I had a big, bad one today, at least in my book. In thinking about the economy, going to a union meeting and listening to them talk about massive budget cuts, and talking to a few colleagues who know their stuff, I realized, quite bluntly, that a position at my current job may well not exist for me next year. [J from work, if you're reading this, please, PLEASE keep this between us and the blogosphere. I know I don't need to ask that, but I do anyway.]
I've always known, somewhere in the back of my mind, that my tenuous situation may not work out the way I wanted it to. I've got other people vying for a position as well, but the fact still remains that we may have nothing to compete for. I can't go on taking others' maternity leaves for the rest of my life, and I can't wait around for others to retire. So, as frustrating as it may be, I may well have to start over at a new job once again. I can't tell you how disheartening this makes me feel, like some sort of glorified placeholder. I also worry because the more years of teaching I have under my belt, the more expensive I am to hire. Now, not all districts care about this, but it may narrow options a tad.
I got home today, assessed my feelings, went through one handkerchief and several tissues, and reassessed. I am very qualified to do what I do. Even in this economy, someone will need a teacher with my background. Circumstances may make it so that I can stay in my current district, though I'll still look elsewhere; it would be pure foolishness not to do so. I can get good recommendations and find something. It will do me no good to wail and gnash my teeth and complain about the unfairness of life. Whoever said life was fair? All I can do is give my 100% and make every single effort to secure myself a probationary (more permanent, with the chance of tenure) position...somewhere.
I still have some growing up to do. I did some of it today. Nobody owes me anything; I know this. Nobody will give me anything: I have to earn it on my own, based on what I do. I have no control over anyone but myself, and if I don't control my own actions, I don't control my destiny. I also have to accept the fact that I'm human and I make mistakes. However, I still need to listen to the inner voice that tells me how best to help myself; that other self-sabotaging voice needs to go on the back burner, the one who tells me to read a few more pages in my book or that I've earned a rest and don't need to grade those papers until "later". No regrets, no cursing myself for not doing what I could have done to help myself. There's no room for it.
So wish me luck. This being a grownup thing is awfully hard, but I think it's worth it.