Unemployment Benefits

When my school district first laid me off, my initial thought was that a Director of Education position at Sylvan would be a suitable alternative, so you can imagine my excitement, last week, upon finding a similar opening at a center nearby.  The day before I left for camp, I sent them my resume, and on Monday, I had a phone interview with the Sylvan franchise owner that went extremely well.  I was told that the next step would be another Sylvan employee contacting me within 24 hours to schedule a one-on-one meeting/interview.  I was never contacted.  After the first day passed without a call, I initially felt myself sinking into my worthless funk, but now that a few days have passed, I’m actually starting to feel relieved. 
I understand that if I really want the job, I should call the franchise owner again to follow up, but honestly, I’m not sure that I want to.  While that job will bring me around $100 less per month than my unemployment gives me, it comes with benefits and the potential to turn into a salaried job as the economy improves.  And yet, I don’t feel the need to fight for this job.  This could be due to my passive nature, but I really feel that it is due to the fact that I want to teach.  Period.
I’m fairly certain I could excel at Sylvan; even with the managerial demands the position entails.  I might even find some happiness working there; especially once the afternoon hits and the kids arrive.  But ultimately, I know my heart will be longing for that teaching void that this job would not fill.
And honestly?  Besides the waves of worthlessness that wash over me every now and again, I’m actually kind of enjoying my unemployment.  Due to all this free time, I was able to start this blog last June.  For as long as I can remember, writing has been gratifying to me.  I have volumes upon volumes of journals that span from 5th grade to my college years.  I used to write 13 page letters to my best friend on a regular basis before snail mail became outdated.  Writing calms me, and fills me with a sense of accomplishment.  If I hadn’t lost my job, I don’t think I would have found the time to start this blog, and I think that’s what worries me.  I don’t mind putting my writing on a backburner for teaching.  Working with children is my number one passion, and I look forward to the time when I can be back in the classroom.  But to give up my love of writing, for a job that is not where I ultimately want to end up in life, does not sound like an enjoyable alternative. 
Many may look at this decision as selfish, or even idiotic.  Believe me, I wrestle with feelings of guilt and laziness over being unemployed on a daily basis, and not aggressively going after this Sylvan job is taking it’s toll on me (the chewed, pink, raw skin around my thumbs are physical proof of that).  And while my intentions do have a dash of selfishness thrown in, I know I have to make happiness my number one priority.  If I start working a job that ultimately, does not leave me happy, and prevents me from continuing to write, I think I will only live to regret it. 
I’ve always strived to look for the positive in things, and I truly feel that my unemployment was a blessing.  Besides the fact that it gave me the opportunity to write and express myself, it allowed me to move in with Greg, and realize that, despite always being around each other, we still have the most amazing, rock-solid relationship.  It is a love and respect that I’ve never experienced before, and I’m so grateful to live with him and experience what a loving relationship is supposed to feel like.  Moving back to my hometown after twelve years away also strengthened and renewed my relationships with my immediate and extended family.  I’ve always been close with my family, but this proximity has been pleasant and uplifting for me.  I’m thankful for the chance to pop in and visit my grandma in the early afternoon hours, or to meet up on Saturdays at the park for a game of Ultimate Frisbee with my siblings, cousins, and friends.  If I were still teaching in Adelanto, none of this would be possible.
Judge my decisions if you want, but until I’m teaching again, I’m going to make the most of my unemployment and push my guilty feelings aside. 

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6 thoughts on “Unemployment Benefits

  1. I think you're being to hard on yourself. Its mentally grueling to desperately chase after stuff you know you don't want. Don't feel bad for finding the good things that have come from this period–so many people focus on feeling powerless or become resentful. But you've found your center in writing, become closer to your family, and taken your relationship to a new level of trust. Those are all admirable things. 🙂

  2. What she said. Honestly, I was unemployed for a year and a half, and wish I had used the time to write, instead of frantically clambering for jobs that were beneath a college-educated person. Good luck, girl!

  3. Completely understand! I love teaching…and I love writing. Even went back to school (as a single mom with a FT job) to get the degrees they require because I really wanted to teach. (I'm a nurse and I want to teach nursing students.) Well…I got the degrees (and the debt that comes with them) and then the economy tanked and the teaching jobs vanished.(I got to teach long enough to know for sure that I do love it…and seem to have a knack for it.)Only YOU know what makes YOU happy. Do NOT settle! Focus on the job you want…don't chase after “less-than-what-you-deserve” jobs.It sounds like you have found a good man…you wouldn't “settle” in that department – don't settle in this one either.

    • Very true about settling. Until I'm absolutely forced to, for whatever reason, I will not settle. And I'm sorry that you're kinda experiencing the same thing: finding a passion in teaching and getting it ripped away from you. I'm optimistic that it'll get better in a few years, and I hope you'll get to teach again soon too!

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