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.