So today is the day… it’s finally official. My substitute teaching permit expired yesterday and I didn’t even think twice about renewing it. A lot of people have been asking exactly why I stopped substitute teaching and today, I’m sharing the real reason.
Eliza J Dress c/o (budget option here and here)| Old Top (budget option here and here) | Charlie Stone Flats c/o (budget option here and here) | Kate Spade Handbag (sold out – similar here, budget option here) | Chanel Brooch | BaubleBar Headband | Gorjana Ring Set c/o
I was doing nothing to fulfill by dreams by subbing. was never meant to be a career
For the past five years, I’ve been a substitute teacher. There was a point when I worked at a new school district every single day. I would wake up at 5am each morning to get ready to go to work even when I didn’t have a job. Sometimes, I woke up and got ready to find that there weren’t any jobs available. I took many long term jobs including one of which that lasted almost half of the school year. I became a well known and “favorited sub” among students, teachers and staff. I even became a mentor to various students that I followed from Freshmen year to their graduation day while others came in and out of my life for an hour at a time.
The truth is I never wanted to be a teacher. In fact, I fell into this position completely by accident. In 2013, I lost my job a month before my husband and I were set to get married (that’s actually when I really began to explore this whole blogging world). It wasn’t until six months later that someone mentioned that I should try substitute teaching. I laughed at the thought but since my recent Bachelor’s degree had “overqualified” me for pretty much everything I applied for, I took a shot because I desperately needed a job.
What most people don’t know is that substitute teaching is very difficult. You are not guaranteed work and you are not always respected by students (and sometimes, staff). There were good days and bad days: days where I felt like I had a breakthrough with a student, like I was truly changing the course of their life… and then there were days that I felt like ripping out my hair and walking out on a class altogether. As crazy as it sounds, there was even a point where I contemplating becoming a teacher (mostly because I was pressured into it). This was short-lived as I became more and more exposed to the politics of it all and after being pulled in so many different directions, the realization hit that I was merely a means to an end in a district wide shortage and that I was irreplaceable as a substitute teacher… nothing more.
I would often get asked when I would be pursuing my credential or if I had planned to be a teacher. Neither were true. I subbed for five years without a plan because it was safe. It worked well with my schedule, paid a decent wage and was flexible with travel (plus I grew to really like some of the students and staff). After a while, this routine began to slowly wear me down. I started to feel like a robot just mindlessly going through each day like the one before and I was exhausted from working insane hours between subbing, blogging and teaching music because I was no longer able to balance it all. I started to feel unhappy and unfulfilled…not because of the profession but due to my lack of being challenged. I didn’t feel creatively or intellectually inspired and I didn’t have a passion for it. I began to resent going knowing that I could be using the time to work on furthering my real passion… fashion.
If you read the story about why I started my blog, you know that this is a lifelong dream I have been chasing. I’ve tried and failed many times until I found the one thing that seemed to work (my blog) and I ran with it. At first, I stayed up late, woke up early and worked weekends to do it all but as my blog began to grow, it demanded more and more of my time until I got to a crossroad and felt that I had to choose. Honestly, I had a hard time with this and for the past two years, I’ve been going back and forth on quitting my sub job (I seriously cried almost everyday at one point because I didn’t know what to do anymore). I didn’t know if I should play it safe and get my credential, then find a teaching job where I was guaranteed a salary and benefits even though it wasn’t my “dream” job or take a risk and go after my passion, the one thing that I have been working so hard for since I was 5, and risk the possibility of “not making it” with no guarantee of any income. I knew the answer in my heart, but it was a terrifying realization. I was not fulfilling my dreams by spending my time subbing and I went through so so SO much to even get to this point in my fashion career. I was not about to give up all of that to settle for something that I wasn’t passionate about. After all, substitute teaching was never meant to be a career.
So I made a deal with myself. Last year, I renewed my credential and gave myself an ultimatum: if I made more with my blog than with my sub job, then I could quit. I kept my sub permit on the back burner just in case I needed the extra income and guess what? I didn’t even use it and proved to myself that I could make this work! It’s always such a scary thing when you take a risk, but I feel like this is truly where I’m meant to be at this point and I’m at peace with my decision. I don’t ever want to look back and wonder “what if” just because I was afraid to take a chance.
I’ve had a lot of teachers and students ask me why I stopped subbing and I know that a lot won’t understand my decision but this is why. Even though, I adored subbing for so many amazing students for the past five years and have remained close with many of them, the time finally came for me to close this chapter in order to chase the dream I’ve been searching a lifetime for. This has been in the works for so long and all of my hard work is finally starting to pay off. I chose to have a life that I could create…a life that I could live on my own terms. I chose to follow my heart and my passion instead of submitting to something that would never truly made me happy. I chose ME. And while I am not completely full-time yet as I have my other business, I’m one step closer to living my dream. Crazy? Perhaps, but you only live once and I choose to live without regrets 😉
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P.S. Just in case you’re wondering, this is the day look from Monday’s post!! And next Friday, I’ll posting a Q+A with my hubby to celebrate our ten year anniversary. If you have any questions about our relationship, marriage, etc, feel free to DM or email me <3
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