When Life Sucks the Life Out of You

This is how I feel lately. Dried up. Beyond my usefulness. Withered.

I'm a teacher and I'm not here to complain about my job. That wouldn't be either useful or professional. But, well, yeah, I'm withered right now. There's been misinformation and misinterpretation and a whole lot of crud that I've had to work through.

My actual job of teaching makes me happy. My students and learning and blossoming and making me smile and laugh and feel proud every minute of every day I am with them.

Some of the other stuff? If I really took the time to sit down and think about it, I'd never set foot in a school again.

But I'm not taking that time. I refuse to let it destroy my life and my career (which has always been a huge part of my life - I've wanted to be a teacher since kindergarten). I need to shrug it off and know what I'm doing is meaningful and know that I have made a difference. It isn't easy to do. I've been sharing my story with a coworker and she confided in me today that when I tell her the things that are going on (sorry to be so vague, but I have to be), I physically make her tired.

I feel withered.

Writing is my nourishment, my water, my food, my way to find happiness. My job (which, let me remind you, I love WHILE I'M ABLE TO DO IT) makes me tired and dejected, so writing almost seems a chore at times lately. Querying? Don't get me started.

It's those times I need to remember that no matter what, I am worth it. I make a difference every day. My family loves me. Kids look up to me. I have friends I know I can count on that can also count on me. If I keep writing and working and perservering, I can do this thing. I can.

Feeling withered? We're in this together. Writers are some of the most supportive people I've ever met. We share our successes and support our. . . well, dejections.

So, my success for today? A day I really just wanted to be over? A little boy in my class, who doesn't speak much English, touched my face and said "I love you Etika." (I'm pretty sure he meant Erica). *deep sigh* *happy*

What made you happy today?


  1. Withered. That's a good word to describe how burned out I've been feeling lately.
    But, I am very happy that we got a call from my daughter this morning!! She is 6000 miles away for a 2 month learning abroad program, and it was so great to hear from her :)

  2. i was definitely withering right along with you for a while this year. fortunately, i got to go on maternity leave and rejuvenate. hopefully it will be enough to get me through until june. i'll try to pass those vibes through to you. i think i've stored up enough energy and perseverence to share. take it easy. be extra nice to yourself. and definitely, definitely don't beat yourself up. enough other people are doing that for you and you need to know you're doing a wonderful job for kids, as proof of being loved by them, etika. christy

  3. Erica! So sad to hear about your witheredness(?)(sometimes I invent words)(mmrm) I guess if writing teaches you one thing it's that even when you love something BEYOND A DOUBT there will always be hard times and a struggle and points that you feel run down, right? Anyhoodles, I'm still sorry to hear you're feeling withered.

    Ummm. What made me happy? Mmmm. Walking home into the sunset was pretty cool. :)

    <3 <3 <3

  4. I'm sorry about the withering quality of your life lately. But for a child to say "I love you", I think you must be doing the important part of your job correctly.

    When I'm down, I'm glad for fluffy kitties. They make everything good.

  5. My Dad is a teacher too, and boy the politics end of it...most people do not realize teaching is a whole lot more than lesson planning and grading papers. It's frustrating for me to see teachers treated poorly and under valued because you guys are the ones who breath life into our kids imaginations and desires to learn.

    So not much I can offer other than a cyber hug, but I am so glad you know how to enjoy the little things, because often these are big things in disguise. :) Have a better weekend!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  6. I hear you on the withered feeling. Sometimes, the writing (okay, querying) is just one more hot burst of air wilting my petals. (I also don't think this whole "winter" thing is helping any).

    Sometimes when you're feeling so worn-out, overwhelmed, stuck, etc, it can be so so hard to find those truly happy things to pull you out of it. Though having a child tell you they love you has to help...especially since we know kids don't know how to lie about their emotions yet. ;o)

  7. Ah, Erica,

    That really sucks. When you have a job you love and have to deal with all the bureaucratic bull, it really does wither a person.

    Cheer up sweets... WE ALL LOVE YOU! As for the query thing... we all have our ups and downs. Being down for so long, I never thought I would see clear sky again ... well ... less than 24 hours in Florida, I took a chance on a fellow writer's agent and queried her. WIthin a half an hour, I had a full request and a synopsis... EEK! I have no synopsis! I should be writing it this second, but I saw your post and HAD to drop in to cheer you up.

    BIG HUGS from your friend in the south.

  8. Uck, I know all about the 'other' parts of teaching. Just keep your eyes on the kids - it's what helps me get thru when the creeping crud tries to grab me. We've all got the February blahs but March is right around the corner...

  9. oh! That's beautiful, Etika! :o) ((hug)) I'm sorry you're feeling burned out. Trust me, been. there. But I know you're making a difference for these little guys. Be strong! :o) <3


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