free stats Carmen's Web: May 2005
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Leaving home
The past seven months have not been very fruitful. I'm stagnating and have fallen into a hole that I can't seem to get myself out of. I'm not sure what it is that I want to do with regards to a career. I wake up every morning absolutely grateful that I'm not at my previous job; that I don't have to spend that long subway ride dreading the fact that I'm getting closer to work, that I don't have to be in a place that devalued me, that I don't have to spend every day counting the hours till I could clock out, only to take that long subway ride back home hating that it would all have to be repeated the next day. Work was so demoralizing and the only reason I stayed so long before finally calling it quits was because I was surrounded by the most amazing women I'd met in my life. My co-workers were the funniest women I'd ever come across. They were smart, they were sensitive, they were generous. They were the only reason I never had so many sick days. As miserable as I was at that job (and I was MISERABLE) I looked forward to their company and they made the nearly two year job bearable.

When I quit I had so much momentum. There was so much that I wanted to do and now I finally had the time to do it. I applied to PhD programs, started writing stories for my future novel, volunteered for non-profits...I was ready to light a fire under someone's ass, take part in a revolution, change someone's life.

And then I started getting the letters from the schools..."thank you for applying, but..." I had a feeling that getting in would be difficult. I had applied to a program that I had no background in and it truly was a long shot. I wasn't really interested in any of the other disciplines and decided to send in the applications just to see what would happen. Although I was expecting the rejections it was still discouraging to get the letters. I could easily apply again next year...take a few classes that would give me a stronger background, but I needed to start thinking of a plan B.

So here I career, few prospects, and not even able to be financially independent. There's no reason to be completely distraught because I know a lot of people are in the same boat, but God I need to do something about it. I need to regroup and reenergize.

Why Barcelona? Because I'm a chicken shit. I value my comfort zone and even if I'm stagnating will not attempt to get out of it. I'll try my absolute best to make things work within this zone, but will not consciously move out. I'm a chicken shit. I'm afraid of change and I'm not particularly fond of surprises. I like to know what the next day will bring, what (for the most part) I could expect.

In Barcelona I would be so far out of my comfort zone that I'd need three plane trips, a couple of trains, handful of busses, and perhaps a car ride or two to get back home. I speak no Catalan, speak Spanish like a two year old, don't know a single person out there, have never even been to Spain. I'll be taking a CELTA course at International House; four weeks of intensive courses designed to make me an English teacher. Four weeks of having to speak in class (DREADFUL), TEACH in front of a class (EVEN MORE SO), and be observed by tutors in the process (might as well shoot me and bury me now). I hate attention on myself. I'm the student who sits all the way in the back of class hiding behind the person in front of me so the teacher doesn't call out my name and force me to speak in class. I managed to make my way through four years of college and two years of grad school without really speaking in class (faked a cough one time, pretended to have laryngitis, ran to the bathroom pretending to be sick). It was pathetic really, but that's just how it was. I hate public attention, I fear public attention.

So why the CELTA course? Do I really want to teach English as a foreign language?? It certainly is interesting and I'm sure lots of can go anywhere in the world and find a job as a teacher. I'm not sure, however, that this is my career path. I simply wanted to put myself in a situation where I would be quaking in my boots out of fear, and the only time I feel like that is when I'm in front of an audience. I'm not getting any younger and if I don't fix this problem now, or at least attempt to fix it, then I'll continue to hold on to this fear for the rest of my life.

So Barcelona it is. CELTA it is. All arrangements have been taken care of and although every single cell in my body is telling me to stay put, just find a job here and work on your issues without leaving the country, but it's too late. I put myself on a plane tomorrow and God only knows what's going to come next.
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 9:43 PM
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Who: Carmen

xx-something egyptia-yorker who's spent over half her life stuck in two worlds not of her own making. unable and unwilling to fully embrace one identity over the other, she created (is trying to create) her own place in the world where people love each other unconditionally, irrespective of artificial boundaries, and where dancing merengue is as necessary to life as breathing air.

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