Extra Crispy with a Side of Panic

Preface: This is NOT a teacher post. This is a life post.

I’m burnt out.

I’ve thought I was burnt out before, in previous years of teaching, but this year, I’m like Kentucky Fried Chicken with a side of extra crispy fries burnt out.

And it’s not just teaching.

I’m burnt out on life.

I don’t want to see people, I don’t want to talk to people. I don’t want to do any house work including, but not limited to: cleaning, cooking, baking, bathing my kids, washing my hair, shaving my legs. I don’t want to participate in the community activities that I’ve been part of for years.

I don’t want to get out of my bed. Watch shows, read books, go places.

My counselor and I have talked in depth about this: is it burn out because I need a change of scenery? A change of school? A change of location?

Is it because I’ve been going full-bore, no breaks for the past…oh, I don’t know, fifteen years?

Is it because I made all these life impacting decisions before my brain had finished developing?

Is it because I’ve been teaching in a pandemic for three years, have a child recently diagnosed with ADHD who is not handing the meds well? (Hello temper tantrums and outbursts that we’ve never had with my laidback first born. So fucking nice of you to join us, no really, great timing.)

Am I genuinely unhappy with my life? Or have I finally reached a point where I’m over hustling for approval from everyone in my life.

I don’t know.

I have no fucking clue, to be honest.

But I do know that if the brain finishes developing at 26ish, I was one career choice, college degree, marriage, and child into my life when it happened. And…maybe?…had started grad school too.

I know that I’ve spent the majority of my life working my ass off for what I currently have, and that includes dropping everything to prove to people that I’m a good employee, friend, child, mom, community member, and whatever else they needed me to be.

And ya know what else I know?

I’m fucking exhausted by it all.

I don’t want to do the extra duties that no one else will. I don’t want to be in group texts that seem fucking pointless to me. I don’t want to hide in my home or have to leave town to feel that I’m able to be authentically myself. I don’t want to make myself smaller to fit into the boxes people want me to fit in.

I don’t know how to fix it.

Except to work my program. Yes, Roseanna, if you see this. I do listen to you.

But…it’s hard for me. It’s hard for me to spend that time on myself, and answer questions I may not like the answers too. It’s hard not to feel selfish when I say no; it’s hard not to feel selfish when I choose to do things for my self, whether that be take a personal day, or a nap.

And it’s easy to bitch about being burnt out and exhausted and sit here. Because while it’s an awful place to be…it’s familiar, it’s comfortable, it’s…convenient.

I know that no one is getting the best parts of me lately: not my students, my own children, my husband, or–maybe least of all–myself.

I know that when I look past the bullshit, I do still love teaching: the literature, the discussions, the students. I also know that my students can see through any mask I can put on to see that I’m…different…this year.

My heart aches because I know that G and RD aren’t getting a good mom right now. Their not even getting one who is emotionally available most days.

So even though I love teaching, I may have to make choices I wasn’t planning on making ten years ago, because my family and my mental health has to be a priority.

I keep telling myself this too shall pass. But, I need an end date, ya know? I need to know when it’s going to pass. Because I don’t know what will happen to me if it doesn’t.

Another thing I keep reminding myself is that most teachers are feeling this way this year. And, to my level of burn out, I also have two young children at home.

And so.

I don’t know.

If you feel like this too, I’m so sorry.

If you don’t feel like this, count your lucky stars.

And as cliché and trite as it sounds, remember to be kind to everyone because everyone is feeling some kind of way right now.

And if you see me looking crabby af? This too shall pass.

3 thoughts on “Extra Crispy with a Side of Panic

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