Yesterday - Saturday - I came to school a little after 1:00pm. I wanted to finish grading my students' projects and maybe get a jump start on lesson planning for the week. I figured if I could get enough work done on Saturday I might avoid going in at all on Sunday, and my Sunday could be about football and church and NO WORK. It was a productive day, and my stack of projects still to be graded was pretty small by the time the sun set. Around 8:00 I thought to myself, "It's eight o' clock on a Saturday night! I should go home."
And then I thought, "Why? So I can lie in bed alone and watch TV until I fall asleep? At least here I'm productive." And then the loneliness hit me, and almost 24 hours later, it's still there.
I work all the time primarily because I have a lot of work to get done and I want to do a good job with it. I'm a bit of a perfectionist - you're shocked, I know - and I want to make sure that when I step in front of my students I'm as prepared as I can be. I like to know that I'm really helping them learn and grow, not just surviving from one day to the next without falling apart in the classroom. It's my first year, so I'm creating a lot of my curriculum from scratch, and that can be very time-consuming. I have a lot to get done, and so I work a lot.
But I also work all the time because I have nothing else to do. I have no dance rehearsals to go to, no friends waiting to hang out with me, no one to go home to in the evenings. I really have very little in my life right now except work, so I figure I might as well just work a lot. The problem with that is that it hurts my heart to feel like this is all I have. Of course, this is really just a catch-22 when you think about it - I work all the time because I have nothing else to do, and I don't have anything else to do because my work is so time-consuming that I don't have the time to spare.
My roommates actually go out with friends in the evenings. They're actually social. For me, being social means attending a staff meeting during lunch instead of eating alone. But when friends IM to say, "Hey, let's hang out!" my response is always, "I can't, I have too much work, but thanks for asking." And I'm not lying - I do have too much work. But at the same time, if I don't start having something in my life besides work, I'm going to go insane. My mom reminded me today that I've only been doing this for about a month, so I shouldn't feel like I've been trapped in a prison cell for years or anything. And yet, it sometimes DOES feel like I've been in solitary confinement for YEARS.
Earlier today, I just sat in my classroom with tears trailing down my cheeks. It's so lonely here, and I feel confined by my own plans and perfectionism. I know God called me here, and I know that He has plans for me. I just don't know why I have to be alone while I'm waiting for those plans to come to fruition.