Decisions, Decisions

Life is funny sometimes.  We spend so much time searching for things and don’t see what we have when they’re right under our noses.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, people say that all the time and it’s such a cliché.  Well, the cliché becomes a cliché for a reason.  It must make sense and ring true a lot for it to become a cliché.  Duh.  But it’s true.  It seems to be the nature of man to want things we don’t have and to search for things that we think we need.  But I am finding, in my ripe old age of 35.75, that most of the time we have everything we’ll ever need.  And those things are usually right in front of our faces.

About 2 weeks ago, I interviewed for a new, powerful position within our organization.  [I work for a charter school and not the district per se, so our cluster of 3 schools is considered an organization.]  With 3 positions available and only 2 internal candidates, I thought I’d be a shoe-in for sure.  Well, I didn’t get the one at our school.  Some of you may have read my angry Facebook posts that night I got the news.  I was pretty ticked.  I couldn’t sleep and was up late applying at schools all over town.  It was kind of like drunk dialing–applying to every and any school that would listen to my sad tale of woe.  The next day at school I went off on my principal.  I wasn’t planning on doing that, but when I saw his face I just couldn’t hold back.  My arms were flying, fingers were pointed, I frowned a few times, cussed, and maybe stomped my feet for effect.

I went back to my classroom and wondered what the hell just happened.  And why was I so upset?  It’s not like I didn’t have a job.  And I still had a shot at the other 2 empty positions–I’d just have to move schools.  Big whoop.  I thought for a minute… what was I so mad about?

I have a Type A personality–I like to have control of things in my world.  When I lose control or feel no sense of control, I get upset.  It’s more like I throw a tantrum, much like my 19 month old does.  She learned it from me, I’m sure!  I am also very, very internally competetive and I don’t take rejection well.  Yes, I am a swirling mess, but I manage to use those “detriments” to my advantage most of the time.  But that was not the case that day.

Like with everything else, I cooled off and got over it.  I also used my brain a little and thought about how I could find the silver lining and understand how this “rejection” played into my life’s path.  Then it dawned on me:  I’m a teacher.  And I’m a pretty great teacher.  I’ve lived the life of deadlines, cubicles, and office minutiae in my previous life.  That’s not where I want to be.  I like the autonomy I have and really don’t do well with the corporate upper echelon folks.  In fact, most of them make me cringe.  I’m OK being a peon that is responsible for the minds and well-being of our future generations.  I’m a teacher, dammit, and it’s what I’m supposed to do.

The next day at school was kind of funny.  I felt more at ease and peaceful.  I swore that my principal was paying my students to be nice to me.  They were kind and sweet and expressed how happy they were to hear that I was coming back next year.  Yep, I had made the decision that if one of the two other schools offered a position to me, I’d say no.  I’d turn down a $6K salary increase.

Later that day, however, the stars were in alignment for me.  I had an email in my inbox that was sent from my principal to our CEO.  He submitted a proposal for a pretty hefty stipend for all the work I do with coordinating the school’s technology.  The $$ will be paid to me in one lump sum in June.  I’ve been doing it for free for 3 years (and would continue to do so) but he finally thought I was worth standing up for.  Additionally, he asked me to teach summer school for the month of June.  I stand to make $2500 from that endeavor–which is a lot for a teacher in one month, considering it’s only 5 hours a day and I can wear shorts!  So, I get to do the job I am really good at AND make decent money–almost as much as if I took the other position.

Here are some pics of my “office”

{Pretty nice digs for an urban charter school, huh?  The view is pretty, 3 huge white boards, a Smart Board, and I have a nice wide desk for all my crap.  Not too shabby.  Beats a cubicle any day of the week!}

So here’s my point–well, I have many.  First, good things happen to good people.  That has been my mantra for years.  I really believe that if you live a life full of strong values and treat others well, you will be rewarded.  The rewards sometimes take a long time to show up, but they do show up.  Second, and this plays on my first point, don’t lose faith in what you’re doing when it is the right thing.  When the rewards take a long time to show up, we have a tendency to jump ship and give up. Yeah, don’t give up–that’s what losers do.  I hate it when people say that they’re going to stop being nice because no one else is. NO.  Keep being nice–it’s who you are and it’s right.  Third, take the time to see what you have in front of you.  Most of the time, those things are pretty nice and we don’t truly need anything else.  Finally, take control of your own destiny and don’t let life dictate to you how it’s going to go.  You’re in charge, my friends.  Nothing happens just because.  It happens because you will it to.  Yes, I meant will (not want).

~Marisa

P.S.:  No, I don’t think I’m Deepak Chopra or Tony Robbins, but I have experienced some shit and have come a long way.  Trust me on these things.

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One response to “Decisions, Decisions

  1. Congratulations Boss Lady. You’re moving on up:) All’s true…watch those open windows, for opportunities may just flit out. Good on ya!

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