It’s been a funny old week in my world. Last Saturday my friends Claire and Dave took me out for dinner for my birthday then I stayed over at their house – because although it’s not very far from where I live, it’s easier to sleep over than get a taxi home. I drunk rather a lot, and stayed up drinking, watching TV and chatting on Twitter after they had gone to bed. It was all good fun and nice to hang out with Claire and Dave, having not really seen them for a few weeks.
But on Sunday morning after they gave me a lift home I felt inexplicably glum. And that feeling of having a dark cloud hanging over me didn’t really leave me all week. And I did what I always did when I was feeling miserable. I ate. I was meant to be trying to lose the couple of pounds I’d put on during my week in London but instead I was back to ordering pizza and eating massive bags of giant chocolate buttons and whole tubs of ice-cream. This eating to try and make myself feel better was one demon I thought I’d conquered but clearly not. But of course it didn’t make me feel better, to be honest it didn’t make me feel anything at all. I didn’t feel angry, or guilty, or even sick. I just felt…nothing. And I think that has been part of my trouble this week.
I should have been happy this week. I have now completely, and officially finished (and passed) my teacher training. I am the proud holder of a Post Graduate Diploma in Education. But somehow I just don’t seem to be that bothered about it. I think maybe because it seems to have gone so quickly, it doesn’t really feel like that’s it. But it really is. I did it. And I know I should be feeling proud of myself but I don’t really feel like it’s an achievement somehow.
I’m properly on holiday now, until I start teaching properly on 16th August. And surely the prospect of that amount of time off, with so many exciting things and trips planned, would make anyone happy but even thinking about that didn’t seem to help. Maybe, the thought of having permission not to do anything at all if I don’t feel like it is part of the problem. Maybe I need a purpose, something to do with my time.
So you see, I should have been happy and I wasn’t. I didn’t even go on Twitter for four days because I didn’t want to publicly whinge and moan about how grumpy and how shit about myself I was feeling. And me staying off Twitter for that long is virtually unheard of these days (in fact I really don’t know how I’m going to cope with limited access in America – I just hope I find plenty of free WiFi), so it was definitely a sign of how bad I was feeling. Also, I found out on Wednesday that I will be going back to the school I did my first placement at for my probation year. And that wasn’t exactly the news I wanted to hear. I did get on well with all the teachers there, but it’s 45 minutes drive away, which is a pain. I’m not that bothered about the travelling time itself but it means I’ll have to spend a lot more on petrol than I would if I was at a school nearer to home. And the school is in quite a deprived area, which is fine, but they also have no money, the buildings are falling down and they have hardly any resources, which all just serves to make my job harder.
But then on Thursday the cloud just seemed to lift. I know this sounds really clichéd but I actually did think of the line that Morgan Freeman’s character Red says in The Shawshank Redemption (although also clichéd, it is one of my favourite films); ‘Get busy living, or get busy dying’. And I decided I needed to have a strong word with myself, stop moping, and get busy living. There’s nothing I can do about the school I’ve been given so I just have to make the most of it, and I’m going to show them how much I’ve changed since my first placement and that I am a good teacher. And I’ve only got another 11 days at home before I head off on my big trip and there’s plenty to do in that time. Starting with painting the bathroom tomorrow.
And perhaps most importantly, I making a big effort to control my eating again. I’m not ‘dieting’ as such any more. Just trying to find a balance of eating good food, and things I like, and still maintaining this healthy weight I’ve worked so hard to achieve. I know there’ll be hiccups along the way but I just need to really try not to let myself head down the road of eating uncontrollably whenever I feel a bit down.
I’ve got so much to be happy about, and to look forward to and to (mis)quote a certain Mr Tim Minchin – Some people have it a whole lot worse than I. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and get busy living. And that’s exactly what I intend to do.