I have always known that I wasn't meant to be a teacher my entire life, that I'd eventually want to move on to something new. Over the past two years I started really feeling burned out and found myself much happier with my handmade business. Then there was that pivotal moment when Andrew and I went out to dinner on a Friday night in January and we just sat there talking about school and how much I hated it and how stressed out I was about it and how stifled I was feeling. We were also talking about how happy I was when I was working with my hands in my card business, how much creative energy I was able to use in my designs. Ultimately, Andrew said, "You remember when we were in college and we were dirt poor? Those were some of the most fun moments of our lives. Wouldn't you rather be poor and happy than rich and unhappy?"
It was a moment of reality-- one that made me understand just how unhappy I was with my teaching job, and a moment in which I realized Andrew's happiness was at risk because of my own unhappiness.
I decided in that instant that I would be moving on. It had been in the works for a while. I had planned on coming back for one more year of teaching, long enough for me to totally pay off my student loans to provide a little more financial stability. I couldn't imagine having to give up another year of my happiness just to pay off some loans that will be manageable anyway.
If you're unhappy, you are the only one that can change that. I was unhappy, so I decided to change that.
Before my Spring Break, I spoke with both my Principal and Assistant Principal and let them know I would be leaving at the end of the year. A couple weeks ago, I handed in my letter of resignation, and this past week I told my students that I would be leaving. While a huge weight had lifted off of me, I also had a very rough week dealing with the emotions of breaking the news to my students. Some of them wanted to know why I was leaving them, which was the toughest part of all. One of my closest students sat in the classroom with tears in his eyes. One of my basketball players made me promise her I would still come to see her games. They did not make it easy for me and I hadn't expected they would.
After sharing the news with one of my former students, I felt better. He said, "Ms. Shenk, all I want is for you to be happy. If you're happy, then I'm happy. Life isn't fun if you're not happy." Here I had spent a good three years dishing out advice to this kid and here he was dishing it back at me. Being happy. That's what life is about.
So where does life lead me next? My card business! At the end of the school year, I'll be taking a quick break and then return to work being self-employed working from home. I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot of you to thank because I know my business wouldn't be what it is today without all of you! Aside from working full time with my business, there will also be a few other crazy things to look forward to in my future! Let's just say that 30 is going to be an amazing year!
And to celebrate and thank YOU ALL, for the next few days you can use the code WOOTWOOT25 to get 25% off everything in my shop and 25% off all blog ads. I'm looking forward starting this new adventure in the coming year!
P.S. 24 school days til I peace out from Baltimore City Schools! And yes, I've been counting down. You know that's how I do! ;)