I just want to write about some things that have been on my mind lately.
In February, I found out that I wasn’t going to be recommended for renewal at my school. And the rules for Madrid are that you have to be renewed at your school or you can’t renew at all. The reasoning that I was given was frustratingly vague. Apparently I don’t take enough initiative and I would be better suited for a smaller school. I did my renewal application anyway, hoping that the ministry would see that on my form, the director clearly wrote that she would want me placed at a different school. But it’s April and my application hasn’t advanced at all in their system (they send out emails when your application has moved from one stage to the next), so I’m guessing it’s not happening.
For a couple weeks or so after that, I was extremely angry and depressed. #1, because I was really counting on doing this again next year as my source of income, #2 because I’ve really grown to love my kids and I wanted to be with them again next year, #3, I was hoping to do this again while I transition to whatever the hell I’m doing next in life, whether that be teaching or writing/journalism. But most of all, #4, is that my teachers were the ones who my director based her decision on. And because of my social anxiety, I automatically assume the worst: that my teachers think I’m horrible and incompetent, or that they straight up just don’t like me and don’t want me to come back. Maybe I’m too shy/quiet. I don’t really know, and part of me doesn’t care to know.
So I’ve been kinda stressed about what to do next year. I’m really interested in teaching, so I was looking at alternative teacher certification programs. I was about to interview for a program, but then I decided not to, because the deadline was fast approaching, and I’m very fickle when it comes to career choices, so I need more time to think about it. Of course, I like writing as well, but it’s not easy to do enough freelance work to survive on, and it would be impossible in the cities where I want to live. I could go to school here in Spain, but a student visa for Spain requires that you have enough money in savings to support yourself while you’re studying ($1000/month). I don’t have a savings at all because I’m trying to pay off my credit cards. And then there’s always teaching English in another country, but I’m not interested in doing that right now. The most attractive options for me right now are: 1) to go back to the states, get a part time job, probably in the non-profit sector again, while writing as much as possible. (No no no no no…I can’t. I just can’t do this…) Or 2): A second option that I’ve been really considering is doing a working holiday in Australia. I’ve never been, and I’ve never been dying to go, but you can only do the program until you’re 30. I’ll be 30 in 5 years so….
Yeah, I’m getting old.
And that scares me because sometimes, I wonder if I’m just wasting my life.
And that’s another reason why I’m upset about not coming back next year. I kinda feel like I haven’t carpe-diemed enough, you know?
Like, maybe I should have made more friends. Maybe I should have been less shy. Maybe I shouldn’t have moved into a place with 7 other people because WHY THE HELL DID I DO THAT WTF WAS I THINKING DO I NOT HAVE A BRAIN????? Maybe I should have called out kids who made fun of me in Spanish, thinking that because I’m the Engilsh assistant I don’t understand them. I should have been enjoying life more instead of spending so much time sitting in my room being sad. I shouldn’t have spent months being angry at myself for something I couldn’t really control. I should have been more productive instead of wasting time feeling sorry for myself. (I know I’m being cryptic here but something happened that kinda shaped how my year went and I guess I’m kinda upset about that. Don’t worry, it wasn’t anything that bad, I’m not physically harmed. Just heartbroken, I guess?)
So yeah, I was hoping that I’d be able to come back next year and do it right this time. This time I’ll take more time to find a decent place that isn’t shared with 7 other people. This time I’ll be a better teacher and I’ll have a better start to the year. This time I’ll be better at being productive. This time I’ll finish my novella during NaNoWriMo. This time I’ll have a better social life. This time I’ll keep my fragile, gullible little heart in a titanium vault, under 24/7 guard by a retired secret service officer, in a secure underground bunker with a location only known to the President of the United States. (Cause honestly I can’t even trust myself with it.) This time I’ll party harder. This time I won’t be late as much. This time I’ll try to be more friendly. This time I’ll try to travel more. This time I’ll….
But I’ve said that to myself every year. At the end of the school/work year, I’m always like, “man, I could have done some things differently; next year will be better.” And it usually is, but it’s never quite good enough. Especially when it comes to my social anxiety. I’m much better than how I used to be when I was a kid, but I’m still so weird around people.
Anyway, that’s why I wish I had a do-over. And now I’m not getting one. I could always apply again the year after next (I think). Maybe I could use this year to work really hard on my writing, both here on the blog and elsewhere. Hey–that’s something positive that came out of this year. It was the first year that I made money from freelance writing. Who knew that I could put words onto paper, and people would read those words, and like those words that I have written? I’m used to people underestimating me and ignoring what I have to say, so to get emails, tweets, facebook messages, and comments from people who say that they like my writing is really nice. If you’d like to read some of my stuff (warning: I write about social justice issues, like racism, so you may probably hate me after you read my pieces…not that I care anyway), here’s a link to my portfolio.
Oh and I started running, something I haven’t done since elementary school. It’s a great stress reliever, and of course it’s good for you. And as difficult as it is, I actually like it. Unfortunately, I like it too much. In February, like a month after I started running, I thought I was so cool that I could run a 15k. Well, since then, I’ve had issues with my left hip and quad muscles, so I’ve had to scale back. Ugh.
And I think my Spanish has improved. But I’m still not where I want to be. UGH–that’s another downside to not coming back. It’s going to be much harder to get better at Spanish while living in the US or Australia.
And I got to travel, which is cool I guess.
Anyway, so I guess I’ve learned the lesson that I learn every year. Try harder to live life to the fullest, or whatever.
And finally, I went to Malaga and Nerja for spring break. I will post about that soonish.
Do you ever wish you could have a do-over?
What are some positive things that happened to you this year?
Tell me about it in the comments.
Header image is a picture I took in Paris.