Sitting Within Myself
One of the hardest things to do is simply sit within your own body and mind. There are so many things that we can distract ourselves with. We can bury ourselves in working at our paid job, or volunteering to work for others leaving no time for friends or family or ourselves. We can listen to endless streams of music from a variety of sources, even while completing other tasks. Many households have a television on non-stop while the occupants are home. You can talk on the phone, all hours of the day now while doing other tasks. Make plans constantly with other people and try to never be alone with just yourself, your body and your own thoughts. And when escaping from yourself is difficult, you can plan travel as escape. Only, you will still be with you, but in a new setting.
Years ago when I was nineteen I took a mass communications course, where we charted our media uses, how many hours we spent with the radio or music on, with reading books, with the television. It had never even occurred to me before that I could be in my car without the sounds of the radio on. People around me , adults and young people, just didn’t do that. Let alone think about turning off the external to our brain noise.
Everything around me is in excess, from all cultures. People rarely are alone by themselves, dealing with their varying internal thoughts and emotions. The minute we have an emotion, we are solving it by turning something on, eating something, making plans, or taking something.
I just finished reading “Blue Jean Buddha”, and while I don’t resonate with all of the stories, it is a healthy reminder to myself that it is okay to feel a variety of emotions, but just sit within them. I may feel a surge of rebellious energy after trying to grapple with some math concept I am studying. And I notice this. Perhaps I can reorganize and go work out more routinely. This is a possibility. We have all of these inappropriate seeming emotions, not at the right times. After my surge of energy, I had to go sit at a tutoring center for a few hours to work. Sometime, I would love to follow the emotion and just go to the beach. Or call in sick and sleep in.
Instead I smoked half a cigarette trying to quell the feeling of "let's go do something!" Went to work begrudgingly, then out to an online meetup group Chinese food event with my husband. Met some new people, had one two many drinks, a bourbon, beer, and a shot of tequila. Got up the next day and had to go back to work for five hours in a row. After work I went out with a girlfriend. Had a flood of happy emotions as my life consists mainly of getting up, exercising, studying math, going to school or work. There is not much aberration to my path at the moment. It felt so wonderful to talk to a fellow female teacher, eat, shop at upscale thrift stores.
Then my husband and I were off to a friends birthday bar night, where again, I had one too many. A toasted marshmellow, a thin mint, then felt the need to keep it up, a Chemay Red. A really geeky man I have been flirting with for a year was there. He works for Caltech, that seems to be my type. Intelligent with a good job. Or maybe it is just that I have been married for almost 3 years, am a bit overweight, and used to be flirted with much more than now. So whew, the fun emotions to be flirted with and do the flirting.
Then come home, fall asleep, and mild hangover. Had to still get up early on a Sunday. I only work for twenty hours a week as I work on my second credential in math, so I take the hours where I can get them. I totally would have called in sick. I never do that with this job, but would like to some time. I went because I didn’t want to leave the center a teacher short. And this coming up here rarely happens, but this idiot girl, who is very nice, was working the teacher, students calling out sick shuffling game at the front desk. I get to work, and Rosencrans tells me that the two beginning readers called out. So…she’ll find some bullshit office work for me to do. I think to myself, I am capable of working with beginning readers through students in Algebra and Geometry, and everyone doing math and language arts/reading inbetween. I have worked for this center since August. Look at all these new hires here. I am pretty sure as I was scheduled to be here for four hours this morning, you should send a new hire home.
I walked to Star Bucks and got the mocha I didn’t get so I would be responsibly on time. Came back. The front desk idiots gave me a test book to cut up and put into sheaths. At 40 minutes until I was then “supposed” to teach at 11:30, the idiot owner of the center calls, the front desk Rosencrans and Guildenstern have found some folders, some reports I can help rewrite to send to the almighty LAUSD district. The owner tells me all this nonsense, about a task that is not mine. One I will do for 40 minutes, then teach, or go home! I have some really difficult trig. I need to go work on and wrap my head around.
This same retarded owner, very having much never been an educator nor gone through the process we have to go through to get credentialed here in California, which is extensive; was asked be me to write me a simple letter of recommendation, well a week before my interview which is finally today. She told me no problem. I reminded her via email as the date was getting closer. The interviewing schools love to have their letters of rec. with a most current date on them, from this year. Then, still with the date looming closer, I reminded her in person. I would even write it myself and she could just sign it. Can't do that, legalities. Very busy, but she will write it with her "form". My God, you have a form? Just print it and slap a signature on it!
So here she is, calling me about some bogus task that is not my job. If you had told me I was going to come in for 4 hours on a Sunday to type reports, two things would have happened. One, I could have expected to do that. Now that would have become my job on that Sunday morning, not getting shuffled. Or I really could have called in absent that Sunday morning, as you actually do pay people to type reports, on normal weekdays, and I wouldn't have left anyone in the lurch, a teacher short.
However, I had all of 40 minutes to go. And she have not produced a simple letter I needed to have. She wishes for me to do what now? After all my flexibility for this place? Piddly pay in the same field. I love teaching. Center tutoring is not so much teaching, it is in the same vein, with all of the creativity gone. But a minor means to a minor momentary and hopefully career end.
I tell Rosencrans and Guildenstern that if they need teachers to go home early, I will be the first to go.
Finally, an influx of even more teachers come in. They certainly could have thought to not have one of them come in, I see one new hire young person sitting studentless. I say to Rosencrans I will go now. She giggles nervously and says Tina is all packed to leave. No, I really must go now, Tina should stay. You've dicked me around enough for one morning I think.
So, finally I got to go get my own two hours of tutoring. Math was easier than I had dreaded, with help mind you. I have to do all of the home work sets all one time, and then one more time before a test to attempt to commit it to my brain.
By the time I got back to my house I had barely eaten, and felt so edgy. However, I made some crazy dish with things that existed in our possession. I went and put together my booklet for today’s interview. I looked at my weekend emotions. Those moments of upbeat happiness can get me into trouble. But what are they about? Socializing with a girlfriend was good. Having one to many drinks, bad. Additional exercise would be good. Flirting felt so fun, but is so bad when married if it led anywhere. So what is the flirting about, feeling that emotional drug kick into my own head, the one I produce internally.
Sitting within, observing. Finding the healthy choices, additional exercise to do, good. Eating healthier, good. Loosing weight, good. A recommitment to the things I need to get done here and now…. These are the reasons as well, I try to avoid those place like Coachella. All of my husbands friends, like some kind of cult, are all chanting on their facebook walls nonstop their endless count down to the 3 days they will debaucherously spend taking E, smoking pot, drinking beer, and listening to live band and dj sets, one after the other. An aphrodisiac indeed. One to be avoided. Can you imagine the emotional pitfall after that event? I choose not to.