you know what? i don’t want a job that might not be a place where i can be 100% me. i don’t want a job where i have to perhaps pretend that part of my life doesn’t exist. i don’t want a job where i am not seen as a whole and complete and perfectly ok person just as i am. i will not settle. i will not bow down. i will not give in.
instead, i will keep on being me. tattoos and all. same-sex marriage and all. liberal thinking and all. idealism and all. theology and all. and if this blog, or anything else in my life, is getting in the way of me getting a job… well, then, that job’s not for me.
as you can tell, i did not get the teaching job i interviewed for on monday. they told me that they would call the person they offered the job to and email the others on friday. well, i got an email. and, you know what? i’m totally ok with it. panicky about getting a job period. but, i know in my soul, and i knew it before the interview, that teaching in a public school was not for me. it’s just not me anymore. oh, i’m still a teacher. but, in a different way. you can’t move to another country for three years and come back in exactly the same place, ready to pick up where you left off. it doesn’t work like that. at least not with me.
now, this job that i interviewed for, they did not turn me down based on anything except that there was a more qualified person, as far as i know. that’s all the email said. but, during my interview, they asked me this question:
“do you have Facebook?” and then, “what would i find if i was to type in your name on Facebook and see your page?”. during the interview i panicked. inside. on the outside i was as cool as a cucumber. i knew i was interviewing at an elementary school in small-town, southern usa. would they see my same-sex marriage? would they see links to my blog? would they see social issues that i support, like healthcare and welfare and voting rights and the right to choose? would there be something incriminating (to them) on there? i had no idea. they explained the question by saying that the school was in a small town where parents would google me or look me up & check me out, so hopefully i didn’t have any shots of me in a string bikini. which i didn’t. are bikini shots what they were really worried about? perhaps. but, i don’t know.
still, it’s a small town. so half of my life is incriminating and wrong, if you look at it through conservative christian, southern, rural, north carolina eyes. sigh.
so, did this play a factor in me not getting the job? i have no idea. perhaps not. but, you know, it actually doesn’t really matter to me. i learned something about myself because of this whole process.
i cannot live a divided life ever again. i simply must be able to be who i am, as i am, wherever i am. and, i mean, i’ll expect and offer the exact same thing to you. bottom line: i don’t think i’m a horrible person. i am not out to hurt anybody. and i am not a mistake, wrong, a threat, or anything else. i am simply me. and, to be honest with you, all i want is to live and work and play and be… in a world filled with harmony, peace, and equality. and i want the same thing for you. is that so wrong?
for the most part things felt really good after the interview on monday. there was a really good, loving vibe in the school. and i am certain that, personally, the two people who interviewed me would have seen me as an ok, educated, caring person.
but, that’s just how all the individuals felt in the united methodist church felt when my candidacy was rejected three years ago because i was married to a woman. all of the individual people didn’t have a problem with me. they were just following the rules. and perhaps the two at the school didn’t have a problem with me either, but were “concerned” about how parents and the community would react to me (still i have no idea if this was a factor, i remind you).
the problem is, it’s all well & good that people individually support me. but, how long are we going to just follow the rules? how many more people are we gonna sacrifice because we don’t want to rock the boat, upset the status quo, or break any rules? how long will these two institutions that i have loved continue to excommunicate me because of who i love? and, how long will people just sit back and support me, yet follow the rules anyway? nothing will ever change if we just accept & follow the rules. if we disagree, then let’s disagree and do something!
anyway, i did not like the feeling i had after my interview when i wondered if i should change anything on my facebook. there is actually nothing to change, there is nothing wrong with it, with me… but, i left the interview wondering if there actually was something a little wrong with me, that i had to change in order to fit into a mold. that feeling was uncomfortable, and i was mad that i even let those thoughts enter my mind… that i had to possibly change something about myself to make myself more acceptable. ewww. ridiculous thoughts.
as for a job? i’ll keep looking. and i’ll turn over every, single stone to find something that suits my soul, that makes me feel free, that nurtures and challenges me to give back. i will not settle for anything less than my dreams.
i’ve learned that never again will i question myself, and my self worth. what i will do is keep looking for a job. something that is a perfect fit. and i will trust that it will come in just the right time. and, while i look, i will do a few other things as well this fall:
- take a yoga class & sign up for training to be a yoga teacher.
- take a writing class & get moving on my book… SERIOUSLY.
- begin a photography course.
- go camping and get back to my tree-hugging roots.
- grow my pen pal relationships.
- print and frame some of my photography.
- volunteer with an eating disorder organization or an LGBT organization, or both.
my love, my brother, and my parents all said it at different times today… this was not meant to be. and there is something much better out there waiting for me. so, i’m gonna trust my family and the universe. i’m gonna listen to my soul better next time, and not panic. and i will not settle. it’s out there. and when i stumble upon it, i will know. and it will be beautiful. but, for now, i keep on walking. with my head held high. focused on who i am, the gifts i have, and alert to the signs and messages that are coming to me every day.
so, today, instead of being upset and terrified, i chose to move forward. i chose to listen to what my heart is really saying.
i just dropped my love off at UNCA for her first day at the university! and i am so proud of her! she made her dream come true, fought her way back from near death (literally), overcame so much, pushed and created and dreamed her dream into reality. and now, today, she has begun her second bachelor’s degree, and i could not be any more excited for her.
as for me, i feel more and more that this is a time to dig deep into my dreams as well. even though, i have already made the dream of living in europe come true, it’s time for the next step. my love and i have helped each other realize our dreams, and now we move forward into the next part of our journey in life. and i could not be happier.
so, after dropping lina off at school, i headed downtown, where i am now. i’ve found a little corner for myself at a table. got a chai latte (a big one!) in my hand, and my notebook and computer ready to fire up. this is how i work best. in this moment, right now, i am going to keep dreaming and make things happen, while i balance trusting the universe at the same time. it will all come.
my friends, believe in yourself today. chase your dreams and trust your soul. and you will find your bliss.