Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Phoenix rising...

As my classroom read aloud, I'm currently reading the first of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, The Lightening Thief.  If you're a fan of Greek mythology, or if you happen to have a pre-pubescent boy, this series is amazing.  But before I start to get all teacher-y and wax philosophical about the joys of reading and how fun it is to read Greek mythology, I'll attempt to get myself back on track. 

See, Greek mythology in my opinion is some of the best storytelling ever done.  Where else do you see so many unique and seemingly unexplicable things?  I got to thinking today about Greek mythology though.  Or, more specifically, about one aspect of Greek mythology.  In particular, I started to think about the Phoenix in Greek mythology.  According to Greek mythology, the Phoenix lived for roughly 500-1000 years.  When it was certain it was going to die, it would build a nest and then the bird and nest would burst into flame.  As soon as this occurred, a new Phoenix would arise from the ashes of the old.  In some myths, the old ashes were encased in a new egg and taken to a city in the Egyptian civilization, in others, a new Phoenix is simply born.  Regardless though, the idea is still the same... from the ashes, a new being is born. 

If you've been following my blog for as long as I've been writing it.... I admire your tenacity. If you're a recent newcomer, then perhaps what I'm about to say will not make much sense at all.  The nice thing about having my life on the internet is that it's literally a living diary.  I can add to it and delete from it at will, and it serves as a reminder of events and things that have happened to me over the course of the past three years.  As I look back, I can see the person I was, the person I grew into, and now the person I'm becoming.  I can see that there was a person who was very happy and go-lucky.  I can see that along the way amidst school stress, competition stress, and the stress of working multiple jobs, that person got lost.  Somewhere in the last year, Katie disappeared. 

As I started back to work two months ago I felt like that was a new beginning for me.  I felt like I was getting a second chance to do what I wanted to do.  A chance to fix things that I couldn't fix a year ago.  But as I got ino that position, I realized I still wasn't happy.  Something still wasn't right.  I had a boyfriend, I was making ok money, things at the side job were going well, but I still wasn't happy.  As things with my boyfriend ended and the stress at school mounted due to upcoming SOL's, I had a sort of realization.  I realized that nothing was going to change unless I forced it to. 

Sort of like the Phoenix realizing that it was time to die, so did I.  Because of work, I've been putting off everything, including living my own life.  People always say that you should do everything in moderation.  For me, that never seemed to be the case and it seemed like with me, everything was always all or nothing.  So, like the Phoenix, I've decided to die.

I've made it a point to leave work no later than 7:30 in the evening.  I refuse to allow myself to stay until 9 or 9:30 anymore.  I've spoken with my managers at my other job and have said that I will not work doubles everyday on the weekends anymore.  I have made myself take breaks, I have made myself slow down.  I've had dinner with a friend this week.  I've read a book this week.  I've bought new I-tunes, done a few loads of laundry, and have even found my way back to my blog this week. The Phoenix is rising. 

I'm not sure if in the Greek myths the Phoenix ever felt like a better version of itself was being born, but I do.  I enjoy being a dedicated teacher, and I enjoy being a good, reliable server.  But you know what else I enjoy? Laughing, listening to music, watching movies, reading books, having dinner, a glass of wine, chocolate, blogging, and tens of other things that I've just not done in the last year or so because work has always come first.  I never imagined that in my 20's I would feel so burnt out.  I never imagined that I would spend 100 hours a week working.  I've come to not just realize this anymore, but finally ACT on it.  I need to slow down, and things need to change for the better.

The old Phoenix has burned and a new, wiser Phoenix is taking it's place.  As with any newborn being there is always much to learn, and I need to be careful not to inadvertantly swing my pendulum too far the other direction.  However, I'm looking forward to slowly regaining things that have been lost.  I'm glad that I took this job, as I've had a lot to learn from it, but I'm even more glad that I've finally started to find peace with things.  Even though I don't enjoy my current position, it's had a purpose, and the purpose was to force me to burn.  To force me to rise again, stronger, more determined, and more focused on putting things in order.  Is this to say that I'll never spend another late night at school ever again? No, I know I will.  But it means that I find enjoyment in life again.  That work is not the end all be all.  It means I start blogging again, and start to find myself back in the box more than 2x a week again.  It means I start living in the true sense of the word.  It's scary... it's hard not to fall back into old routines, but I'm slowly getting there.  I'm slowly starting to spread my wings, and like a new born bird take my first tentative flaps of my wings.  I'll get there... I know I will.  But believe me, I cannot wait to see the view from the sky when I begin to soar....

1 comment:

Cara said...

First time checking out your blog in a while, and reading this post made me very very happy :)