have nothing to lose by being honest with you and it may not be your qualifications but the way you answer a certain question or carry yourself, which is very easy to fix!

  28. *hugs*

    I can relate to this in so many ways - I'm kind of in the same boat as you - not working full time right now after getting screwed out of a new job and feeling like a failure. I'm having a hard time accepting dealing with things as they are. Your blog brings me joy and I thank you for introducing me to fabulous books that I have added to my to read list.

    You're an amazing teacher and I've loved getting to know you through this blog - I'm sorry that a school can't see what we all see and welcome you full-time onto their staff.

    Oh and your mom's post? totally made me cry.


  29. So many have offered you such great advice here that I feel like I'm being redundant, but I wanted to reiterate a few things I agree with vehemently. You use this blog for absolutely whatever you want (or need). Like you, I don't have a lot of understanding from my real life friends and family when it comes to my blogging. It's not something they see as essential to my life; as you said, to them, it's just this cute little hobby. Most of the people I know don't believe you can actually be friends with someone you only know online. We know better. :)

    As for teaching, from what I understand, it is practically impossible to get a teaching job these days. It's obvious to me from reading your posts that you are a fabulous teacher! I second Jill's suggestion; don't give up on the dream of teaching, but maybe consider a "teaching-adjacent" sort of job. Being an adjunct at a community college, working in a library, tutoring either at a school or a learning services place, etc.

    No matter what you do, remember that you have a ton of support here whenever you need it.

  30. Oh Allie. I'm so sorry that you are going through this and I wish I could offer some type of verbal comfort. I picked my career (insurance) because it was the easy way out of not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I got extremely lucky in that I really enjoy the challenges of what I'm doing, but I do sometimes regret that I had to let go of the literature side of things (having two degrees in Lit). I keep thinking that maybe one day, but my good friend who just received her PhD is looking for teaching jobs and just emailed me with a query about the community college near me. That was my back up--if she's look at community colleges for an "in", I don't think I can look to that as a back up any longer (I'm talking WAY out). I hate to echo some of the others, but I do imagine that there is probably a wonderful job waiting for you--maybe just not in the field of teaching.

    But in terms of posting this type of thing on your blog, I know it's scary to press publish, but I know you'll always find love and support. I know what it's like to have a husband who doesn't understand this or that, so use blogging to your advantage! Even just writing things down can be cathartic.


  31. Allie, I'm sorry to hear your going through such a hard time! Hang in there. I can relate to people not understanding why a blog is so significant in life! (My husband also thinks it's a passing thing, and it's been four years now!) I can understand how it's such a helpful thing when life is rough because I've felt the same.

  32. Oh, Allie. I hate to know you feel this way. I second everything almost everyone, especially Jillian, said, but I'm going to add my two cents.
    I was going through depression when I first opened my blog. I still am, to a lesser extent. I opened it because I was tired of not accomplishing anything, and I thought reading and talking about books might help. I didn't have the courage at first to write, to voice my opinions. And I got that courage and inspiration to pour my heart into my blog because of you and the obvious passion you feel for both books and teaching. And it did help. You and your words mean something to me. They inspired and helped me when I needed it most. I live on the other end of the continent, so you would not have done it without this blog. Of course it means something.
    I truly believe you'll get the teaching position you so want eventually. But even if you didn't, there are so many different ways to teach. You found one here and, like your mom said, you'll find more. You just need to learn to see yourself the way all of us see you.
    Love, Caro.