I just told Kyle I’m experiencing vocational stress. He replied, “You mean you’re stressed out about work?” While the quick answer to his question is yes, I told him it’s more like “vocational calling” stress.
Depending on the degree that you know me (or my family members), you probably know that I had an incredibly emotionally overwhelming first two years of teaching. I ended up seeing a counselor each fall to help get through those tough patches.
This year I’ve felt more emotional stability as the school year has started, which has been really helpful. I haven’t been feeling that hopelessness that I felt the past two years, but I am still quetioning whether it’s the right job for me. Right now, it seems silly to change jobs, but philosophically, or rather, emotionally, I don’t know if this is the right job for me. (Or…at least I don’t know if I’m working in the right area of Special Ed.)
The thing that is getting to me most right now is that I constantly feel out of my element. I feel like people look to me for answers that I really don’t know. I feel like there are limited aspects of my job that bring me pleasure . And that is precisely what I wonder about. How normal is that? How many of you wake up looking forward to going to work? How many of you go to sleep at night without a worry about your job? Is it rare to be a person like me who is overly sensitive to the question of whether my job is a good match for me?
My mom once described me as an intense person. And she’s absolutely right. I do everything with intensity, or I don’t do it at all. That is, I intensely don’t do it. So, right now I’ve reached a point of having been intensely over-involved in my work thus far (because it feels like I’ve had to be involved to that degree to even stay afloat), and now it’s catching up to me. Now I’m feeling like, “How in the world is this worth it?” Why spend 9+ hours of each work day and several other hours emotionally invested in something that isn’t bringing pleasure to me?
Do I continue to just do the job with the mindset that I am completing a challenge? Or do I continue on my search for a more personally satisfying use of my work time?
Is this typical? Do any of you struggle with the same type of “vocational calling stress”?