Friday, February 17, 2006

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I learned that very cruel lesson this week. No matter what I do, and no matter how good my intentions, good deeds have consequences.

I cannot even go into detail. All I can say is that I cannot believe the nerve of some people, and just how stupid I was in trying to be generous. It makes me want to never extend myself on behalf of others again.

And this is just one incident. In every area of my life, I have been over-entending myself for other people, and I am at the point where I am about to explode.

I nearly had a nervous breakdown yesterday. I threatened to kill someone, and for at least 30 seconds, I was serious about it. I had a broom handle in my hand at the time, and if the person has been in my presence at that moment, the broom handle would have been protruding from his chest.

Of course I know better. But still...

I can't sleep. I got up to go to the bathroom, but could not go back to sleep because of anxiety. I decided to get my day started early since I made yet another promise to complete some task that could wait until next week, but a delay might confirm more of my supposed incompetance.


Friday, February 10, 2006

Getting Back in the Swing

I haven't posted anything here in weeks. According to the counter, the last time I wrote something in this space was in late January, but I tend to think that it has been longer than that. At least it has been that long since I posted anything of significance.

I'm back to teaching, just as my 9 to 5 gig ended. I can't say that I miss the 'regular' job, since I knew it was temporary and that schedule of working all day and then for a few hours at night had started to get overwhelming. It was great while it lasted, though.

I'm teaching my regular history course, which gets better each time I return to it. The students are engaged, and that also helps. I'm also teaching an interdisciplinary course, so that requires some effort on my part to make the class interesting. I am really starting to enjoy teaching.

This revelation leads me to conclude that my future career plans should include some combination of teaching and advocacy. As much as I thought I liked litigation, I do not feel as pleased with the outcome of my work in that area, and I think that without the type of institutional support I need, it is too much of a lonely existence. I spent most of my time in solitude, and the time that I did spend with other people was not particularly enjoyable.

This doesn't mean that I have any clue as to what my future will hold. I have a terrible track record when it comes to sustained employment. I can't say why, but for whatever reason, my career seems perpetually stalled. I wonder what it means...

Maybe it means that I pursue the wrong goals. Others who have tried and failed simply find something else to do. I have tried that too, but I still haven't found anything. I am not looking for perfection, I just want to earn a living like everybody else. I am tired of always being broke.

Call it the curse of being spoiled. If I had grown up in any other environment, I might be better suited for other types of work. I might not have a problem with taking a minimum wage job just to get out the house every day. Well, I've done that, and I determined that any job that only pays me enough per hour to buy lunch is not worth the time or the effort. I'm not better than anyone else who earns minimum wage, but I have more education and to make so little for work that practically numbs your mind is pointless.

Yes, that statement is elitist. But why should I apologize for having a mind that I want to use?

I had a similar conversation with my cousin a few weeks ago. I tried to impress upon her that learning is vital to growth. She suggested that she had no intention of going to college because she just wanted to get an office job out of high school. Mind you, this is a 9 year old child. If I had said something like that at her age, I wouldn't remember. College was always in my future because my parents were so gung ho about education. College was not something for which I had very much choice. I could decide where I might want to go, but in the end, even that decision was subject to their input.

Anyway, I explained to her that she should aim for a career that offered her more than a paycheck. In hindsight, I realize that I was not very supportive of her right to choose her own destiny. If she chooses to be a secretary or receptionist somewhere, I should support that...only I just can't. Every time I think about her declaration, I am reminded of that scene from the Cosby Show when Theo said he wanted to be "regular people". I just think kids should be encouraged to be the best they can be, regardless of what it might be. No child should settle for being just something.

Of course when I look at my own life, I realize that I am not that much of a role model. I don't have a formal job--I create work for myself, which means that there are days when that becomes a relative term. It can mean housework, laundry, cooking and dishes, or it can mean pleadings, client conferences, or preparing for class. And on other days it can mean blogging while I wait for files to upload into my web-based classroom.

Well, that's it. Maybe I'll go wash some dishses...