Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A post about crying.

Dear Blogworld,

I have a confession. I am a crier.

I cry when I'm sad, mad, glad, embarrassed, stressed...  it is just the way the emotion comes out, I guess. The problem is, I really hate this about myself. I have tried to come to terms with it, and I have even tried to change it. Heck, I am still trying to change it!

I think I need to learn to accept this about myself, though.

I told myself back in August that I WOULD NOT cry at school in front of my grade level team (or, anyone for that matter). Now that I am in my fourth month of teaching, I look back and realize that I really set myself up for failure with that goal. I have cried in front of both of the other two fourth grade teachers and one first grade teacher. Pretty sure I will add more to that list before June, too.

I really don't think crying is that big of a deal, it is just how emotion comes out of me, but ... it's embarrassing. It's especially embarrassing when the final straw that makes me cry, is something minute. For example... 

Today we had a shortened day and were out at 3:10 (as we are every Wednesday) and in the afternoon all the fourth grade teachers had a professional development to attend about our new reading system, so we had subs in the afternoon. Every little thing had been wearing on me and stressing me out beyond belief, and before I knew it, I was crying.

Today, I burst into tears (ok, burst is a little dramatic. Teared up...) because my mentor teacher told me not to bring a lunch, that we would all stop at Subway on the way there and eat at the beginning of the meeting. Come to find out, right before leaving for the meeting, both of the other teachers brought their lunch to eat in the car on the way. I was annoyed because I was worried I would be one of the only people eating lunch at this meeting.

See? Dumb.

It didn't help that my sub didn't show up and I was stressing over that too... My sub was supposed to be there at 11:30, so she could take my kids to lunch at 11:40 and I had to be at the meeting across town at 12pm. At 11:40 when the sub wasn't there, one of the other teachers told me to go and she would take care of the class for me so I would have time to stop...

This year is really no joke. There is just. so. much. that. is. new.  It really is very wearing. Not to mention my district has adopted a new reading system, so all of the teachers are trying to navigate that and nothing is set and it just seems chaotic and unorganized ... it's just... yeah.

Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I feel so so so blessed to have it. I am not entertaining ideas of not coming back after summer or looking for another job. Nothing like that at all. I want to stay where I am at, but I want the constant lump in my throat to go away. I want the feeling of being able to help other people to come back. I want to know what I am doing and not constantly ask others for help. I want the unknown to be the known again. I always kind of scoffed at teachers that said their first year they almost had a nervous breakdown, but.... I get it. I really get it now.

Are you a crier? Have you ever cried at work or are you one of those freaks of nature that can hold it and save the tears for when you are safely at home? If so, what is your secret?


Julie said...

My eyes water all the darn time, at some of the most inconvenient times also (school assemblies) and it appears that I'm crying. I do my best to just tell ppl I gave a cold or something but its my way of showing I'm happy to be there. Its ok to show emotions, it shows your a real person :)

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

First of all, I'm really not a crier (not that I never cry, but it's not something people would say about me at all) and yet- I have cried at work several times, most of which occurred during my first year teaching.

I've told you before how hard that year was for me so that's nothing new. Today I was talking to a friend of mine who used to my classroom assistant and is now in her second year teaching. Last year she was like all of us in her first year- a little crazy :) This year, she was telling me how happy she is and how she leaves every day at 4:30 (she used to stay until 8 or so, not exaggerating). It just reminded me WHAT a huge jump it is from year 1 to 2. Just keep that in mind when you can :)

Also, I like how you discussed how you want to be able to help others again and not have to ask for help constantly. That's something I struggled with a lot too, but I don't think I could articulate it at the time. I now do a LOT of helping others, but back then... it's just hard to do. It's a lot of learning. That's all I can say. What is cool about teaching is that everyone is kind of expected to do the same thing whether they've been teaching 2 days or 12 years, but that's also what is SO challenging about teaching. It's not like you move up the ladder here, you are at the top already (basically).

Oh and PS. I totally considered not coming back, multiple times. So you are ahead of me still ha ha.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Oh Amber, I can so relate because I am such a crier, too. I am going through another rough spell of being really unhappy here so it seems like most mornings I end up going to the bathroom and crying. Which is so ridiculous for someone who is about to be 33, but no matter how i try to talk myself out of crying, it just doesn't happen. Our situations are completely different, but similar in that we are in new situations and are under a lot of stress. I just can't handle little things going wrong and the smallest thing will set me off and result in me crying because it's about so much more than whatever small thing made me cry - it's string of things that, when you add them up, are really difficult and make it hard to roll with the punches.

