Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Platitudes

January 21, 2015

"It is what it is." We've all heard this frustratingly unhelpful platitude at some point or another, haven't we? You're stuck in a dead-end job, but it is what it is. Your boss is a crusty barnacle starving your underbelly of oxygen and rusting its once stainless steel, causing cracks that will sink any hopes of escape to the bottom of the murkiest harbor, but it is what it is. The bad news is that maybe it IS what it is. The good news is, these thoughts only come to define your situation if you let them.

Sometimes stepping stones are a sure-footed path to the greener side; the better side; the side where you're tanned and well-slept, basking in a flowery field without even worrying about bug bites or whether your flower crown is totally pushing your hair up in a weird way that is less ideal. You can see that side, feel its sunshine, and you know you're going to reach it. Sometimes, however, stepping stones are like attempting to ford the river in Oregon Trail that you probably could have swam across without all this baggage and they leave you feeling less than confident. So much could go wrong. . .and no one wants to be responsible for the drowning of a defenseless ox who was just following your lead.

"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much." - Jim Rohn

Well, I always wanted to be a teacher. Wait, scratch that. I always wanted to be a singer or a writer. I AM a teacher. As someone who graduated into the post-Bush, belt-cinched economy of aught eight, I find my teacher's salary to be quite comfortable, summer looks like heaven, and the elementary kids I work with are the funniest sweet-cheeked lil' peaches I could ever spend my days with. Still, let's not pretend we don't all know about the education system and what a motivation killer it can be. The system feels broken, as do so many work environments, and I don't just want to be free of it. I want to be so high above it all that my satellites could not get pictures of it because even the best resolution they could get was worse than a 10-year-old taking a picture of Fallout Boy from the upper deck of an arena with a camera phone in 2002. But this isn't about satellite quality. It's about my distance from the dictatorship under which a valuable work force is being oppressively stifled! You know who would love the American education system today? Hitler. He'd celebrate it with mini-schnitzels and delicious lagers.

Nevertheless, I find myself able to ' make the best' of this job much more easily than I have in previous jobs.
From this teaching experience, I gain:

All these little nuggets are just pieces of the benefits, friends! Credentials abound. I get relationship-building, benevolent bossing (of students) experience, paperwork proofreading, professional development, and more more more!

Perhaps I do love this job. But still, deep down, I get that feeling that I've always had in work: that I won't be there long, so it really doesn't matter in the end. Well, we're never anywhere very long in the end, are we? Life's short. If I am to be a teacher, I am going to love it to whatever extent I can because it is a significant portion of my life and every day counts. Let whatever day job you may feel you're suffering through propel you, instead, into a bloated list of capabilities and professionalisms. Highlight the advantages. I leave before sunrise and get home just before sunset, but it has all left me with a growing, deep-settled ambition that just might lead to something more on the other side. A place where I can bring my dog to work.

This stuff is the stuff my dad's been preaching to me since I was 15. He bought me my first guitar to show me how to get to the point of having a band and left it to me to take it away. I didn't. Where am I going with this? Oh, yes. Here it is: stepping stones are what you make of them. It's as simple as that. Bloat bloat bloat 'til, even if you fall in, you can float float float and make it to the other side. Take notes. Let your resume puff out its chest a little farther. Help change someone's badittude into something better by being a happier person. Don't spread those platitudes. Take action!


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