Last year, I decided to become a teacher. And while I kind of unexpectedly love it, the greatest part about my job is the freedom it has given me. It sucks to make less money and have to work extra hard during the school season…. BUT having 7 weeks off in the summer is just about the coolest thing in the world. I used to scoff at my husband who has always insisted that he didn’t want to work more than 20 hours a week, but now I get it. If you have time in your life (without the stress of work weighing down even your days “off”), you can really do shit! And this past summer (my school has a modified year round schedule so summer has been over for a couple weeks), I discovered that I had a lot that I wanted to do.
Like many teachers, I am also a writer. And yes, I majored in English lit. So over the summer, I decided to write a personal story and perform it on stage with a local storytellers group. It was terrifying and amazing. Literally one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. It was so empowering and liberating to tell a story that I had written (about my life no less) and have an audience laugh and sigh along with my heart. We related to each other in an amazingly public way – me and 75 strangers.
This gift of time that I have carved out for myself has allowed me to explore the person that I want to be. And the person that I don’t think I could ever become while working 50 hours a week at a job. I have started to feel myself becoming a new person.
In the broad scheme of things, I hope that eventually our culture can recognize the importance of allowing people to have this free time and to become better versions of themselves. I think it makes us happier and also makes us more effective at whatever kind of work have chosen to do.
In the meantime though, find some of your own time. Take a few sick days or vacation days and find yourself. Do something you are terrified to do.
Not convinced? Then read this blog for more inspiration!