I debated whether or not I should start this blog on my birthday when I officially turn 30 (May 20th, for anyone who is curious. Send all checks to…..sorry, I couldn’t help it:)). But, I figured it would be fun to fill you in on how I felt before the B-I-G day and then watch my life afterwards.
I know, I am making this sound like something EPIC is going to transpire when I turn 30. Like, suddenly, the Earth will start spinning the opposite way or something. I should be really honest with you, though….nothing is going to change. More likely than not, I will be doing the same, predictable thing I have always done. You just get a front row seat to watch. Maybe the lesson you’ll learn from me will be what NOT to do when you’re about to turn 30?
I might make light of this, but the truth of the matter is, and to make myself sound like a guest on Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday” — I feel a lot more reflective about myself now than I ever have before. I am seeing and learning things about who I am and HOW I am as a person that I didn’t really pay attention to before. It’s been uncomfortable and has, at times, filled me with shame and disappointment. But isn’t that the point? To realize your shortcomings and get better?
For example, on Friday, I was tweeting about how it was my last day of Spring Break and instead of being productive like I planned, I intended to lay on the couch all day long and do nothing — I was in denial that my break was ending. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job as a teacher. I wanted to do it since I was 6 (ask my sister and cousins who have stories of me forcing them to play school, as I was the mean teacher assigning homework to 4-5 year olds). But, unless you’re in the throws of the job, you’ll never understand how much teachers NEED these breaks. Teachers who want these breaks shouldn’t be berated for “not loving their jobs” or their kids. I love my kids. I love my job. But I am human. And when we teachers have poured and poured ourselves endlessly into 20 little lives every day, — days where either it’ll be fruitful or days where we’ll be hitting a wall — we get burned out faster than anyone else. Have some empathy.
Anyway, after I tweeted this, an acquaintance I follow, tweeted to teachers that if Spring Break ending was this traumatic, then, “please resign before you infect your class with your attitude.”.
I IMMEDIATELY responded the way I would have years ago — arms up, fists at the ready, punches about to go. And so I did. I punched. I hit him the only way I knew how — below the belt. I got angry, tweeted about how people who aren’t teachers shouldn’t criticize especially when they’re sitting on their unemployed butts. (He used to be a teacher, but became an artist). I deleted him, blocked him, and immediately chalked it up to saying, “I’m 30 now….I aint putting up with anybody’s BS!”.
He responded with “I never heard you complaining. This was about someone on Facebook. And I was a teacher for 4-5 years before I decided to become SELF-employed not UNEMPLOYED” I don’t know if he was telling the truth or not. It seemed coincidental that it was soon after my tweet. And my friends, afterwards, had said that perhaps he should have thought of people who follow him on twitter who could have taken it the wrong way. All legitimate arguments, but the truth of the matter is, I lost my cool and while I basically put my character on the line, I also offended someone in the line of fire.
After a few tweets back and forth, and profusely apologizing (from my end), I spent the rest of the day beating myself up in my mind. I couldn’t believe I blew something SO miniscule out of proportion. Why didn’t I just handle it better? If I thought it was directed at me, why wasn’t I adult enough to tweet him privately and ask if he was referring to me? Why did I have to respond like an emotional high schooler? And WHY did I have to make it “okay” by claiming that I was 30? How does responding to something like this make me “30”?
I was mortified and it wasn’t because of WHO I got into with, it’s HOW I responded. I am always ready for a fight. Why do I feel like I constantly have to be ON GUARD?
So, by the end of the night, after I beat myself up mercilessly, I finally realized that I’ve got to THINK about it before I DO it. Meaning, I’ve got to think about what my reaction should be. I can’t be like the 20-something-year old who made decisions and responded emotionally. If I’m going to BE 30, I am going to have to start CHOOSING like I’m 30.
I’m excited about 30…..but I can already tell this is going to be a buttface of a ride.