Friday Free For All: The Only Constant is Change

I’ve probably lost my job. There is still small sliver of hope that we’ll find funding for next year but I’m bracing myself and preparing for the inevitable.

For those who don’t know, I am a GED instructor. It’s been a great transition back into formal education after fully embracing radical unschooling because, unlike the compulsory system I walked away from, people are generally there because they truly want to learn and have a goal in mind. So, I’ve been able to use the skills I learned before I found unschooling in a very unschoolish way. It has been so fantastically fulfilling.  And now it’s going away.

I know that this is more life altering for some than it is for me. I’m merely disappointed while other instructors are losing income upon which they are truly dependent. Worse yet are the students who are so close to attaining their GED but won’t quite get there before our classes end June 20th. For them, and others like them in the future, I’m concerned about the missed opportunity and the cycle of poverty that is already so difficult to break away from.

But I’m disappointed for myself and my family as well. I feel selfish for worrying about things like birthday money and family vacations but I am concerned about these things. It seems to be acceptable for me to express that I’ll miss working with students- which I absolutely will. But when discussing the loss of income I feel uncomfortable, change the subject quickly and often others have the same response. Some even jump in with how the impact is so much greater for others. And it is, I know that. But does that mean I’m not allowed to be a little worried and upset for myself? Yes, not getting to go on a family vacation or loss of professional fulfillment are first world problem- but so is the loss of educational opportunity my students are facing. So are *most* of the things we all encounter on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to worry about them.

Please, don’t misunderstand me. I am still counting my blessings and generally happy with this life. But since I’ve discovered this news Tuesday evening I’ve had a niggling feeling in the pit of my stomach. I keep wondering what my husband is really thinking. Is he more worried than he’s showing me? What “extras” are we going to have to cut from an already minimalist budget? How will my kids react if we have to postpone the trip we’ve planning for over a year? Am I going to have to cancel my gym membership at the end of the trial period? How is that going to affect my HAES goals? Is my daughter still going to be able to start the art class this fall that she’s so excited about? If I find a new job to cover all of these expenses how is it going to impact our daily life? Will it fit in as well with our schedules as this one does? Will I get the same sense of accomplishment from whatever job I can find that I do from this one?

I have a lot of fears surrounding this. I’m very mindful of the fears of worries of the others this impacts but I think I’m allowed to have some for myself as well. I’m not sure why that’s so difficult for me to acknowledge and it’s quite possible that I’m judging myself more harshly than others are.

At any rate, I apologize, dear reader, for the lack of insight in this post but I needed to get these ideas out of my head and into the light. There are no easy answers but simply asking the questions is cathartic.

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6 responses to “Friday Free For All: The Only Constant is Change

  1. Of course you’re “allowed” to worry about how this impacts your family and of course you care about how it’s impacting the students you’ve worked so hard with/for! The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Kudos for giving yourself the space to search how *you* feel instead of pushing that away in favor of what other people are going through.
    What a total bummer for everyone. It’s so incredibly hard to reach out of the hole of poverty and while GED classes may not be a secure ladder for everyone, I feel certain they helped more often than not. Will there not be any funding at all?

    • The funding issues are all up in the air. I’m pretty confident that *eventually* some sort of program will continue but in what form I’m unsure. If everything becomes centralized to Rolla that will have the same impact as cancelling for many students. I’m certain it helped as well. So many jobs, even fast food, require a diploma of some kind now that finding reliable employment without it is nearly impossible. As I’m contemplating where to go from here I’m very attuned to the fact that my degree is affording me opportunities that make this change less frightening. And yet, other programs are fully funded to the point of waste. It’s frustrating to say the least.

  2. I thought you were being overly NOT-worried and calm.

    I know you worry about others, but there will always be others worse off than you, it does not mean that you shouldn’t be disappointed, worried, or even a little freaked out when things like this happen. It’s going to effect (affect? damn) your life and you shouldn’t feel guilty just b/c someone else might be affected more! I know it won’t help to be totally freaked out and I admire your gracefulness in the situation, but sometimes you need to be able to freak out just a little and allow yourself to FEEL what is going on. Love you!

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