I invested seven years into my education and I have always felt that this investment forced me to accept the fact that I had to cut back on other parts of my life.
My parents, though they supported me as much as they could, couldn´t support me financially, so I worked four jobs to be able to pay my tuition. While some of my friends went on parties every weekend, I was at work. And when I wasn´t working, I was in a lecture hall inhaling knowledge. I graduated within the standard period of time, even though I managed to squeeze a stay abroad in as well. But while I was trying to find a student teacher position, my friends found their soulmates.
Student teacher training taught me how to work right up until the point where I was about to faint, live with little to no sleep for a quite long period of time and shoulder responsibility no one told me about at university. I learned to accept the fact that there was no time for a personal life and I also learned to live with that nagging feeling that you get when you know that there is something you should be doing while you are on your couch watching a movie. While I was trying to pass my state exam with good grades, my friends got married.
I have been teaching at my current position for almost one school year now. I have learned to count the weeks until the next holidays, not because I hate the job and I am dying to get a break, but because you always need to keep in mind how much time you have left for a topic, how much more time until you have to schedule an exam. I have learned to hate Wednesdays, because all of our conferences are on Wednesdays. I have learned to accept the fact that not every lesson is one of perfection and that sometimes you cannot teach at all because there is a problem in class you need to address first. I have shouldered the responsibility that used to be a challenge. I have managed to teach 25, 5 hours a week in 11 different classes in 6 different educational programs while working an additional 30 – 50 hours at home. I have experienced so much within only one school year and that makes me excited for what is yet to come. Will I manage to do things better next year? Will I be a good class teacher? Can I really handle the literature course? Am I ready to teach an advanced course? And while I was trying to fit into that new role, my friends got pregnant.
When my sister got pregnant two years ago, I thought to myself that I wasn´t ready to be a mum and I asked her how she felt about it. She said it´s quite natural. When you feel the baby inside of you for the first time, you simply become a mother and from that point on there is no way back. She got married last year and when I asked her why she had said yes to his proposal, she simply said that it seemed right.
I had no idea what she was talking about.
I have little to no experience with long-lasting relationships in your twenties or with preparing for a baby or getting married. I haven´t been in a relationship in so long, I fear I might not be a relationship person at all. I am a job person. I know I´m good at my job. I have no idea if I would be good at a relationship, if I would feel the same way if I had a baby growing inside of me or if I will ever have the feeling that getting married is the right thing to do.
I will probably get there one day. But until then – I am always two steps behind every one else.