Some months back I began the lengthy paper process and background check to become a JCPS substitute schoolteacher. There were a ton of hoops that I had to jump thru in order to get hired on, but in the end, and after several weeks of anticipation, I was sent a contract explaining my duties, responsibilities as an adult educator, as well as my salary details. The very next morning I woke up early, proactively went into their online system to find a job for the day, and sealed one up.
The first job that I took on was teaching Freshman English at Iroquois High School. I must admit, I was a bit intimidated to say the least, had heard terrible things about this school and others, but didn't let that get in the way of making a paycheck or my dreams of teaching. I just took a deep breath and continued to tell myself that this is what I've wanted to do my entire life, this is why I write, why I went back to school to continue my own education, and what I think my true purpose in life is. Even as a kid, I saw myself as a teacher, but as an adult kept pushing it back, because I never thought I'd be that until I was in my late thirties, or early forties. I just assumed that this was my midlife job, the one that I'd take on during those years, and end my life working. That calling came earlier than expected for me.
The past several months have been ones that I've spent soul searching, spent trying to find myself, and who I was going to be for the rest of my life. Sure, the core is there. It's always been there, but after a rocky breakup, and several close friends passing away over the years that were doing the very same thing as I it made me want to re-strategize the way I'd been doing things. Realities such as these forced me to wake up, give myself a good motivational kick in the pants, and to start living like a real man should. It feels odd to wake up at thirty, but better to be doing so today, rather than tomorrow.