Merry Christmas! Life Update!

WARNING! LONG ENTRY UP AHEAD!

So, guys, I’ve been promising to explain my very LONG disappearance from writing. I really left you guys hanging, and I am SO SO SO sorry. Let me explain! 🙂

I think some of you guys know I taught at an inner city public high school. More to the point, I taught Special Education, and I loved my job. I thought I was a good teacher, and I genuinely LOVED my students. I didn’t win any state awards or anything like that, but the recognition and the affection from my students made it so much more awesome. When you work in Special Ed, you develop closer teaching relationships with the students because you see them everyday, and you know all about their lives. You get to meet their parents, families, and so on.

There was a LOT of workplace drama (administration drama that eventually spilled over to us teachers and staff and students alike). It went on for three years. We were all constantly tense because in that time, two superintendents-and-presidents got fired/resigned, one principal resigned, etc. Heck, for months, we didn’t know who to report to! They also replaced our curriculum and all of that. Added new state guidelines, school guidelines, blah blah. So many teachers quit and retired, and we were down to nearly half of our original size. I was doing the work of 3 teachers, if not more.

I was pulling 60-80 hours of work every week. Teaching, prepping, tutoring, what have you. My health suffered, and I gained a lot of weight, and I would go to bed and wake up and think about work. I fell out of touch with friends and I gave up on writing, reading, exercising, all of those things that made me happy.

My family called an intervention. They said, “Look. You are having a nervous breakdown. Stop this.”

I fought them. I said that I was doing FINE and that I was just being a bad teacher. I’d figure it out and make things right and okay again. Well, it took me a few months to accept that I could not, and that I was not a bad person.

So I turned in my resignation at the end of the school year (recent May), and cried when I spoke with my wonderful boss and colleagues. Nearly broke down when I told my students that I wasn’t coming back. I am now getting my Ph.D in Special Education and now embarking on my four-year journey for that Ph.D degree.

AND I LOVE IT.

I’m teaching two classes in exchange for my full-time scholarship and stipend and TA pay. In short, I’m going to school for pretty much free, and getting paid for it. And I’m being a full-time student learning about things that I love and want to learn more. I’m still dealing with students, although they’re hearing this time. Not deaf. I’m still in touch with my former students – the graduated ones, at least, since it would be inappropriate for me to contact my younger students until they’re 18/graduated.

And I’m writing again!

I seriously felt that my Muse had died and I had no more creativity left. The burnout destroyed my creativity to the point that I truly felt empty. I had forgotten how to enjoy life. I forgot how to smile. In fact, that’s what my mother said to me. “You’re smiling again!”

Now I’m feeling that enthusiasm. I’m dreaming about my characters again, wondering what kind of troubles they’re getting into.

I hope you guys will understand and forgive, and join me for my renewed writing journey! 🙂 I have so much more writing to share, and I hope you guys will be here. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, happy holidays!