A LIVING WAGE
I loved being a stay-at-home mom. It’s a good thing, too, because I was one for a 18 years. The only time I didn’t love being a stay-at-home mom was when I wanted to buy something and my husband didn’t. If there was a disagreement about money, he always won because he made all the money.
So when I wanted new furniture or to remodel the kitchen he would say, “If that’s what you want, get a job.”
Trouble was, there was no place to get a job, except paper hat places, and we didn’t need the money that badly.
But it galled me this, “Get a job” thing, so one day I decided that I would get certified to teach HS English. It would mean taking 30 credits of Ed classes on top of my B.A. and then I would “get a job.” A “living wage” job. Then I would remodel the kitchen, or, something.
I thought I would be good at high school teaching, too My daughter’s friends loved me, and would always say that if they could just hang around me for a week, they’d increase their Vocab score on the SAT by at least 50 points.
So I held my nose and choked down 30 credits of the most imbecilic Education classes imaginable, and then started subbing.
But every day I’d walk my dog up the hill and think about what Jenny said about teaching yoga. I never once fantasized myself teaching The Scarlet Letter to 11th graders. Instead, every day I dreamt of teaching Downward-facing Dog and meditation to a room full of yoga students.
I told my husband what Jenny said, and I told him that I wanted to go to Kripalu, too. Not necessarily so I could teach yoga, but just so I could go deeper into my own practice. He thought I was being impractical and ridiculous.
The more I taught high school, the more I knew that this was a path error. I did not fit. Not one little bit. I knew it. My colleagues knew it, and the kids knew it. It wasn’t that I was a bad teacher; it was that I hated school.
I hated the bells and the passes and the parent conferences and the staff meetings and the conversations in the lunch room and the assessment tests and what they call, “classroom management” which basically meant going in every day with a whip and a chair and making sure the lions stayed on their stools.
And then, just when I was ready to surrender, throw in the towel, wave the white flag, cry Uncle, I got offered a long-term sub job. Full time. With my own classroom. For a year. And with it, “the living wage.”
My husband was thrilled. I felt nauseous. But I took it. But I had my checks deposited into a separate bank account (not our joint one) and earmarked it for Yoga Teacher Training at Kripalu. If I could get through this, I was going to do what Joseph Campbell said we all need to do in order to be happy: Follow Our Bliss.
(to be continued…)