I apologize, this should have been the first thing I wrote; my parents would be disappointed in my lack of manners…
Hello, how are you? I’m Emily, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m 27 years old and I live in San Francisco. I’m an English teacher, in the middle of an English Literature graduate program, and an admirer of stories of all kinds.
I am not one of those teachers who always knew they wanted to teach, but rather came to the profession after working a variety of jobs. I’ve lived at 5,000 feet in the Sierra Nevadas, played four years of collegiate basketball, taught kayaking in Monterey, and finally tried my hand at a tech start up in the Silicon Valley.
Amidst the variety of work-related experiences I’ve held over the years, I always craved fulfillment. Yet even when I’ve found it, I seem to have left it.
In the mountains, this was easy to find. It is incredibly hard to deem your days wasteful when you are among thousand-year old Giant Sequoias, or watching the sun rise over Ponderosas. At the end of the day, the endless expanse of stars above head made life very, very full. It was easy to place yourself in the grand scheme of things in the mountains, it was simple. Our lives are temporary on this earth, while the nature that surrounds will exist long when we’ve gone. I learned so much about myself over this time period, I can never say enough how valuable this was. However, these days produced minimal paychecks, and lacked some serious social interaction. And thus, back to school I went.
Basketball was a great experience, one that led to lasting friendships and an understanding of my body and its limits. I would say the biggest thing I’d learned from playing a sport in college is that at the end of the day, it is simply a game. Sure, that game may help pay for tuition, but to not let one’s self-value rest in their performance in this. I did not find the fulfillment I’d hoped for from the sport, whether that was due to lack of accolades or my own self-doubt, it was far from the feelings I had experienced in the mountains.
Kayaking was a new type of fulfillment. I never realized how at peace one can be on the water. Paddling along with the current into Elkhorn Slough, where the inch of fiberglass separates you from the world beneath, I was reminded yet again my place in things. I saw incredible wild life during this job, from Sea Otters climbing on my boat (a weekly occurrence), to massive Purple-striped jellyfish, new Seal pups, Humpback whales, to Mother Nature putting on a near daily sunset spectacle. I wish I had found this job sooner, before the pressures deem it necessary to follow a career suitable for a college graduate.
And so, the tech start up. My time with the company was brief, I began as a consultant and was quickly added on full time. It was interesting to say the least. The company supported the making of GAN chips, while trying to produce an adapter that would support multiple devices at once from a single outlet. I was graced with the task of testing the adapters temperatures to determine at which point, they would generate too much heat and either shut down or begin to smoke. The best part of this job, was that I was able to work alongside my father, who ran their sales department. My dad is one of my favorite people on this earth, we share the exact same humor, so we are in constant fits of laughter. It was an invaluable time because of this, but I quickly realized how little importance my job held.
I’m now in my third year of teaching English. And I’m told that I’m very good at what I do, that I have a natural ability to connect with students, and that I am strong at creating safe, supportive environments for students to learn. I know the curriculum, I know the standards, and I teach well. At the end of the day, I am fulfilled and grateful to have a chance to impact students’ lives.
I must admit, I’ve felt at 27 my life is beginning to slow. I used to be wildly impulsive, and now I’ve settled down a bit and have built this routine. As much as I enjoy my daily life, I do feel that something is missing…if only I could determine what that was.
I study hard, consistently push myself to improve at work, exercise frequently, have a great relationship, wonderful friends, amazing family…maybe through this blog I’ll be able to find that missing piece as well.