On Not Going Back…Again

I mentioned in a previous post that this has been a tough week.  This was the first week of school for most schools in upstate New York.  Despite sending applications out to dozens of schools and interviewing at a healthy handful, I still don’t have a job as a school counselor.  I wrote about it last year and doubt that I could say it better than I did then.  

Many things have changed in the past year.  We’ve been living in our house for almost a full year.  Bitsy is walking, talking and being a toddler.  I had the privilege to work for a short-term maternity leave at a local high school in May and June.  Chris’ schedule has changed and he now has a semi-normal schedule.  I am now home with Bitsy full-time until I get a full-time job.  I am hopeful that something will come along.  Last year at this time, I hadn’t even had any interviews.  This year, I have had a few.  I’m hoping that the tide is turning and something will come along soon.

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One Tired Mama

oof. I am one tired Mama.

In the past month, Bitsy has officially become a toddler.  She is only 14 months old, but she has been on strike from naps and has become quite opinionated! My high school job ended at the end of June, and I haven’t found anything else yet.  So, I am home with Miss Bitsy full time now.  I give so much credit to full time stay at home moms.  It is exhausting!  

Since I am currently without a job (and therefore without an income), Chris has been taking so much overtime.  Each week, he has at least 9 hours of overtime.  9 hours might not sound like too much, but the shifts usually start at 3am.  I am so grateful that Chris is willing to do the overtime for our family.  I am also grateful that he has the opportunity to do it and that any OT he does is very well compensated!  

I am physically exhausted.  But, also pretty emotionally exhausted.  I’ve been really defeated about my job situation.  Unfortunately, getting a job in a school is very political.  Even more unfortunately, people in power are not always ethical in their decision making processes.  

I have some new-found confidence today.  At long last, I have an interview for a PERMANENT position. Not a maternity leave, but a full-time leads to tenure permanent job.  I am so grateful for the temporary jobs that I’ve had, I am ready for this though.  I’ve spent the past few days creating an online version of my portfolio (jillianlaurenzo.weebly.com for those who are interested) and tweaking the materials that are coming with me to the interview.  

All weekend, I’ve been receiving messages of support from family, friends and former colleagues.  Today, Chris is working overtime, so Bitsy and I have been jamming to some Mandisa (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emgv-VRtMEU) to get me ready for this afternoon. 

This job might not be “the one,” but, the support I have gotten has helped so much.  I am confident, and ready to own this interview.  Fingers and toes are crossed, prayers are ascending.  Let’s do this! 

On not going back to school…

This week was tough.  I usually love the beginning of the school year.  Buying new supplies and outfits, meeting new students, a fresh start for old students, even the smell of the freshly cleaned building that has been largely vacant for 2 months; the air is thick with the anticipation of what the year will bring.  There is so much excitement and anticipation in the moments before the first buses pull up and the first bell rings.  

This week was that week in so many schools around me.  So many of my friends on social media were posting pictures of their kids going back to school or posting statuses about the first few days back.  The ones that really got me were the people who were posting about how upset they were that their summer vacations were ending and that they had to go back to school.  I get that, I really do.  Summer vacation is wonderful, long relaxing days, the freedom to read what you like and wake up when you like.  It is fantastic.  

I, however, would have done anything for my summer “vacation” to end.  I didn’t get a job for this fall.  I am a certified school counselor in New York.  I am good at being a school counselor and I love it.  Last year, when I did have a job, I woke up every morning at 5:30 excited to start my day.  I loved what I was doing, each day was a new and exciting challenge.  I knew that I was making a difference.  My coworkers and supervisors were fantastic.  I genuinely looked forward to work each day.  I was desperately hoping to go back to school this fall, but it didn’t happen.  

There are a lot of wonderful things in my life right now.  I realize that and I am so grateful for it.  I have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful husband.  We are in the middle of buying an amazing house in a location we are very excited about.  I have a job that allows me to be home with my baby 4 days a week and my husband to be home with her the other 3.  There is a lot of great stuff going on in my life, but I really feel like I am missing that final piece.  

One of the major lessons I have learned in the past year or so is that it is not about my plan.  My husband and I had a lot of plans for our first few years of marriage.  Nothing has gone according to those plans.  I really believe that when we make plans, God looks at them, laughs and shows us what God’s plan for us is.  The job will come eventually.  I know that.  I am trying to focus on the positives of not having a full time job right now.  

I know that I have been given a precious gift in my daughter.  Having a baby has changed my relationship with my husband in so many ways.  Parenthood is helping us to grow as individuals and as a couple.  I think that God has given me this time to continue to grow.  This year is going to be about building our lives together as a family.  It will be about providing Elizabeth with a solid foundation and for strengthening our marriage.  I have more to say about marriage, but that is for a different post.  

For now, I am just trying to trust that God’s plan for me is greater than anything I could ever imagine.  I am trying to let go of the uncertainty and frustration that has resulted from my plan not coming through.  I am trying to let go of the fear of the unknown that lies ahead and to accept that it will all be ok.