I’ve been meaning to write for quite some time.

Putting it off is so much easier than doing it. Partly because putting it off means I don’t have to start taking responsibility for my life, the one I will be creating from scratch, just yet. Partly because I’m still enjoying the honeymoon period. Partly because I’m scared to face the guilt that I’m sure will come but has refused to appear so far. Partly because I’m still getting used to feeling this way and I am worried it might not last if I start talking about it. Partly because I’ve decided to live my life again.

The fact is, I enjoy my site. I’ve always enjoyed writing here and having a place where I can publicly dump my thoughts. I know that writing things here puts them in the world forever and, as opposed to old diaries, I won’t necessarily be able to tear these pages.

But I like the truth in that. I like that I can’t go back and act like something never happened. I like that I can’t deny I felt a certain way at a certain time. That something wasn’t a choice when it was.

I don’t believe in regret. Never have. I’ve only had one event in my life that I consistently regretted for fifteen years and I just let go of it a week ago. (It felt so good!) This is not to say that I haven’t been sad or frustrated by the choices I made. It’s just that I always thought about my choices at length and never made them haphazardly. Thus, I was always secure in the knowledge that my steps were the best ones to take for my state of mind at that time. Regretting something after the fact is useless especially since there’s almost no way to change it. Having these pages stored in a digital format where anyone can dig them up at anytime forces me to call myself on my tendencies to slip into the world of denial. It stops me from saying “Oh, I never wanted to do that any way.” It gives others the proof to say, “Bullshit.”

I quit my job. Exactly a week ago.

I quit the job that I believed in with all my heart. The job I didn’t want to admit hating. The job that wasn’t right for me from the very beginning. The job that I wasn’t really even trying to do well. I still believe in the message. I am still amazed by the people who do it every day, despite its difficulties. I respect their choices and their ability.

Most amazingly, I didn’t quit it for something better. I didn’t quit it for more money. I didn’t quit it for more flexible time. I didn’t quit it because it was boring. I didn’t quit it because I plan to get pregnant.

I simply quit for me.

5 comments to Quitter

  • Karen,

    When you first posted and let us know that you were joining TFA, I was estatic. I was estatic because I belived (and still believe) that you have amazing gifts, and the thought of you sharing that with some of this country’s neediest children was amazing beyond words. In my heart, I felt it was something beyond price.

    However, for all that, I’m proud of your decision to quit. To admit that this wasn’t where you were supposed to be, that this isn’t where your heart is–and then take the step to do somehing about it, takes more courage. To refuse to go through the motions for the sake of a piece of paper and stand up for who you are instead is so much more important.

    Because, as I told you at some point, the teachers who stick it out for no other reason than their signature on a piece of paper are the ones who should have left a long time ago. I’m glad you aren’t one of them.

    I hope you find your heart’s work, Karen. Thank you for being brave enough to share, and the best of luck in whatever you decide to do.

  • I’ve been checking here almost daily and now that you’ve finally written, I don’t know what to say.

    I know how hard it is to let go of a dream, but I believe that you’ll come to see this as your finest hour. There’s something very empowering about letting go.

    I’m looking forward to hearing your voice on these pages again. My thoughts are with you…

  • Annie

    Dear Karenika,

    From what I’ve read in your online journal, I have found you honest, intelligent, determined and passionate. You have taught me many things, without even meaning to. When I read about you teaching kids, I was happy that they would learn from someone who I respect. I feel sorry for their loss now, but it’s brave of you to accept that your heart wasn’t in it. Do whatever brings you peace and happiness; just because you stopped being a teacher doesn’t mean that people like me have stopped learning from you. You are as inspiring as ever.

  • Karen, my sweets…since the day I “met” you, I’ve admired your tenacity. You get an idea and you go with it. You are wise beyond your years.

    I know that you really wanted to excel at this profession. You longed to share with others your passion for learning. And, I believe that you can still do that…not now, not in this place.

    From you, I’ve learned a ton and from you I will continue to learn another ton. You have been a mentor to me and an inspiration to many.

    I wish you all that your heart desires for you truly deserve it!

  • Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity of spirit. I will remember to come back here and reread on days when I’m really down on myself… which are bound to come soon.

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