belief, blogging, boundaries, career change, faith, fear, freedom, guardian angels, ignored, Lake Ontario, leap of faith, MCS, Miracles, multiple chemical sensitivities, photos, shame, spirituality, stress, teachers, truth, union, Universe, wplongform
Some boundaries are sharply delineated while others are fuzzy or diffuse. Sometimes when I awaken it is slow and luscious. The final moment being when I concede that day is upon me and I slowly raise my eyelids and breathe in the first breath of the new day. Other days, I awaken so quickly there is no transition. I was asleep and now I am awake. I gasp the day into existence.
Most of the last year has been fuzzy for me.
This week the fuzziness ended and I finally had my sharp interface. It was the moment when past, present and future co-existed. And then there was only the present moment left to be lived. This week was six years in the making — five years of being attacked and bullied on the job — most of a year on sick leave being predominately ignored by my union and administration.
With 3 1/2 sick days left, my personnel officer finally responded to the question he had asked me months ago. The question, “What can I as a representative of the district do for you?” My response, “Get me insurance.” The answer came this week in the mail: a bill for over $13,000 for my insurance from October – June.
I finally realized the vultures were circling over my MCS disabled, shame-riddled, emotionally exhausted body.
I contacted my union. I was asked the same questions I had been asked by the union for the last eleven months. I gave the same replies and I asked the same questions. The state union will not help me unless I am fired. And the district will not fire me. My question, “Why is my local union not doing more to help me?” I’ve lost track how many times I asked this over 11 months and repeatedly in the emails over the weekend.
I went and found something to knock my head against when I still received no answer.
A few weeks ago my union president told me the union would help me when my sick days ran out. Well we’re there man. I imagined he had all manner of paths for me to consider after all this time and all of them would lead to a place of illumination.
But NO!! He was open to any logical solutions I could come up with.
I did the angry vulture walk and tried really hard to remember I am a spiritual person and whatever energy I put out comes back to me.
A second union rep I had cc’d finally checked the email on Monday. I felt berated by the response I received and betrayed that it and my original email was cc’d from my union to my personnel officer.
I imagined having the chance to tell him to kiss my ass. But after a few email exchanges, I replied, “There is my reality. There is your reality. And then there is reality.”
Remembering how shame causes us to hide from the truth. I chose that this was not a battle worth fighting. As the saying goes, “You can be right or you can be happy you cannot be both.” (multiple authors credited). I chose happy and didn’t look back. On Tuesday night I resigned and walked away from the 19 years and 5 months I had vested in my teaching career. I had many people who told me that the way I was being treated was unacceptable. I didn’t disagree. BUT I chose happy.
At 11:30 am October 10, 2013 my teaching career ended. I can tell you exactly where I was. I was in the car heading to my new life as a full-time writer. Fleetwood Mac came on the radio: “I never did believe in miracles. “But I’ve a feeling it’s time to try….”
And walked at Breitbeck Park. As the path curved up from Lake Ontario to a small hillside, I stopped. I realized I had been holding myself tightly. I took a deep breath and as I exhaled I thanked the Infinite Intelligence, my guardian angels and archangels and Jesus and any spiritual being I could think of for my FREEDOM.
And the bells rang out. As I listened, I now expected my day, my new life, my new career to soar.
And it did. I went to the Poets in the Park. Read some poetry. Meet some great new people. Was asked to be the CNY Arts featured writer of the month. An indie publisher friend asked to publish one of my picture books. And I went home and worked on my writing craft and fell asleep exhausted — not from stress but from a day lived passionately in pursuit of my dream.
I awoke today to the questions: What day is this? What am I supposed to be doing? And even though it was dark and cold still, I jumped out of bed because the answer was: This is your first full day as writer. This is the day you pursue your dream instead of pursuing redemption for the wrongs done me — whether real or perceived. This is the day, following the day, I took the leap of faith and I am certain that I believe in miracles.
If you too are going to be daring and decide to take the leap of faith: it might be to change jobs — get married — get divorced — have a child — whatever major life change you can think of — I will give you this one warning. Before the big change things will seem to keep getting worse and worse and worse. This past week with all the other things I faced, I had to deal with an infestation of spiders. I killed ~40 in seven days and I am talking the really big ones. After I walked out of my house and two almost fell on my head, I finally figured it out. The spiders were a question from the Universe: Are you really ready to face your fears? I haven’t seen a spider in or near my house in the last two days. Except the tiniest spider I had ever seen hanging from my rearview mirror. As I drove off — it blew away in the wind taking more of my fear with him.
I leave you with the gift that was in my inbox this morning.
“Come to know the power and authority of your graces with the same precision you come to know your brokenness and your pain.” (Caroline Myss)