I know! Like. Ohmagod. Excite.
Just discovered: Brooklyn Public Library has Rosetta Stone. FOR FREE.
Just saw photos of my dance department graduating this week. Hard to believe it was 7 years ago that I was walking across that stage. Some days...
I was beginning my life as a nanny and college graduate in the “real world.” Of course, I was working for family as a nanny and “household manager,” but I was supporting myself. No health insurance? Whatever. I was moving to the city I’d wanted to live in since I was a child.
I moved there. I lived in a lovely, furnished, UES sublet and took care of my 4-year old cousin. I washed and folded clothes, ironed linen napkins, polished silver, cooked lots of meals the boys wouldn’t eat, and once, was stabbed in the arm with a fork. I tried my hardest to love it there. I cooked. I baked. I visited museums. I spent time with dear Wellesley friends. One of my best friends in the world lived with me for a month until she got settled. Now she is still there, 3 years later.
I was dissatisfied. I was lonely. My job wasn’t cutting it; I was alone at the family’s apartment most of the day, cleaning and watching terrible daytime TV. I cleaned on Friday and Saturday nights. I came home - Colorado - as often as I could.
Then my hours got cut. They hired a new housekeeper without telling me. The doorman asked if I was leaving because they had heard the family was interviewing candidates. I was angry and devastated. I was barely making rent, but couldn’t get another job because the nanny hours were still from about 1:30-8 pm except on the mornings they needed me. I could have (should have) quit immediately, but I couldn’t have lived for long without an income. I was tired of being a nanny. I struggled for months with the fact that I had moved to New York - New York, where I had dreamed of living since age 6 - only to find it wasn’t the place for me. I was homesick for Colorado. I was homesick for Massachusetts. I missed mountains and nature and being near my family.
I didn’t want to give up after only 6 months of living in the city. I felt like an abject failure. I felt like I hadn’t tried hard enough. It was only after I realized that I would stay up until 3 in the morning watching repeats of How I Met Your Mother I had DVR’d only so that I could legitimately sleep until noon and not have to face the city… only after I had been so sick that I could barely stand up but I still had to go to work and couldn’t see a doctor because I had no health insurance… only after I realized that I wanted to go home, and home wasn’t here… did I decide to suck it up and come back to Colorado.
I realized I wanted to teach. I researched and applied to teaching programs from New York. I used frequent flier miles to fly home for interviews to programs. I didn’t have anything lined up when I came home.
I lived with my grandmother for a year and a half. For 3 months, I didn’t know if I would have a job or get accepted to a teaching program. I lived in what used to be a guest room and moped. I was depressed. I collected cheerful quotes about making the most of life and looking on the bright side. I made some interesting life choices. I worked for a photo booth company. I fell head over heels for someone completely unhealthy for me. I went to interviews. Finally, I got a call from Polaris asking for an interview (I still remember Jan’s call). Then, I got the call offering me the intern position. Catherine had strep throat when she called to tell me. I was thrilled.
And now, 2 years later, I am teaching my own 4th grade gifted & talented class. If you’d told me 3 years ago that I’d be here, I would have laughed at you. I would have told you I was going to work in a gallery or a museum. I was going to be in New York. I was going to go to library school and get a Masters of Library Science. I wasn’t going to be a teacher.
Even though, ever since second grade, I knew. And I’m so glad to be where I am and know who I know. It was a long, winding, and tough road to get here. But I’m here now, and that’s what matters.