It’s crazy how much your life can change in just one year. I’ve never felt that before; sure, things changed, but they seemed to do so at such a slow and steady pace that I found myself just rolling along with life. There’s a song by Incubus that I really like that described me in the dawn of 2010 perfectly –
she woke in the morning
she knew that her life had passed her by
she called out a warning
“don’t ever let life pass you by!”
when will we learn? when will we change?
just in time to see it all come down.
My college years were awesome. I try to not regret anything, but if I did it’d be the normal, everyday regrets that everyone has — I should have done better in school, I should have focused more on the grades than partying — but also, I’m not going to lie, there’s a part of me that’s damn glad I didn’t because I had such an amazing time with such wonderful people.
After graduating in summer of ’06 I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, just that I wasn’t ready to go into the real world, and so I started considering using the English half of my double major to go into teaching. The only thing I knew I wanted was to one day be Dr. Mabry, and it didn’t seem like my lackluster grades would springboard me into graduate school. I figured going into teaching would help with my credentials/experience and grad school admissions, plus I was somewhat tired of college at that point anyway. I re-enrolled at Murray as a post-bacc taking secondary education classes. One year later, Hopkinsville High School hired me as an alternative licensed English teacher.
That year at Hoptown was hell because I didn’t know what I was doing, I wasn’t where I wanted to be, and I didn’t have any administrative support. Two older teachers took me under their wing and at the end of the year I was hired at Kenwood, my alma mater, to teach junior English and run the yearbook staff.
The best part about teaching in the 3.5 years I did so was my Journalism students. I loved working with the yearbook staff and creating a product with them. They were mostly wonderful kids, the ones I feel as if I bonded the most with, and we all had a common goal in mind. I wouldn’t trade that for anything — but teaching as a whole was dragging me down. By the time this year started I knew it was going to be my last, because I had gotten so jaded with American education and all the paperwork involved and the twisting data around to make our 100% graduation rate and all that shit that just hid the fact that we were graduating kids who couldn’t read and who absolutely were not ready for the real world. So while it scared the shit out of me to lose my job in Oct. 2010 because of issues with my alternative license, it also seemed like an opportunity to me – I don’t have to do this anymore!
Like the song said, I felt like I had just woken up one morning and seen so much of my life just gone. I was in a relationship I didn’t like anymore after 6.5 years, I was dragged down paying both my bills and his and didn’t have any money left in savings, I wasn’t in grad school for English, which is what I wanted, I was still stuck in Clarksville when I desperately wanted to travel, and I was shoehorned into a job that was simultaneously hell and too good to give up in this economy for me to consider quitting – I could have been stuck doing this for the next thirty years, easily!
So much has changed since then. I kicked Allen out in the beginning of Februrary 2010. I made up my mind that the 2010-2011 school year was going to be my last. I started talking with my mom about the possibility of moving home to live with her while I went to grad school so it would be more affordable. And then out of nowhere, in the shittiest online game imaginable (Fly For Fun, where I hung out after work because my brain was too numb to handle anything intricate), I had this guy start hitting on me. Well, not at first really — it was my fault because I completely had one of those word-vomit moments and dropped the world’s worst pickup line on him first — but by then the damage was done. This little bugger was persistent. We started playing the game together and then out of nowhere one weekend Allen texted me to tell me that he was on his way down to take me out (we had been toying with the idea of dating again). That pissed me off so badly because I was having fun playing with this guy — Darren — that I bitched about it. Then I gave him my MSN account and logged onto it on my phone and spent every minute that night that Allen was down texting him on it.
That’s the last time I saw Allen — he made me so mad the next day that I snapped at him that I wasn’t his property anymore and he could deal with it — and Darren, the persistent little bugger, kept up his daily harassment of me. He wore me down. I told him I didn’t want an online relationship. He said okay, he’d come visit. I admit that I was very skeptical at first, especially since there’d be so much red tape. This wouldn’t be an easy long-distance relationship because he was Canadian. He had to get a passport. He did. He had to figure out transportation down here. He got a bus ticket. Then out of nowhere even nature rebelled and threw a flood on us that destroyed the Clarksville bus station and took the Nashville one out of commission for awhile. We looked at his itinerary and decided I would pick him up in Bowling Green.
So then things got crazy. I imported a boyfriend that I met in a shitty online game and magic happened. I felt happy again. I started playing video games again (which I’d always loved doing, but I pretty much stopped in my past relationship because a) he didn’t like to and b) i couldn’t “be the kid” when i was the only one who felt like an adult). I had an awesome roommate in Bry in a beautiful house that we kept (mostly) clean (okay, so maybe it was messy sometimes, but never dirty). I was having fun and I was happy and so on. When I lost my job in October, things took a turn downward, but swung back up again when I realized that I had enough of a savings since dumping the ex that I could afford to support myself for several months and that I could finally go back to school for what I wanted to do. My life had completely fallen apart and was starting to come back together.
to be continued