If I had the pleasure of seeing you any time between Christmas and my birthday, then I know I told you about my strong desire to leave the City of Milwaukee and return home to Michigan. I was ready for anything to take me away from this place and take me back home. In fact, at any point in time I could tell you the number of days left on my commitment.
Yet on my birthday I had the opportunity to reflect upon my experience at my school and in Milwaukee. I love my 23 students who have been through my classroom. I really love my colleagues. I love my school. I love the city. Of course, there have been plenty of frustrations. I have had a hard time dealing with the learning curve of the people who oversee me. It hurts to watch the news and think that I could be making a difference in Detroit, too. Needless to say I found myself at a crossroad.
In May I had the opportunity to think some more. It was nice to finish my graduate classes. I found myself leaving school at a reasonable hour every evening. I thought about the future. Finally, I decided to stay one more year.
When I first told people about my decision they were shocked. I was so adamant about my departure that anything short of it had to be unreal. Yet, when I finally sat back and thought about my long-term future and goals, I realized that I needed some time to get myself together. Every year for the past six years I have been moving to and from school or to and from another apartment. Every year for the past six years I have burdened my body with stress over managing the imbalance between my professional work and my school work. The thought of moving to a new city, attempting to establish myself as the professional I seek to be, and completing my thesis for graduate school was too much.
I want to earn my Masters, I want to complete my certification paperwork, I want to establish myself as a educator, and eventually I want to move home. Rather than putting half my heart into these efforts all at the same time, I want to take my time to do each of these things well and set myself up for long-term success as an educator and an advocate. While I agonized for five months over whether or not I should take the leap to come home, I decided and felt good about this path in less than 48 hours. My gut tells me it was the right call. Here’s to my stress-free summer!