I know, right - seriously is what you've gotta be thinking. It's what I'm thinking. Or do I just sound a little too much like Meredith Grey from Grey's Anatomy with the seriously? Don't worry, I opted just as much for 'Really, I mean really education system?!' - a la Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers of Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update (aw I miss their routine).
Money was tight. All my savings was just about gone. In many ways I had just about given up on teaching. The thing was, at this point what else was I qualified for? Nothing. There I was with the greater part of my twenties gone by, living in my parents' basement without a job.
In my mind it was crazy, I was an educated person. I went to a well known college, I had a graduate degree, I was traveled, a good person, many life experiences, and yet in the job world I really was not qualified for much except an entry level job. I was devastated. That is when I was like, well maybe I can just do the whole artist thing -- haha starving artist thing, if you catch my drift.
I went to art festivals right an left. I befriended artists, some of whom have become friends and I love that that they know me. I even began my own side business - Memorable Minutes.
I make clocks out of wedding invitations and baby announcements. It has become a wonderful outlet for me.
Of course, what my dad had been trying to tell me had become true, it was not going to be enough to live on, and there certainly was not going to be enough for any type of insurance. It was a fine side business, and I do still to this day make clocks (I had a friend stop by yesterday to drop another invitation off for me and I have three more to do) but I needed more.
I continued to do educational type things as well, teaching after school programs (one of which went into the schools and did science and technology through a program called Imagine That! and another where the kids came to us at a place called Aloha - where we taught math on an abacus). I loved doing both and each were wonderful for their respective reasons such as keeping me around children and keeping me up to date with curriculum, as well as getting me into schools. However, yet again there was no insurance and it still was not enough money of any kind to get me out of my parents (at that point, the closer I got to age 30, everyone knew if I actually turned 30 and I was still living in my parents' house I was going to have to be admitted to a mental hospital).
I began to look outside of Atlanta (Yep. I know, I had moved back home to be in Atlanta and near family and now because of the education situation and teaching cutbacks I was going to have to look outside of Atlanta. I mean, I had also moved back so I could have a place of my own and look where that had gotten me. Oh the irony!).
I chose to look in Charleston, South Carolina. It was close enough to be able to drive home but still able to fly if I absolutely needed to. It was an artsy community and I knew people from there. Not only did I know people from there but one of my former students who my family had become good friends with, her mom was from Charleston and they still go there all the time. We made a great trip out of it. We caravaned up there. The older daughter rode with me. We went straight to the Charleston County School District Office. I walked right in and dropped off everything I needed to and they said I could start going by schools.
Charleston, SC farmers market
That's exactly what I did for the next three days. Some days I went on my own and some days they Karen and the girls rode around with me. When I changed out of my interviewing suit and let loose we had fun and experienced Charleston. What was not to love?
'old school' candy and good ole red velvet cake!
how appropriate to find this outside a store in Charleston:
"I've learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances" - Martha Washington