Friday, December 28, 2018

I'm Just Not Where I'm Supposed to Be

In 2016, I blogged about how I made an impulsive decision to change jobs (Click here).  I went from my dream of working at a school for the Deaf to working in a K-8 New York City public school for special education students.  It's been an adjustment, and I've been thinking lately about this transition and how it's affected my life/how I feel about it (as most people usually do as NYE approaches). It's had me recalling a conversation I had with one of my girlfriends a few months after making the change.  She asked me how the job was going, if I missed her (obviously, yes), and if I felt it had been the right decision for me.  I launched into my standard, rehearsed answer about the perks of my newly acquired dental and vision insurance, pension, and opportunity for tax-deferred annuity.  Then, remembering it was a close friend I was talking to and not some old acquaintance I had bumped into at the mall, I paused, frowned, and said

"But I feel like I'm just not where I'm supposed to be." 

She nodded, instantly understanding what I meant, as best friends tend to do.  The job benefits could be stellar, the speech department could be welcoming, the supervisor could be supportive, and the students could be wonderful, but my heart was still screaming for the Deaf and hard of hearing population that was my passion.

I struggled with it for more months than I'd like to admit.  There are days where I still struggle with it.  When I enter my building, muscle memory wants my arm to sign "good morning" to the school safety guard.  When I tell a student to wait, my hand automatically forms a fist to say "hold on."

While reflecting pre-NYE however, I realized I've been rewarded for my struggles by way of personal growth.  I never expected to gain the confidence I now have working with students with moderate-severe autism, students with emotional disturbances, or students with down syndrome.  I am often surprised by my newly acquired knowledge of behavior management and my collection of visual supports that I have created.  I've developed compassion for students and families of cultures different than my own. I've learned some Bengali, and my Spanish has greatly improved.  I can give sound advice to teachers and friends about students that are having challenges.  Most importantly, I've realized that it's important to hold steady when in new, frightening, trying experiences.  Stagnant living doesn't bring about growth.  I think that's what I'd like to bring with me into this upcoming new year, and I hope you do as well.  I've realized that I'm now exactly where I'm supposed to be, and if you aren't, I hope you make changes to get there. 

Sending you peace and love in the new year!