Subject: Jule, gimme your hard hitting expertise!!
Message: Hi Jule! You are seriously THE best ever! I'm having a tough time and need someone to hit me with some real talk and wisdom. I'm a 25 year old Long Island girl. I have so many things in life to celebrate right now (loving family, close knit friends & I'm moving into my dream apartment with my boyfriend this month)! BUT my job is sucking the life out of me. I schlep to the South Bronx everyday and teach 4th grade. I LOVE being a teacher more than anything, but the commute is a killer. In my pursuit of a Long Island teaching job, I have been tenacious and hardcore with my applications. I've been on interviews and they are so discouraging and disheartening, because I made it through to certain rounds but ultimately did not get the job. I have another interview this week. How can I quiet the voice of self doubt in my head, become more confident and get myself a LI teaching job without having a nervous breakdown?! Xo
Dear Long Island Schlepper,
Good morning, sweet girl. I’m thinking of you on this bright, sunny, cold, April morning. You must be well on your way, deep into your commute, heading to the South Bronx to those sweet, eager faced 9 year olds who must just adore you.
My guess is YOU are a bright spot in their days. Each and every day. And while I know you wrote to me proclaiming your love for me, hang on to that apple on your desk because the love affair might be coming to an end. Can you hear the sound of nails raking across your chalkboard (or is it a whiteboard these days?)
Move to the head of the class because you actually answered your own question! See! You’re sweet AND smart!
You, cutie pie, are correct. It sounds like you have much to celebrate. Your words... a “loving family, close knit friends, and moving into your dream apartment” (with I hope, an equally dreamy boyfriend) …You love what you do. In fact, you love being a teacher “more than anything.”
AND the commute is killer.
Oh boy. Here’s where you might start falling out of love with me.
Suck it up, buttercup. That’s my advice.
You don't get to have it all. No one does. A few fortunate souls come mighty close and you, lucky duck, appear to be one of them. You are 25 years young; no babies, not even married yet with the responsibilities that come along with that shiny ring. Just you and your wrinkle free plump skin as you trek (oh I believe you) to the South Bronx.
I am sure you are tired. I am sure you hate that commute and I am also sure that if you landed the Long Island job of your dreams tomorrow it would not be without trade-offs. Ever hear the phrase the grass isn’t always greener? Well that goes for the North Shore of Long Island, too.
15 years ago, Bazz and I moved to Pound Ridge, NY. We made the move in part because Bazz worked at a firm in Greenwich, CT at the time. Each morning he hopped into car and 25 minutes later he was at the office. This dreamy commute, after years of a grueling one from Manhattan to CT, made his early morning hours, late nights and many long travel filled work weeks a bit more manageable. The move to Pound Ridge felt like a solid decision.
And then, guess what? A few short years in to our life in the woods with his easy peasy breezy commute, a Manhattan opportunity came a knockin’ for Bazz. And back to the city he went. Did I mention that there’s no train in Pound Ridge, NY????
Do you see where I’m going with this, my sweet little Schlepper?
Back to the Big Bad City Bazza went. And he’s there, right now, as I type to you at 8:20 am having already been at his desk for at least an hour. The commute is 90 minutes. ONE WAY. And you know who never complains? I'll give you a hint. His name rhymes with “Lazza”. He is 46 years old. He loves what he does and he is passionate about his newest business venture that continues to unfold each day. But always there is the mountain in front of him that he is determined to scale. He is grateful. He is humble. And he is deeply aware of his blessings.
AND the commute sucks.
So, angel girl, you can keep searching. You can keep telling yourself that life will be perfect when you land that Long Island teaching position. Or you can rise. And shine. And count your blessings while you count some sheep as you doze on the train and make your way to those shiny 4th grade faces. Sending you much love.
I hope you still love me back.