Thursday, March 21, 2013

let's talk about feelings + finding happiness

honestly, i'm having a hard time starting this post. partly because i have so many thoughts tied to this one feeling. and partly because feelings are hard to talk / write about in general. 

people feel guilty about small things, important things, and everything in between. sometimes it's something as small as remembering that one time when you were six years old and you stole a paint chip from ben franklin (yup, i did that and my brother told on me). it may be when you realize your cashier at target didn't charge you for that $40 sweatshirt and you didn't say anything (i did that too. am i a horrible person?) sometimes you might feel guilty that a coworker is struggling with making rent and putting food on the table, and you've eaten out for the past 3 nights.  what do you feel guilty about?

for me, i sometimes feel guilty that i went to 4 years of college, got a degree in mathematics education, taught high school math for two years, and don't teach anymore. i'm 24 years old and i used to be a math teacher. when people hear me say that i swear there are two things they want to say to me:
1 // you don't look old enough to "used to" do anything
2 // oh, so you didn't like teaching...?

the first one doesn't bother me so much. i spent every day of my 2 years of teaching trying to dress up and look professional so that i did not look like one of the high school students (no, this did not always work).

heading to my first-ever day of teaching. my mom took the picture because, yes, i lived at my parents. in my defense, i lived there because parks and i were getting married in about 3 weeks and didn't live together yet.
the second one, where people assume i didn't like teaching, does bother me. i loved teaching. i was happy when i was teaching. so why stop? here's my story:
          currently, i am office manager at a lumberyard in a small town in nd. whoop whoop, you're     
          jealous! last spring, in the midst of my school year, i found out that my dad's lumber company
          would be opening a new lumberyard in this small nd town because of all the crazy-business-oil-
          field stuff going on in western nd. long story short, the hubs and i agreed to move out here and
          we would both work for the company to help them get started. our clincher was that we'd be
          provided housing and make a good wage so after a year of working here we could make a
          humongo dent in the student loan department. so it's not that i didn't like teaching. it's just that
          another opportunity presented itself at the time.
{side note: the housing being provided is actually a one-bedroom apartment above the lumberyard. yup, it's that cool. more on that and working with your husband in a future post!}

which brings us to present day. i am 24 years old. i used to be a math teacher. i'm not anymore. the part that i feel guilty about? the fact that i'm not even using my degree in education.

the part that makes it ok? i am so happy. i am a completely different person than i was for the two years after college that i was teaching. i am more relaxed. i take time to read. i take time to blog. i take time to exercise. overall, i just take time for myself. and i love it.

which is why guilt is a funny thing. because feelings of guilt and feelings of regret are two completely different things. even though i sometimes feel guilty, i absotively, posilutely, never-have-i-ever (boy, that phrase brings back the college memories!) regretted leaving teaching to be where i am now. regret is wishing i would have never caught this outfit on camera:
me and my closest friend. homecoming @ age 16. 
just kidding, because that outfit is totally hawt.
no, i don't regret choosing a different career path. and as i'm getting used to it, the guilty feelings are going away, too. i've realized that something like this is actually just a part of God's plan. He meant for me to find happiness and purpose in life outside of a career and i couldn't do that when i was teaching.

now i have found that and i couldn't be more grateful.


  1. Ward WOULD tattle on you for stealing a paint chip. ;)

  2. This post resonated a lot with me.

    I'm feeling very guilty right now about leaving my current job as a teacher in the middle of the year to move with my husband to another state. It does help to remind myself that I am looking out for myself as number one for one of the first times in my four years of teaching.

    Thanks for the reminder! And yes, I'd love to read more about your job and what it's like to work with your husband! xo

    1. glad to hear that - sometimes it's easy to forget that the most important thing is to do things and make choices that fulfill your own life. good luck with your move :)

  3. I think it's great what you did and in your shoes I would have done the same thing. You make choices in life with the knowledge you have at the present time. You can't predict the future. You see two roads and you just pick one...I don't think it was a waste what you did...if anything, you STILL have a degree which is a great fall back, you probably have some great memories from college that helped to shape who you are today and finally you took a risk. Playing it safe never got anyone anywhere...and when all is said and done, you are happy and that is the only thing in the world that matters! So happy for you and can't wait to read more about the path that you took!


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