Well it’s definitely been a while. This is the first time I’ve really had time to myself since my last post, honestly. At least, enough time to even consider writing again.
So I did take that Grade 2 teaching job, and taught for May and June. It was quite a surprising experience — I took it because I felt more experience could only help me, but with no previous elementary experience I was nervous as hell. It went pretty well, and I think the students taught me a lot as well. There were days where I felt like I would never take an elementary job ever again, and days where I felt like I could do it every day. It was interesting: young students are still challenging, and they fulfil the teacher desire to make a difference and they give love back so much it’s heartwarming, but at the same time sometimes I wished they were older so that I could do more challenging things with them.
Then I applied to teach summer school, and was offered English 10-1. So I was back at high school level, and actually I had only ever done Junior High (grades 7-9 in Alberta) so it was another expansion to my experience. Yay. And I have to say, I’ll probably stick with high school level. I like doing things that are more challenging. There is something about seeing high school students do things that actually show what they might be like when they’re adults. It’s neat to see their brains working and questioning things.
So that’s why I went off the grid for a while — teaching is a time-consuming job, and I had a lot of work to take home most of the time.
Anyway, I’m back! It was a rewarding experience, and I learned a lot. Like the fact that I do not want another temporary contract. I want substitute teaching, so I can stop taking work home for a while, and spend some time doing other things I enjoy.
And hey — I got that!
I had an interview on the day of my convocation (funny, eh?) and was basically offered either a temp job or substitute teaching. Come August I would be getting a phone call telling me which.
A couple days ago I got an email from the school board asking me to come in this Thursday to get paperwork done and set me up for subbing. Not a phone call, but that was just fine by me! My career is on track… yay!
Anyway, I had a week off once summer school ended, and now I’m back in BC visiting family. I have to say, this has been one of the better visits of the past three years since the whole “church” thing started. They’ve been making time for me, which I appreciate, despite being bothered that church has consumed their lives so much. (Apparently, they don’t usually have time to even watch movies when they get home from work.) They’ve stopped pressuring me to go now, and they don’t even ask me to say their long grace anymore; they just say it themselves. They also don’t talk about church every waking minute of our time together. We can have other conversations, and spend actual time together. My dad and I are finally starting that LEGO Technic project — I bought him a LEGO car for Christmas a year or two ago, and he kept insisting we do it together. We never had time, and now we’ve been working on it a little every day.
It still sucks every now and again, but I guess I’m learning to accept it a little better. Still, when I’m alone, I remember how things used to be and I just cannot fathom that this is my real life now. How can they be so crazy, in such a short amount of time? How is it so entrenched in their lives this way? They seriously live in a bubble. My sister refuses to read or watch or be around anything that has swearing in it, or much mention of sex, complaining, or dating. I mean, what does she do?
Read the Bible, that’s what.
But seriously… it blows my mind! There is so much in this world to see, and if you will not participate in it because of some vulgarity, you miss out on so much. SO MUCH. Ugh.
So yeah, it still frustrates the hell out of me. It still makes me really sad. But for the first time in three years,while I’m visiting home, I haven’t spent every night crying from grief before going to sleep. And when I’m alone at home, I’m comfortable instead of miserable.
Things are getting better! (And I’m still refusing to go to this “church,” so at least my life is still maintaining whatever sense of normalcy is left in it. Whoo!)
One thing I still need to work out is how to not let their judgment affect me so much. I change how I dress when I’m around them, and being around them makes me feel bad for the fact that I enjoy sex. I’m trying to be better about being myself in some ways: I told my mom I want a new ear piercing, and that I’m thinking about getting a tattoo. I told her this a while ago, in June at my convocation, and then I mentioned it again a few days ago. Both times she hesitated, so I know she doesn’t approve, but she asked questions. She’s trying. And it’s a little thing in terms of “being myself,” but it’s a step in the right direction.
Still, I wear longer shorts, I don’t wear my dresses because they’re “too short,” and I avoid shirts that they think are “too low.” Especially in their new house, which they call “God’s house” so you can’t be inappropriate in it. So I’m working on it.
Especially since the internet hasn’t prevented me from perusing the internet… wink, wink.
The big one is that I feel guilty about sex. I’m always weird about it after a visit home. I wear what I want when I’m not visiting, and I don’t want to have to pretend I’m something I’m not just so they’ll like me when I do visit. Sexuality is a big part of my identity, especially because I’m “queer.” (More on this probably in another post, eventually.) They don’t know this about me, and they might not for a long time because it doesn’t really matter. If I ever end up bringing someone of the same sex home, then it’ll be an issue. But for now, nah. The point is, with sexuality being such a big part of my identity, it really affects me for some reason when I’m around my family that now condescends women who dress how they want (they would say they dress with no class) and acts disgusted or makes unnecessary comments when they see anything sexual on TV. Yesterday we were watching an episode of 24 where two female characters start kissing, and my dad said, “… okay…?” I asked him what he meant, but he said nothing. And I understand that my generation is much more comfortable discussing queer issues, but honestly, this happens whenever. I heard my sister praying and thanking God that she was never interested in sex (not true, she once asked me how to give a blowjob). So sex is bad. Any movie with girls dressed “sexy” is not okay. A girl will be wearing a jeans miniskirt with leggings and there will be a comment, “That’s a bit short. I would never wear that.” I’ll say I think it’s fine, and point out the leggings, but clearly there is a change. My dad used to say he thought miniskirts were sexy.
I need to figure out how to discuss their oppressive thoughts with them, because for fuck’s sake. I want to wear my goddamn dresses and not be judged. I want to go home from a visit and not feel like it’s a bad thing that I am a pretty sexual person and that’s a big part of who I am, not just because I’m queer, but because I really enjoy sex and feeling sexy. I just want to get back to being fully me again. I was the happiest right before all of this happened — exactly right before that summer. I was independent, confident, comfortable with myself and my sexuality, and outspoken.
I’m getting back to feeling independent and happy, and I’m slowly gaining back my confidence in myself. I only realized recently how I lost my confidence, but anyway I’m working on that, as well as being sure of myself with sexuality. This is one thing I really, really do not want my crazy family to affect — especially since it’s such a big part of who I am. I just cannot — no, will not — lose who I am.