Change is Coming

Everything in the future that makes me anxious is coming.

I know that it’s coming and I can’t stop it. As happy as I am to finally, finally be on my well-earned break, I know that as soon as real life resumes next week, life is about to get pretty crazy.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about finishing my portfolio, so that I can apply for national certification. I’m talking about finishing my assignments, so that I can pass my class. I’m talking about updating my resume and practicing interview skills, so that I can apply for jobs.

Namely, I’m talking about applying for jobs.

I’ve been putting it off. My friends look at online job postings, purely out of curiosity. My supervisor alerts me to districts that will be looking. People like to talk about it. A lot, it seems. I don’t. Every time someone wants to talk about jobs, I completely shut down. I’ve been bringing the conversation to a grinding halt with these words: Not until after break. 

After break I will start pushing myself more at internship. After break I will figure out what the hell goes into making a portfolio. After break I will find the time to see the career center to critique a CV or resume. After break I will learn how and where to look for jobs. After break I’ll start figuring things out, so that I have an idea of where to go to develop a future in this career.

Well, guess what? That all was fine and dandy when it was October or November or even two weeks ago. But it’s about to be after break now and I’m starting to freak out.

I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to be at the starting point. I dread Sunday nights because the prospect of a whole week’s responsibilities ahead of me overwhelms me to the point of an internal meltdown. So can you imagine what having all of this awaiting me once January 2nd rolls around is doing to me?

Well, right now not much because I’m still pretending it’s not happening. But in a few days the anxiety is going to be crippling.

There’s just so much to do on top of everything I’ve already been doing. I know how mentally and physically draining it is going to be. Maybe if I knew how the hell to do a portfolio or what I need for my resume then that would ease the burden a bit, but I’m completely clueless. I don’t want to devote my already little free time to figuring any of this out.

I’m good at planning and organizing. I’m great at compiling different pieces of information from various sources. What needs to get done always gets done. I know have the work ethic to make sure the pieces fall into place the way they need to. It’s just going to be a lot.

Day by day. That’s going to be my mantra. Hopefully it’ll let me sleep a little more peacefully.

The worst of it is the fear. Fear of the unknown. What if I don’t get a job? What if all my friends get jobs except for me? I literally do not have a plan B. What if I get a job and I’m terrible at it? How am I going to do this all on my own? Sure, things are getting easier at my site, but I’m still completely supervised. How will things change when I’m in a brand new district with new programs, new teachers and a new team? I’m going to have to fend for myself. What if I screw that up?

You can see how this is a lose lose situation. Even if I win, and by win I mean I get a job, there are going to be some serious feelings to deal with. Insecurities to overcome as I navigate independence in my chosen career. There is very little that will calm the storm of these fears but actually getting through and living the experience.

So that begs another, very important question. What if I get a job and I have to move somewhere far away from my therapist?

The transition into internship pushed me to a whole new low, an amalgam of anxiety, hopelessness, insecurity and a depression so deep that I was actively thinking about the potential for suicide as I adjusted to my new schedule and new role.   I only just recently emerged from that hell and come next year, it’s going to start again. I don’t think that I can face that without help. Without her. She already knows everything about me and I don’t know that I’d be interested in starting over with someone else in addition to everything else. I’m currently just telling myself I’ll cross that bridge if it comes, but part of my brain registers the thought intermittently. And it’s a terrifying one.

I’m scared. Change is coming and I can’t avoid it. Can’t pretend it’s in the distant future. I have to face it head on. There will be support, people helping me figure it out. But ultimately, I’m on my own.