After writing about seeds, and sharing with you the little surprise discovery I had about myself last year, the ongoing support has been awesome. Thank you.
Yesterday and today, I did some biting of chunks of challenges.
You see, in 2000 I finished uni with a Masters in Teaching. I stayed on and completed the Masters because when I did prac with the Graduate Diploma, I made a terrible discovery: teaching scared the shit out of me. Panic attacks galore, to the point of hoping for car accidents on the way to work so I wouldn’t have to go. The level of anxiety and fear I felt about teaching was horrible, and I know I won’t be able to do it justice with words. The entire thing terrified me – how to interact with other teachers, what to do on playground duty, what to wear, what to take for lunch. I completely forgot basic skills like telling the time and spelling, so great was my terror. So staying on and going the Masters seemed like the perfect way to avoid going into the classroom.
Of course, I finished the Masters and was a targeted grad, meaning I got offered permanent full time work straight away.
Which I turned down.
Since then, I’ve had many failed attempts at getting back into the classroom. I go OK for maybe a day or two, but then it just falls apart. More often then not, recess and lunch were the times I would find a quiet corner and sob. This was pure terror, all stemming from anxiety.
I’ve tried other jobs, and the thing is, that anxiety ended up being related to everything work related. And with the discovery of Aspergers, I now realise that what has been fuelling that anxiety is missing those cues and hints that help everyone else navigate work just fine. That, and not recognising the limits of my role, and therefore deciding that I was there to save the entire world. Which is a pretty damn big ask.
I had a discussion with my beloved about different things I might like to do. Working with older people, community services stuff – they’ve always been high on my list. And so has teaching. I know, it sends me batty but I still want to work with kids. I was talking to a friend about it as well and she suggested I check out the course for being a leisure and lifestyles worker – that cheery soul that rocks up to aged care facilities or hospitals and runs diversional therapies like music and art and games and so on. Sounded pretty good to me. Actually, it sounded a lot like I’d be getting a formal qualification for what I had been doing at Cubs for all those years. So I checked out the course, and applied last night.
I got a call this morning, just after nine. I’m in! I start on Thursday! Yay!
And then… I had a shower and got dressed and drove to a local primary school. You see my lovely friend from House of Damask had listened to me talking about teaching, and spoke to a family member about my position (Aspergers versus stubbornness). That family member works in a local school. And just like that, the way was paved.
So I went. I spoke to my friend’s family member. Worked out what I had to do next. And now, that is in progress.
Adventures, friends. Adventures and possibilities.
It’s scary and exciting and big and hopeful and maybe, just maybe, things are going to be OK. Because at long last, I’m not working against myself.
I’m working with myself.
And the possibilities seem endless.