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Thursday, June 02, 2005

i'm ok, you're ok.

you know that giddy feeling that came with assemblies in middle school, or the bus ride for a field trip--maybe even at the cafeteria table with your crew?

i loved that silliness and i most certainly must have been one of those incessantly laughing adolescents that cause me to cringe most days.

well, today there was a faculty meeting. we have a typical faculty, i'd imagine; most school professionals seem to epitomize the clusters of children that they now teach in many respects. there are cliques, rumors, resentment, bitterness, love, scandal. the works.

during my drive home, long and straight on 84, i tried to reconcile these two things. and i am struck with the fear that i am--quite clearly, i think--immature.

here are the tally marks under the "grow up" column:

1. i giggle when placed in large groups.
2. meetings excite me and often i feel the need to entertain if they are small groups.
3. i find that i talk loudly so that i am overheard.
4. i think that i am shy or at least antisocial, but my actions don't concur.
5. i hold grudges.
6. i give people the silent treatment.
7. i whine, both when it is acceptable and not.
8. i gossip.

yikes. ok, i could probably go on, but that's enough for now. and to be fair (and perhaps to try to prove to myself that i'm "ok," i'll make list #2)

why i am so fucking grown up that everyone should totally respect me, Dave Eggers style:

1. i just quit smoking a few months ago.
2. i take care of my mother, mostly in the emotional sense.
3. i take care of my mother, physically.
4. i'm paying off debt.
5. i survived massive heartbreaks and am still independently happy.
6. ummm...

ok, that seems to be all i've got.

but in the process, i've realized this: i did have a plan. my plan isn't surfacing. and i'm not sure if i need to flee or embrace what has become of it.

this is what was supposed to happen:

A. My Plan (for myself, circa age 26)
1. Career
a. writer, specifically a poet, but would "settle" for journalism
b. successful because of my intelligence and talent.
c. always be surrounded by intellectuals of my field. college professor?
2. Education
a. at least a Masters, gunning for PhD
b. Ivy League
3. Love
a. married to Drew
b. happy. in love.
4. Location
a. fully traveled, time abroad
b. college town, lots of green
c. in my own place

and this is what i've got:

B. My Life (at age 26 years, 3 months)
1. Career
a. teacher at a vocational high school
b. a job that nearly anyone could do. it's the simplest form of teaching on the planet.
c. working with remedial English and surrounded by blue collar workers.
2. Education
a. Bachelor's Degree
b. SUNY school
c. too broke and financially blacklisted to even start working on my Master's. (something i need for my job)
3. Love
a. wishing i had the $4,000 instead of Drew's engagement ring
b. often lonely. missing romance.
c. owner of a blue vibrator
4. Location
a. landlocked for over 5 years now
b. my hometown
c. my parents' home.

i'm not sure if this is funny or sad. i'm not sure if i'm too young to be thinking this way or if i've let it slide unnoticed for too long.

that heaviness--it's not always there, but when it comes i know it's never left me.


At 6/02/2005 08:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad you wrote the "mature" list because the things on it far outweigh the things on the "immature list". By the way, I object to B1b and B1c on the second set of lists.

At 6/03/2005 02:12:00 PM, Blogger beth said...

Quarter-life crisis. I'm there too. Life craves movement. Seems like you've got lots to be proud of, tho. And I'd imagine your job is not as easy as you're saying.

At 6/04/2005 10:33:00 AM, Blogger hooey said...

Interesting blog IBE. I, too, have a blog; a very progressive one.

At 6/04/2005 11:15:00 AM, Blogger kristine said...

how dare you advertise in the midst of my quarter-life crisis!

...some of my students call me Ms. Howie...


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