All the clocks are ticking, my iphone alert is flashing, the provisional to-do list has progressed from vague scratchings to urgent jobs that need attention . The thing that has been terrifying me – the thought of leaving a well paid job and entering financial and professional uncertainty is all-but-here. My beautiful 2012 Moleskine diaries (I bought 2, a monthly and a weekly with plans to utilise both) have nothing more than my name, email and a promissory $10 reward scribbled inside. I am the very definition of inaction – on the outside at least.
Part of the problem is that I feel faint every time I look over the edge of the cliff I am standing on. I am too scared to leave, too overwhelmed to stay. Everything is on hold, my dissertation included (actually, my dissertation most of all) and I am holding me breath, waiting. Something has to give. I cannot stay in my current house as it is an Education Department house which I only ever had a 12 month entitlement to – that was always a given – so even if I stay, I can’t, you know – stay. I am coming into my second week of sick leave from my current employer – I am unfit for work, in more ways than one, but I am having problems firing the pin in my resignation pistol. While I am on sick leave it is still possible to go back, to transfer, to make everything ok again – keep my salary, my lovely, beautiful salary and shrug off this past few months as menopausal-induced insanity. And then I remember my teaching load, my subject load, my horrible co-worker, the insurmountable extra admin work that is expected of teachers at my school (do you have any idea how much time and effort it takes to manage the absentees for 30 students?) and it is too much. So, change it is.
Fear & Loathing
I hate, hate, HATE making decisions. I used to be great at it – I used to believe that no matter what, I would be ok and that life was made for taking risks, embracing opportunities and going with the flow. Hard life lessons have made me fearful of my own capacity for decision making these days and the reality is that you can make all the pros & cons lists that you like, there is simply no way to predict. I used to be ok with that, even a little excited by it but having lost everything once I am paralysed in and by my own indecision.
I am trying to learn to trust that I have thought this through as best I can. I have confronted every possibility and have contingency plans for them all. No matter which way I choose, I have a load of work to do and the next 3 months or so are going to be professionally challenging no matter which way I turn. I may have burnt a professional bridge with my current employer but that was not of my doing, they have made this a far more difficult process than they needed to, and, I am building new bridges – exciting, challenging, much less stable bridges.
At the moment I have a ton of work to go to. I have a small amount of money to live off while my adjuncting/sessional contracts kick in (it can take up to 6 weeks to start being paid) and if the department does the right thing and pays to relocate me, I am ok in the immediate future. My re-skilling as a HS teacher means I can also do relief work and although this is even more relationship building and time committment, it also gives me another avenue for money. I need to trust that this isn’t a matter of making the right or wrong choice – perhaps there is no right or wrong in this equation. It’s a matter of choosing one and doing what it takes to make that work.
I honestly feel that going back to my current job would indeed be going back and the time has
come passed to move forward or sideways, depending on your perspective. I am pretty sure that I won’t lose everything, and pretty sure that I am going to enjoy my new jobs. I am also pretty sure that this is the way to go even if I end up back teaching high school – more qualifications and experience won’t be a bad thing right? And at this point, pretty sure is about as good as it is going to get & I am beginning to be ok with that, maybe it isn’t a matter of either success or failure, but rather some combination or potential of both & I am beginning to be ok with that.