April 29, 2012

...still figuring it out.

If there's one thing I can't do, it's figuring things out. At least, I don't feel like I can. When I was younger, probably in high school, I tried really hard to know what I wanted to do with my life, but I never really planned it out. I definitely was not one of those girls who knew by what age she wanted to get married and then have children. Trust me, the whole concept was lunacy to me. I did, however, always know that I wanted to be a teacher or work with children in some capacity. So, I guess you could say I tried to figure it out.

It wasn't until I was mid-semester in my AP English course that I realized English was where it was at for me. I was good at it, I liked it, so it was pretty much a perfect fit. Fast forward 10 years and I have been teaching high school English for the last 5. It's been fun and an incredible learning process. Seriously. I have learned more about how societies and communities function, how people function, and how teenagers learn than I could have ever thought possible. It's been real.

One thing it hasn't been, though, is too much of a struggle. Sure, there have been some REALLY hard years with behavior issues, lack of administrative support with certain students, etc. Those years, however, weren't hard on me intellectually, though. At the end of the day, I still showed up the next day to teach. Now that I have switched schools, I have less of those hard days and more days where I am intellectually challenged by my students. It's pretty good right now, but how long will I do this? Is this what I want to do for the next 25 years?

What's next? That seems to be the burning question. Now that I've hit those 5 years of service, it seems like the only thing anyone can ask me about what I'm planning on doing next. No, I have not gotten my masters degree. The main reason is that I have NO CLUE as to what I want to study. I'm dutifully paying off my undergraduate student loans and am, unfortunately, not really eager to take on more debt any time soon. That's probably most of why I'm not too crazy about going back to school. I love the idea of going back to school, but not the reality.

I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Honestly. I only ever wanted to be a teacher. Now I've meet that mark and I'm good at it. It seems crazy to just stick around status-quo, right? So what do I do next? I'm not interested in becoming an administrator, mostly because I understand how intensely frustrating that job that can be without the right funds or support from your superiors. I'm not eager to get another degree in English, because I already have a hard enough time finding other ways (than teaching) to use my B.A. degree.

Cory asked me a few days ago to really think about two things:
1) What I love to do
2) What I could do in the future that would make me happy

I am clueless. I like to do a lot of things, but I really don't know what I love to do.

One thing you need to know about me is that I'm a pretty even-keel bird. I don't get excited very much because I don't have much going on that is excitement worthy. There are a lot of things I look forward to, though. So does that mean that I'm officially transporting into an old fuddy-duddy? Say it isn't so!

What should a person do to find out what they love to do? How can I know what will make future Liz happy and full of passion and fire? 

To be honest, sometimes all that "passion and fire" can feel lame to me. I guess because I haven't felt that so-called contagious feeling in a long time, I've forgotten the mystery behind it. I've stopped wanting it or knowing where to find it.

But I want to find it. Desperately. So I'm going to start trying. I'm going to start doing things wholeheartedly for me. Like actually taking the minute and asking myself, Where do you want to go to dinner tonight? or What do you actually want to wear? I think those moments can transform into larger choices and decisions. Or at least I hope they will.

It's sort of sad living lackluster. Things have been rocky on my end over the last few weeks, just trying to figure it all--but more importantly--me out.

Now's the time for a confession. I love Tavi Gevinson a whole lot. There's something special about that girl; her blog, her online magazine is really amazing. She's like a younger Hello Giggles. Really. I recently saw her Ted Talks video from last month and as crazy as it sounds, it was like she was speaking straight to so many dilemmas I've faced throughout the last few years. I mean, this girl is 16 years old and is well on her way to figuring it out--and if she's not--she's trying really hard.

If any of what I'm saying resonates with you in any way, I encourage you to watch this video. It's less than 8 minutes long and profoundly refreshing. Also, if you know any teen girls, I think you should share it with them, too.

So off I go, into the land of unknown. I'm trying to figure myself and everything else out. I want to know more about myself, especially what I truly love. It's hard! I don't know how I'll find it, I just really, really hope I'll know it when I do.   

Yours in trying to figure it out,


  1. Check out MyNextMove.org. It may help with the figuring