Sunday, March 3, 2013

A New Year of Happiness

The fall of 2012 was a rough time for me. I always get a little depressed in the fall, especially around November. My cousin committed suicide four years ago, so each year I get a little depressed around his death. Usually at the end of the month I pick myself up especially when we travel to NJ for Thanksgiving. This fall was a little different. Like I said it was four years ago that my cousin committed suicide. It was four years ago that Barack Obama was voted into office, which my cousin got to see. He didn't see his inauguration. While I was happy to see Obama elected into office again, it brought back that time in my life. A few days before the anniversary of my cousin's death, my dear friend's father passed away. He lost his battle with Alzheimer's, and while I was so sad for my friend, I could not help but think of how full his life had been. And then of course, I felt sad about my cousin whose life was full of despair. And while I know there was nothing I could do to change things, or stop him, that guilt never goes away. And it makes you think how can someone do this? But I'm learning to accept what happened four years ago.
I started feeling rejected by family as well. Like I mentioned before, I had a cousin who up and decided to no longer speak to me or acknowledge my existence. That hurt because I thought we were close despite being step-family.
While I don't regret my decision to leave K-12 teaching full-time, last fall I felt as though I was at a stand still career-wise. There were no adjunct teaching positions available at the community college where I previously taught, so I ended up taking a position at another community college. While I was thankful for the opportunity to teach and earn money, I quickly discovered the college was not for me. I love the students, but I couldn't adapt to the lack of organization and administration. I don't think the administration cared for me much either. I hate to leave places on bad terms (and I didn't. I did my job and did it well despite how much I hated it.), but I was so ready for the semester to end
I also started a small writing service. While I had high hopes for the company, it didn't do well. I averaged one or two clients a month. Not good! I really started to doubt my writing skills.
Murad and I reached a rough patch too. Communication is always hard in marriage, but the past fall was extremely difficult. Between job changes, medication changes, and raising a toddler, we just weren't communicating.
So, I've slowly worked at picking myself back up (Not that I was ever really down. I mean things suck sometimes, but I still have a pretty rockin' life!). I can honestly say that I woke up extremely happy on Friday. I thought about this new year and things are really looking up professionally and personally
I'm back teaching one class at my old community college which I really love. I also somehow stumbled into teaching at a university this semester, and it looks like the demand for instructors isn't going to slow down at all, so I'll have steady work each semester. Oh and the pay is so much better. I absolutely love it there. The administration is great and I'm basically left alone to teach! While I do miss K-12 teaching from time-to-time, especially when I receive sweet emails from former students, I have found my niche in teachin developmental literacy courses. Someone asked if I want to become an English professor, and while that would be nice, I'd rather becomea full professor of Developmental Writing or Reading.
I've seen a steady increase in the number of clients of Ashlea Campbell Writing. I am mostly contacted for resume and cover-letter writing services, I have new cient for different writing projects. My favorite so far: a scavenger hunt for a PTA Multicultural Night.
My husband is pretty amazing. Our communication is getting better, and I think I had forgotten how much he goes out of his way to make me feel like a princess (or queen). He's also been very patient with me as I exit my funk and he's encouraged me to keep following my dreams. If it wasn't for him, I'd still be teaching public school. He saw my unhappiness and encouraged me to leave. He believed in me and still does. While he can piss me off royally some (most? just kidding) I'm so lucky to have him by my side. He's had a rough time lately, but he's always happy despite rough times. I guess that's what makes us different. He ha such a hard life. He can get through the setbacks because he still has me and Joely. I had an easy life (not easy, but I had it pretty good growing up) and sometimes the setbacks are a major blow.
Lastly, my family stuff? Well, I can't bring my cousin back, I can't force my cousin to talk to me and I've even lost some more family members along the way, but I'm learning to accept everything. It's not easy, but I have to not let it affect how I see me. The truth is that I'm pretty awesome. I have a career in which I'm happy and making money, a wonderful husband, a perfect son, two loveable dogs, and a wonderful home. When I think about all of this, it makes everything else with which I was concerned trivial. Instead of dwelling on the past, I want to live each day to the fullest. I'm excited for a new year of happiness. When I'm not happy, I hope I can pick myself back up and move on.