I think it's encouraging to read Kelly's comment and hear that it gets better, though. Try not to feel too bad about how you process your emotions, though. Some of us are just built to be criers. It bothers me that it's not an acceptable way to express emotions at my office, but people around me will literally scream and swear and pound their hands on the table (not even kidding, I work on a trading floor and there are some intense personalities)... And no one would shame them for doing that. But cry on the trading floor? NOT HAPPENING.

Heather said...

You are so not alone!! My last melt down was in August. I was so tired from the amount of hours I put in for our July show and had my August show literally two weeks after the chaos of July. Things were going wrong, I was exhausted, my boss was on vacation, and my coworker was too lazy to help me. I did the only thing I knew, I sat on my office floor and cried. I didnt know how else to show my emotion.

Yesterday I almost cried again because my lazy coworker is too lazy to do his own work, so now it is being placed on my plate....and HE will get the credit (and make more money than I do).

Sometimes crying is the only release you have

Amber said...

I am a pretty big crier in private and in front of Eric but I don't really cry in public. I have wanted to many times but I can usually hold it in. I kind of wish I was better about being emotional in public actually, I have a really hard time letting my emotions/feelings out in front of even my colleagues, who I'm very close to and have seen some of them cry many times. It's really hard to explain in a blog comment but I don't LIKE that I can't/don't let emotion out in public, sometimes I really want to but I can't. Hopefully that makes sense. Anyways, don't be embarrassed about this trait is what I'm saying!

Kara said...

I am a total crier, so I completely understand where you're coming from. Kyle and I would be having discussions about life crap and I'll cry because I get frustrated, and he'll be confused because it's not a crying situation. It's just how I emote I guess; happy, sad, it doesn't matter.
Also, the worst time I ever started to cry was when I found out my job was being eliminated. I kept saying in my head, "Don't cry!" but I totally started bawling in front of my boss. Awkward.
So you are so not alone!

Stephany said...

I am TOTALLY a crier. Last time I cried at work was this week! WHEEEEE. Ha. It was just one of those moments when I was coming down from being stressed and another project was thrown my way and it was just ALL. TOO. MUCH. I mean, I didn't start bawling or anything but I did tear up a little, thinking how much work lay before me. It feels silly, but I also realize it's good. It means we're processing our emotions, putting it out there, and letting us really FEEL what is happening.

But god, you should see me watch some TV shows. I sobbed my entire way through last season of Parenthood. Like, actually sobbing! Hiccups and crocodile tears and everything. Ha.

I think you're caught up in a lot of newness and change and that's difficult. That is bound to make you emotional! Hugs, friend. You're so close to your winter break. Hang on for that! :)

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Don't beat yourself up about it. I have a federal security job and I've done the ugly cry at work. I mean like really ugly ugly cry. Sometimes it just comes out and there's nothing wrong with that.

Carolina John said...

You're getting married, crying is or may become a big deal to your husband. My wife is a crier, my youngest kid is a crier, and it drives me insane. Learn how to express yourself with words, for his sake if nothing else.

Shoshanah said...

I never used to be a crier, but in the past few years it's happened more and more. Normally during movies, or when me and the boy fight. There's only been one time at work when I started crying and that was several years ago, I made it to the bathroom so I don't think anyone noticed. But still, looking back on that situation I'm frustrated by how I handled it, and really wish I could have done it better.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I'm not a crier I tend to just give out death glares.

Marisa A. said...

I am not a crier, at all. I do sometimes get worked up enough that crying seems like the next thing to happen, but I always take a minute away from everything, think about what crying is going to accomplish (nothing) and then start moving forward. I figure I can cry all I want and it won't change the situation at hand, or I can take a moment, calm down and form a game plan. Easier said than done right? The next time you feel yourself starting to get worked up just step back for a few minutes and think things through and if you shed a few tears, hey baby steps.

Megan W said...

I'm a often the most inappropriate settings (I have cried in front of my principal once, my associate principal several times, and our whole AEA challenging behavior team during an assessment with one of my student's...I was a hot mess!) And that's just this year :)

I think it shows we are human and that we care so much about our student's and the job we are doing for them. That doesn't make it any less embarrassing, but I find that most people are forgiving and sympathetic, just as I would be if the situation was reversed.

It will get better, but those overwhelming times will always be there, if just fewer and farther between! Again, I just think it shows that you care so much about your role as a teacher and you should never be embarrassed about that!