Self-Indulgent Expression (aka: Whining)

Monday, April 8, 2013
12:35 pm

What could be more narcissistic than blogging? Really. The blogger may espouse a desire to help others or provide instruction, but blogging is quintessentially narcissistic expression. On that happy note, let me tell you what I'm thinking today, or rather, how I'm feeling.

I woke up as Eeyore today. Another Monday morning. The weekend blew by far too fast, which is what happens when they're jam-packed with activity.
And at five o'clock I opened my weary eyes to face another day at a job for which any ounce of passion I ever felt has evaporated. I was faced with the choice to see the butterfly right before my eyes or focus on the invisible cloud hanging over my head. The choice lay squarely on my shoulders, determined by the perspective I embrace. Here's what I mean . . .

Perspective #1: The Intellect

My head knows that I have a good gig. I am in a profession that allows me two weeks off at Christmas, a week off in spring, and nine to ten weeks off in the summer. I'm paid a decent wage, though not exceptional by any means. Except for the rare event, I don't work nights nor weekends. And in my most recent post, I teach small classes of students in a specialized program, in which I have had fewer (almost NO) discipline problems or issues than anywhere I have taught over the past thirteen years. My job is not physically demanding and I work with nice people. It is close to my home, so my five-mile commute takes me all of about ten or eleven minutes. Regardless how cold it might occasionally get in Florida, I never have to shovel snow, or contend with blizzards.  Believe me, I realize that my situation could be FAR worse!

Perspective #2: The Heart

I'm tired and I'm so very BORED. I feel like thirteen years in education for someone who never aspired to be a teacher, is a respectable investment of time and effort, and ample time to discover a passion for the profession if there was one to be found. So far . . . nuthin'! I'm ready for something else.
Union Street in Spencerport, New York
Something that makes me glad to open my eyes in the morning. Something that infuses me with life and energy. Something for which I would happily, willingly give up summers off.

I feel stuck. Trapped in a place of my own choosing, though more out of default than design. I miss every season,  autumn
Autumn is the BEST time of year in Western New York
most of all. I miss small town life. I miss neighborly neighbors. I miss the annual traditions that are an integral part of these kinds of communities. Volunteer Firemen's Carnivals and parades, holiday pageants and seasonal festivals. I know similar such events take place where I live now, but they are not a part of me, nor am I a part of them. They are not knit into my soul. They are meaningless to me. I know my words may sound harsh, but it seems to me that people have some kind of homing mechanism within them that leads them to the place or places they belong.

I love the traditions that never change
When you find that place, none of the negative characteristics are bad enough to dissuade your belief that it is the best place for you. Conversely, when you live somewhere that is not your place, there aren't enough positive features about it to make it appealing. My place is always calling me home. I wish it weren't so, but it is.

The waging war between my intellect and my heart is ongoing, but thankfully the battles are not daily ones. Most of the time, there exists a peaceful stalemate. But there are days like today when the battle is brutal and everything in me wants to run and find my sweet spot. Bombarding thoughts barrage my brain reminding me of the brevity of life, begging the question, if not now, when?
The historic Erie Canal and the Spencerport gazebo
And every argument against shattering the status quo tightens its grip around me. My elderly parents live near me and I cannot abandon them. Our children live close by as do our beautiful grandsons; wouldn't I miss them terribly if I moved away? The job may not be ideal, but it provides us with health insurance and income. The inner turmoil on days like today is exhausting. By the time I leave school, I want to climb in bed, pull the covers over my head, and fall asleep, into that state where thoughts are silenced for a time.

I am not without hope. I do believe one day we will have the opportunity to bring change into our lives. Perhaps it will start with a new job. Eventually we may be able to spend summer and fall up north and the rest of the year down here. If I can let the possibilities seep into my consciousness, the battle eventually subsides, and the war ceases to torment me. Perhaps today, the balm has been in this self-indulgent expression, in my whining.

I really, truly, honestly know how very blessed I am, and how extraordinary my life is. And I do feel guilt for my dissatisfaction. But how does one ignore the longing of the soul indefinitely without feeling as if she's wasting her life? I refuse to waste my life.

Until next time . . .

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