A Story (Alternatively: Why I Am Going)

In 2010, halfway through my first year of teaching, I lost myself. This is an excerpt from December 30, 2010, one of only a handful of entries that I wrote in that time span. Reading those posts still fills me with that familiar feeling of misery.

…I lost faith in mankind. Lost faith in the future. Lost faith in myself. I’m fairly certain now that I have absolutely no ability to impact the world, and it colors my life every day. I am a cog–and not even a very good cog–and that knowledge has changed me to a scary degree….

Today, I am. And come tomorrow’s tomorrow, it will be 2011 and I will still be. And really, that is all we can ask for from this meaningless existence we romanticize into life.

It got better. It always does, but while I cringe to say it, it wasn’t enough.

Despite my hopeless adoration for my kids, second year still had me working literally every. single. waking. second. I had no hobbies. My fun was limited to a few drinks on the weekend. I was always, always anxious.

And while third year provided a break in that respect, I found myself left behind by some of my best friends, and stuck in a routine–while pleasant–that became strangely unsatisfying in a surprisingly short period of time.

The refrain beating in my head: There has got to, got to, got to be more than this.

And so, I am setting off to find out.

(God, I hope I’m right.)

Yes, I feel overwhelmingly selfish. I am leaving my kids for a cliche of a reason. And seriously: I am a teacher for low-income students–how much more meaning can I possibly need to be satisfied? I am only justified by my strong belief that I will more than likely end up back in education, and I am pretty sure the achievement gap will still be there waiting for me.

And I know this is right: just thinking about next year makes me feel chillingly free. I am ridding myself of everything tying me down–literally and figuratively. I am excited at the thought of discarding my possessions, of being able to carry my entire existence on my back. I can’t wait to discard my deadlines–for once in my life–and create a new, more careless, relationship with time.

And I am ready for change… or, I suppose, as ready as I can be. I have always dreaded goodbyes, and I know I am setting myself up for an entire year full of them–starting, terrifyingly, with the current relationships that I have built. For the first time in a long time, I feel as though I am surrounded by so much love every day, and while I know I am foolish to let that go, I am yearning for the strength that it will give me. I am in desperate need, I think, for some emotional growth.

Of course, along those lines, there is (always) a boy. The boy who is constantly, constantly getting away. The boy who knows me inside and out, and somehow still lets me hang around anyway. In this, I am the most torn. On good days, I understand that our separation is not only inevitable, but beyond the right move. On bad days, I am devastated in a ridiculous, unjustified fashion. Per usual. The saving thought in this: through every major decision I have ever had to make, I have always bet against the boy in my life–and betting on myself has always been the right choice.

And so, I am seeking meaning. I am seeking freedom. I am seeking time. And space. And love. And adventure.

I am seeking more.


6 thoughts on “A Story (Alternatively: Why I Am Going)

  1. cupsofrain

    Ms. Garvy, I was one of your students at Stevenson during 2010-2011. Shea Baxter, the only white girl there. Haha. Well anyway, I think this is an amazing idea! I love that you don’t want to keep teaching year after year because that’s boring and the majority of the kids don’t understand what you sacrifice for them. So no more sacrifices, go live your dream. Your life is ahead of you, so go make the best of it. c: Love, Shea Baxter.

    1. Emily Garvey Post author

      Shea! Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate your enthusiasm… big changes are scary and it’s always nice to get approval!
      I hope you can do something like this someday, too! I’ll be sure to post a lot once I leave, so keep in touch!!

  2. Rawrth

    Hey Ms.Garvy! It has been a while, and you probably don’t remember me. It’s me, Tiara Lowery, your student from the 2010-2011 years of Stevenson Middle School. (Here’s a photo of me incase you can’t remember me at all http://web.stagram.com/p/433598979603271028_2443682 ) I’m glad that I have you added on facebook because it allowed me to see the post you put up a few months ago about your plans and intentions, and it caused me to click on your blog for more. I think that what you’re doing is absolutely amazing, and honestly, everyone should follow their ‘Personal Legend’. I can’t wait to see what you blog in the coming months, because it’ll be exciting. I hope that when I graduate, I can go on my own traveling experience also!

    -Tiara Lowery

    1. Emily Garvey Post author

      Hi Tiara! Of course I remember you 🙂 Thank you for keeping up with me and commenting, it really means a lot to me! It’s so great to hear that you’ve already decided that you also want to travel in the future… I know you’ll be able to reach your goal and follow your ‘Personal Legend’ as well! I’ll be posting a lot once I leave, so please keep in touch!!

  3. lycheechan

    I’m sorry for stalking through your blog posts, but I just couldn’t help it. This is Nguyen again. I commented on your first post back in January if I am not mistaken. I’m so excited for you! I find this feat that you want to accomplish completely admirable. In my point of view, what you experience when you are young really affects who you are later. It’ll be a trip of self-discovery. When you come back, I think you may view things in a completely different way. You could still be lost, but at least then you’ll have guidance.

    I don’t know if what I’m typing makes any sense at all.

    I don’t know what i’m typing.

    But I really hope that your journey will be a life-changing one. One that will give you more satisfaction in the life that you are living because contentment is one of the most important things to achieve in life.

    Stay healthy! Be well!


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