I realized I didn’t explain to people what I did for the latter half of the epically strange year that was 2020.
I have to say, I can only think of one year, in my lifetime, that was worse for me, and that was 2017. That was the year my heart was broken, my grandmother died, I almost didn’t graduate from my master’s program, and I had to redo my student-teaching placement. My mother ALSO had a stroke that year. I definitely didn’t say any of this in the right order. 1. my student teaching placement sucked and I eventually had to redo it or I wasn’t going to graduate. 2. my grandmother died when I was just about to finish the new placement. 3. my mom had her stroke. Then, 4. my heart was broken. Ok there we go. Recap of 2017.
Now let’s fast-forward to 2020. I was already planning on leaving my job and was waiting for February 2020 to start applying to jobs…. Needless today, come February, there weren’t even that many jobs, even though we didn’t know much about COVID yet. I think there were like 2 jobs listed I could apply to. I started to panic a little bit because I definitely didn’t want to get stuck there for another year, after working my ass off for 2 years. It was my plan all along to leave, and I was determined to make it so.
Fast forward a month, we really don’t realize how serious COVID is… but then we find out that the school where we work is going to be closed down for 2 weeks. We find out minutes before the kids leave, on a Friday, and we are instructed to not really say anything to the kids, so we don’t really get to say goodbye. I felt like something was wrong and that I should be saying more, but I had to follow orders. I am not usually a rule-breaker. Not usually, anyways. Soon we find out it will be another week, then a month, then we realize we will be teaching from home INDEFINITELY. That email, those words. I was freaked out.
I spent my 31st birthday pretty much alone, but did have a fabulous birthday via zoom, at the cupcakes my friends sent me via DoorDash, and cuddled with my boyfriend and my cats. I taught online via Microsoft teams until the end of the school year, never returning in person to see my students or to get to say a proper goodbye. (Side note- Teams absolutely sucks but I will have to save that story for another time since this is supposed to only be a recap- and it’s already getting kind of long. Oops.)
I taught summer school online as well. We barely socialized. Zoom got super boring and people were over it. Weddings and other events were cancelled, or were highly stressful to comprehend attending. Many arguments were had if things were safe or not.
I did learn some new things over the quarantine and the months after it. I did re-learn how to ride a bike. It had been 15 + years. It was hysterical. I was absolutely terrified, but I bought one, and had to figure out how in the hell I was going to get better at something I totally sucked at. I went from being able to ride a mile or 2, to 3+ miles, to 14 miles! I’m still really slow, but I am so proud that I did it. I also did a lot of yoga online and outside, at my studio, which was an interesting experience. Nothing like having bugs crawl all over you while you are in shavasna. Yay.
The other positive thing that came out of 2020 was that I did get a new job. It took MONTHS. It was A LOT OF HARD WORK. I thought I was going to NEVER get a new job. I thought I was stuck at a job I hated indefinitely. Remember how I started applying regularly for jobs in FEBRUARY? Well it wasn’t until AUGUST that I finally was offered a job I could take. And it’s only a year-long position, so now I will probably have to complete the vicious cycle all over again, starting this February. I want to scream in frustration, but I am actually super happy at my new job and I am hoping I will be able to stay. However, I have no control over this, so it’s just adding to my stress. Don’t get me wrong, I am super happy to be out of a job that I couldn’t handle anymore, but I am not the type of person who likes uncertainty. I am also 31 and craving more stability and a job that I am actually happy at and deserve.
I did a lot of avoiding, a lot of reading on my patio. Then the weather got colder and my mood swings started to become a bit more dramatic. I’m not sure if I’m alone on this, but sometimes I feel like I am, even when I know I’m totally not. My stress seems super high. I’ve been teaching in person since September. There’s nothing like wearing a mask all day while corralling 4th graders and reminding them to stay 6 feet apart all day. It can be downright depressing, but I made it. I survived 2020. And now I’m hoping I will survive 2021.
I am hoping that I might even flourish in 2021.
I am even hoping that I can start cracking down on what motivates me to actually get out of bed early in the morning. Well, to actually want to get out of bed I guess. Right now, and since I can remember, I’ve always waited until the last possible second before I get out of bed. Right now I just lack the motivation. Sometimes I just feel lazy.
This is my next challenge for myself. It’s been years of a bad habit. I have no excuses, except that I need to figure out myself a little bit more, I think.
If anyone out there has any suggestions about how to overcome this dumbfounding habit, please reach out.
In the meantime, I need to tell you more stories about my new job and I guess I should probably tell you about Microsoft teams. Until next time, friends.
P.S. Follow my new instagram, please. @randomramblings45