The Deployment Diaries: Part Four

Well, ladies and gentlemen. D-Day has come and gone. For OPSEC reasons, I stopped posting on this platform because I wasn’t sure what I could and couldn’t post. I won’t get into any of that, but I will get into my feelings. Ew. I know.

Today is our one year wedding anniversary. It took me an embarrassingly long time to write this post because I didn’t know how to sort out how I was feeling. I didn’t know what to say.

A quarter-life crisis is brewing in my life. You know how people have a mid-life crisis and get their nose pierced or a boob job? Yeah, I think I’m going to have one of those,  but like, quit my job or something completely overdramatic and chaotic. My entire life is off. Today, I was lecturing my AP Lang & Comp class and thought about how I was on autopilot delivering a hyper-positive, canned message about the purpose of databases and their use in college.

I started questioning why the hell I even teach. I pondered if it makes me happy. Or if I’m even good at it.  Or whether I’m “PC” enough for it. All of this is a cover-up for the real crisis happening in my life.

The hardest part of deployment will be the time difference. For example, I get done with work at 4:30 pm and its 12:30 am there. When I get home from work, the house will be empty and cold. I’m still working through everything on my end.

I didn’t realize how many different goodbyes there would be. There’s the goodbye when he left for MOAB training. The goodbye when I went to see him on his 4 days of leave. The digital goodbye when he shut off his phone service. The “goodnight” message that didn’t get responded to because he didn’t have WiFi and was busy at work.

Nobody told me how much it would absolutely suck falling in love with a military boy. But, I wouldn’t change a single day of our story. _U3A2419

“Cause I’m carryin’ your love with me
From West Virginia down to Tennessee
I’ll be movin’ with the good lord speed, carryin’ your love with me
It’s my strength for holdin’ on
Every minute that I have to be gone
I’ll have everything I’ll ever need
Carryin’ your love with me.”

-George Strait


Fighting the Negativity

Oh my God- she is SO dumb! (side eye at another coworker).

I saw him leave at 3:30… He must not be committed to his job! (motions to Social Studies classroom).

She showed up 5 minutes late to the meeting – how disrespectful! (text sent during a staff meeting to the woman sitting directly next to you). 

(Through bites of leftover tacos from the night before) He is such a jackass! (Flips him off as he is exiting the staff lounge)

If any of these scenarios sound familiar, then you must be a teacher. A staff lounge is a scary place filled with moldy, mystery refrigerator items that no one claims all year, decorations that are collecting dust, and coffee mugs that date back farther than the school itself.

I am not the type of person that can live and thrive in negativity. I cannot bear to swim in it all day long! Too many sad or horrible things happen to us or to “our kids” throughout the school day to even put one ounce of extra effort into being negative. I have decided to cultivate a business-like relationship with my coworkers. I don’t want friends – I want reliable staff who has my back and has the students’ backs.

Here is what I have found works with these toxic or negative workspaces:

1.) Straight up avoid

We teach our kids to face their problems with bravery, but when it comes to negative nelly’s, I straight-up avoid those people. If they eat my lunch shift, looks like I’m eating alone. I would rather isolate myself than partake in a toxic school culture that breeds bad bacteria that erodes the integrity of our staff. Be like Ron. Think: WWRSD? What Would Ron Swanson Do?

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2.) If a conversation takes a turn for the worse, don’t say anything and start playing on your phone

Even if you are mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed, it’s better than being “the middle man”. This works only if you are in a group of more than 3 people because the negative nelly can turn their frustration on the others in the vicinity of their rath. This method does NOT work in smaller crowds because you will become the person they vomit their words at!

3.) If you are somehow roped into a “shit-talk” conversation, I like to pull the “Smile and wave, boys” move

If this move is performed correctly, the assailant will eventually grow tired and venture off to find someone who will fuel their rage fire. Just continue nodding your head without using words. Maybe throw in an “mmhmm” every once in a while to trick your predator into thinking you are listening.

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4.) If you are in a staff meeting and seemingly trapped with that one old guy who seems to question and hate everything developed within the last century, leave to “use the restroom”. Fake an emergency call. GET OUT! 

Don’t even play with me – you know exactly what kind of guy I’m talking about. Usually, his name is “Matt” or “Martin”. Excuse yourself by whatever means necessary! Oh, your grandmother just died? Better go! You suddenly have the urge to use the restroom. You need to take an important call from your lawyer. ANYTHING.

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5.) Tell your administration.

I’ve never had to use this one because I am SO GOOD at number one. But, if you can’t control your circumstances, tell someone in charge. And if your administration is negative too, at least you tried! At the end of the day, you can have dignity and pride in knowing you are a good person trying the best you can.

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Good luck and Happy Hunger Games! May the avoidance odds be ever in your favor!


via Daily Prompt: Relocate

Today, I hired a realtor. I was out scoping the internet in hopes of finding some place I could finally make my own when I discovered that you had to be “represented accordingly”. Who knew? Not me- a 23 year old first time home buyer who was just dinkin’ around on the internet looking at homes in the central Wisconsin area. Let me tell you- realtors are sharks. I had people contacting me left and right wanting my business… and when I had to tell them that I had hired someone else… things got a little personal. This lady from Boston was genuinely upset that I hired a family friend to represent me rather than her: a complete stranger who I felt was too aggressive and overly intimidated. We’ll see. I’ll cast my line into the sea and hope to catch something.

I’ve lived in a ton of different styles of homes before: double-wide trailers, condos, 4 bedroom homes, apartments, etc. Currently, I live in a 4-plex. My neighbors are single and elderly, so thankfully it’s not as bad as living in a condo on the infamous Water Street in Eau Claire, WI with it’s typical slum lords and college housing pleasures. These pleasures include waking up to a half-eaten pizza left on the hood of your car, random people entering your home and passing out in your kitchen, broken glass on the sidewalks, obnoxious parties that last 2 hours before you have to wake up for work, Amazon packages stolen off of your front porch…I think you get the picture. It seems enchanting to have a place that you can do whatever you want with it. I’ve always wanted a purple bathroom. It sounds atrocious, but once you see my Pinterest board it’s calming and charming.

My friends (who are almost 30 and still renting) of course warned me about every possible disaster that can happen when you own the property, but I’m ready to stay up all night because the basement flooded, or eat Ramen noodles for a month because the water heater went out. It seems crazy that I’m excited to paint my bathroom purple and feel even more broke than when I was in college, but that’s honest to God part of my motivation.

I’m done driving over an hour to work every freakin’ day. Central Wisconsin was never my ideal place where I wanted to grow a family and live forever, but it’s my current reality. So look-out rural farming communities where the grocery store is actually just a Kwik Trip- I’m coming for ya!