A new chapter in my career (why I’m retiring from teaching at age 25)

Growing up, I always had two main ambitions: I wanted to teach and I wanted to have an amazing family.  Those were my goals. Now, here I am at 25 – leaving my teaching job and with no immediate plans to start a family.  Yet, I’m perfectly content.

Don’t worry, I’m not abandoning these lifelong goals, it’s just that they have grown and changed over the years! When I started college, my world changed, along with my goals. I especially wanted to travel. When Cody and I met, I realized that one of my new goals was to prioritize time together as much as possible. On top of all of that, I’ve always found joy in volunteering and helping, so I’ve wanted to make time for that.

Born to teach

All in all, teaching was a perfect fit for me and for my goals.  It was something I clearly had a gift for.   I had summers “off” where I could travel.  I was done working by 4 (often by 1 as a part time employee) , so I had more time with my husband.  Helping and teaching are practically synonymous in a preschool classroom.  Teaching checked all the boxes.  Or so I thought.

The toll of teaching

As an introvert, teaching is exhausting. August through May, I finish up at school and feel too tired to do anything but recharge.  I don’t explore my hobbies, I don’t spend quality time with my husband, and I’m always bordering on physical and mental exhaustion.  Starting in my first year teaching I explored other career options, even though I KNEW I was born to teach.

God has been showing me that there are other situations outside of the classroom that truly allow me to pursue my goals and dreams, and use the gifts He’s given me.  Once I began to understand that, I knew what I needed to do.  I announced that I would not be returning to teaching in the fall.

Well, what’s the plan?

I will be taking on my current side gig as an Executive Assistant for an incredible health and fitness coach/blogger/all around amazing friend  as my main gig.  This job has been a perfect fit for me since day one.  I get to help people and teach people in new ways.  It is something that I could potentially do when we have kids someday (and still have energy for them and for my husband).   It already allows me to travel and explore. I get to go to conferences in the area, will be going to Indianapolis in the summer, and have other trips on the horizon as well!  Beyond that, Cody and I get to go to Phoenix for a training, and we will have the flexibility to go on an anniversary getaway as well!

My new chapter

The most important part is that I already feel like a new person.  Throughout March and April of this year I was EXHAUSTED.  I was sleeping 8-10 hours every night and still feeling too tired to do anything (including workout, which did not help my anxious, overwhelmed self). I would work 12 hours most days and fill the rest of my time with de-stressing baths and Netflix.

Since I finished my lesson plans and big obligations for the year, I am sleeping only 6-8 hours a night, but wake up feeling recharged.  I’ve had time to start thinking about my hobbies again.  Cody and I get to spend actual quality time together that isn’t me just trying to survive.  My new job isn’t necessarily always within the “normal” business hours, but I don’t feel the stress of work following me home the same way I did with teaching.

I still believe God is calling me to teach, and I will continue to do so at church and hopefully in some aspects of my new job as well.  This is a direction I never saw my life going, but I am SO thankful that I’m right here, right now!