A full time teacher.
A career that I have had for twelve years. A career that has given me great pride, a sense of accomplishment, and many accolades. A career that has been more than just a job. My passion, My area of expertise. The thing that I never had doubts about.
I love my job.
I do. I love the expression on the faces of students when the light bulb goes off, or when they finally feel the success that they have been working towards for so long. I love presenting an instructional strategy to teachers and presenting information to groups of parents. I like being seen as an expert. As someone who knows what they are talking about.
But lately? Lately I have started wondering. Thinking. Could I have another passion? Another something that gives me fulfillment?
Going through college I always thought that I wanted to be in public relations. In a way, teaching is a bit like PR. You have clients (parents & students), you have goals (student achievement) and you have indicators of success. But now I find myself wondering, could I use my expertise in education to do something else? Could I use my love of social media and writing to leave the classroom?
Rocket has challenged me to provide him a plan….a feasibility study. I need to prove to him that I could really make a go of this.
But I am discovering that leaving one career for another is a bit like going to get an MBA. You cannot get into an MBA program without real world experience. And yet, you cannot get the real world experience without having the MBA.
I am feeling the same way about my current career and the potential career that I have been dreaming of. I cannot spread my wings and try new things because I am working full time as an educator. And yet, to make a go of this dream, I need to get the ball rolling.
A few weeks ago, the interference of my real life came head to head with my dream.
Case in point: I was invited to an event. An event that sounded fabulous with a brand that I highly admire: Mercedes Benz. I do not own a Mercedes-Benz (nor did I think they were going to be giving any away!), but when I think of elegance and cars…I think Mercedes-Benz. They were in Washington DC unveiling the first diesel-powered S-Class in the U.S. market since the 1995 model year, the S350 BlueTEC. Not only would we learn about the car, but there would be test driving. This appealed to me on so many levels. Although not a car buff, I like nice cars. I appreciate them for their comfort, their aesthetics, and the quality of the product. Also? Here was a chance to make new connections, explore avenues and broaden my social media horizons beyond the role of a mom who blogs.
There was only one glitch. The event took place during the work week, in the middle of the day. When I was teaching.
In the past, the response has been automatic. “Thank you for including me in this opportunity. I am not able to attend as I teach full time. I would love to keep in touch and learn more about _____ at another future date.”
This time…I thought about it. A lot. For several days.
Personal days are there for a reason, and I suppose I could have taken the afternoon off to attend. But in my absence, I would be leaving classes and teachers in the lurch from my not being there. How could I justify such an outing? It is one thing when Principessa is sick and I have to be out at the last minute. But going to a lunch and learning about a fabulous new car?
So I did the only thing I could do. I said no thank you.
I knew that I just could not justify it. But the little voice in the back of my brain…it lingered. The voice keeps interrupting me in the middle of my school day, interfering with my reality just enough to keep the dream going. It keeps asking me, ” how are you going to make this work when your real life keeps interfering with exploring your dream?”
It is not really about the Mercedes-Benz. It is about the fact that I feel like I am living a double life. Trying to do so much in two very different worlds. Trying to do my best. Multitasking whenever I get the chance. The truth is I am probably going to have to make some hard choices. Do some hard thinking about what I want.
Would I really be happy outside of the school setting? Would I still love blogging and social media if it became my job and not just the thing that I love? Am I ready to give up on something that even the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards thinks I am good at?