I really do try.
I think positively about being here for my kids.
I try to see the “everyday qualities” of the area and what it has to offer in the “big picture” as well. I seek out time with people I respect and admire and I understand that meeting people somewhere else will be even more difficult as a new person all over again. I think rationally about how problems don’t go away with a scenery change. I explain to myself how I have come to romanticize being somewhere else and that quality is not reality.
Unfortunately it does nothing for my deep soul.
I feel that I am slowly dying inside from the rut of my current station. I feel trapped by my own self imposed immovability. I know the choice is ultimately mine to make about how and where I choose to live my life. However, I am first a mother and the needs of my children come before my own. They are only in my charge for a short time and I owe it to them to be a decent parent and provide a stable environment they can thrive in to become the best adults they can be. Part of that environment includes their father in the vicinity. I’m not naive about that need for a child. Nor am I willing to sacrifice their need for my own need to change my environment. The window grows smaller…only 5 more years. Though the tunnel seems so long and I feel like when I reach the other side I will have lost the vitality of life that I will need to start over.
I will be in my late 40s. My children will all be grown and out just beginning their lives when I will feel like I can finally begin my own. I feel tired regularly as it is now. There is never enough to do all the things that demand time and money. And the future prospect of money becoming a major life issue for me is debilitating. I am working on ways to save over the next several years so I can have a cushion, as well as ways to increase my pay by getting extra certifications. Unfortunately with the late entry into my profession, it will be awhile before I see a decent level of manageable income for a single person. I will most likely have to contemplate a roommate in order to afford to live on my salary. In order to break the $50,000 mark, I need to have over 15 years in my county. I’m not even half way to that time due to staying home to raise my kids. Not to mention the rising cost of health care that continues to eat into earnings. I think I’ve heard from fellow colleagues that they have progressively been making less per year with the rising costs and the lack of increases over several years.
Every few months I do a search for “teaching in a small town” to see if there has been some article published to help direct where I should try to land once I’m able to move away from the community I’m currently drowning in…
I’m not a city girl. I never have been. The congestion of the people makes me feel crowded in and claustrophobic. I also don’t do well with the societal excesses of people needing to “keep up” or the falseness it breeds. I desire to be around honest, hard working people who don’t need to put on faces for fifteen seconds of fame or to show off their status. I prefer local businesses that do good work and take pride in themselves over the dirty, lackadaisical ‘working stiff’ places that provide low wage work to the masses. I like ‘off the beaten path’ kinds of things over glitz and glamour to impress.
I don’t need much. I’ve decided a small, modest home is probably the best idea for me. Not even really interested in over 1000 square feet. I’m so tired of seeing all these 3000-5000 square feet homes going in for half a million dollars and up and it being the golden apple for people to attain. I want a few things. An efficient floorplan, a small fireplace, many windows and possibly even a sunroom area with cozy seating, and outdoor space for sitting as well as cooking/eating. I don’t need a huge yard. Though I would like to plant some of my own vegetables someday when I have more free time.
I want to be able to travel to see my kids, though I hope they choose to live in close vicinity to one another so they can create the family dynamic we have always discussed where they get together often and their kids know one another and we have “family get togethers” on a regular basis. I actually look forward to being a grandma one day. I want to see my children enjoy their own lives and families and to be a significant part of their lives. I want to be a source of support and stability for their lives.
I also want to find contentment that it seems eludes me and has for several years now. I hate feeling that this is somehow my fate and I just need to resign myself to it. That many people have it so much worse and I should be more thankful. Knowing I should feel differently and working to remedy it is very different than actually feeling differently. I just want to find the place where I belong…and soon before my light fades so dim I can hardly notice it myself.