Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Gnawing Fear

Hello, everyone, and welcome to my blog.

Yesterday, I found out that my boss will be getting an interview for a higher position. Whoop! Whoop! I was completely thrilled when she told me—so much so that I squealed, and did this…weird clappy thing that I wasn’t aware of doing until after I’d done it. My brain must have locked into an overtly enthusiastic mode, where I couldn’t really make a rational movement. (If that doesn’t sound Vulcan, I don’t know what does.)

Anyway, I got to thinking about the possibility of her getting the higher position… and thinking… and thinking, until a mighty wave of fear sunk my boat of good vibes. Don’t get me wrong: I love my boss, and I guess that explains why I started having abandonment issues...thrown in with attachment, and “change,” which has almost always resulted in bad things in my life. I’m not going to beg her to stay, because I know that she deserves this position, and it’s not the fear of her getting the position that I’m afraid of… but the person who comes to fill her shoes.

Other than a work study position, I have never worked in another place besides Adult Education, and—for six years—she has been my boss. I love her to pieces. We have so much in common, while also maintaining a distance, since she’s extroverted while I’m introverted. I love social studies and abhor math; she’s the opposite. I am a bachelorette for life; she’s married to a man she loves with every fiber of her being. When I don’t understand a math problem, I go to her. When she wants me to analyze a poem, she comes to me. For the most part, we love the same kind of shows, though we’re different when it comes to music. She gives me time to write poems for students and holidays… and birthday blasts for the teachers and staff of Adult Ed, because she knows I need that outlet to express myself. I could go on and on about how this relationship works, and how it has built me into a better person.

But… back to the dreaded phrase “the person who comes to fill her shoes.” In my head, I see a silhouette—a tall man, in a suit. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t hate men (most of the time), but I was the work study for one who was (I should say “is”) really bad OCD. He’s a sweet man, but in a complex way, so much so that most of the students I was attending classes with stated they didn’t like him. I like him—then again, in the words of my sister, “You like everybody.” He’s a bright man, with a dream he once told me, “to get this library filled with books before I retire.”

Still, he set some really strict guidelines for the students and myself (also a student at the time), and aimed for perfection in everything—including putting the barcodes in the books straight. I’ve never been one to keep anything exactly straight (I think I must have crooked eyes), but wanted perfection in how I placed the barcodes, because Daddy told me to remember how much honor one must have for libraries. When I first came to Adult Ed, I remember one of my first emails to my boss, “Can I drink in my office?” I remember her response, which makes me smile even now, “As long as it’s nonalcoholic.” She also told me that there’s only One who’s perfect—simple words, but it’s something I’ll carry with me forever.

The waves that thrashed against my boat of good vibes.
What if my new boss…

doesn’t like me trying to come in early?
finds it a nuisance that I read ten minutes in the lounge area before coming to work?
won’t let me write poetry?
stops me from making presentations?
hates birthdays—and especially the blasts I send out?
hates that I dance with students?
takes over orientation and all testing?
removes my Friday reading sessions, since I’m not a qualified teacher?
doesn’t laugh—and can’t stand jokes?
hates me for being a smartass?
aims for perfection in every little thing?
is annoyed by my constant thirst to give a history lesson?


In a break during the writing of this blog, I found my way across the ocean and crawled onto a shore, where I reclaimed my good vibes... and common sense. My boss will move into a higher position. I have confidence in her. She’ll nail the interview. I will take whoever comes in her place, because… in the end… it’s not about me. It’s about the students. If this person can work well with students, then, by golly, they deserve the job. I might get fired for being/doing all of those things, but the students deserve a teacher who might never equal the one currently holding the position, but someone worthy of their dedication to coming to class, so they can fulfill the second chance at education… at life.

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