Monday, May 17, 2010

I'm No Superman

In high school, I remember my teachers used to get really excited near the end of the week. They would say, "Don't worry guys, it's almost Friday! We're gonna make it!" I couldn't figure out why they got that excited about weekends. I mean sure, I loved the weekends: waking up late, no homework, hanging out with friends, the list goes on. Don't teachers just stay at home, grade papers and read books?

It wasn't too long before I figured out why my teachers were so excited about Fridays: the job requires the energy of a nine year old and the last time I checked, I'm not nine (though I still giggle at the word "penis"). I'm a believer in mind over body, that is, if I think I'm not tired, then I won't feel tired. When I worked on Wall Street, I could pull some really late nights and still meet friends at 1 or 2 in the morning. Even if I worked 80-90 hours a week, it was pretty much assumed I still went out on Saturday night to make up for lost "fun" time. Sleep when you're dead, right?

Well, I'm not working 90 hours a week anymore, but I feel like I'm working even more. A few weeks ago, some of my best friends flew in from Chicago. We were supposed to grab dinner and then see where the night took us. Feeling drained, I skipped dinner and took a nap at about 7:00 PM thinking I would meet up with them later. So when I woke up at the butt crack of dawn the next day, I wasn't surprised - shit like this has been happening all year long.

Last week was the most exhausting week I've ever had in my life, period. On top of the usual teaching load (heh, I said "load"), I had a shit ton of other stuff going on - I'm not going to get into the details because I would rather forget about them. I'm just thankful it's over. What matters most though is I learned (yet again) I'm not the Superman I keep making myself out to be. It came to the point where my Principal and another teacher pulled me aside:
"Hey... So what's going on, everything okay? You're not looking like yourself these past few days and we're a bit concerned."
"Yeah, I'm alright. I've just been struggling with [insert my problems here]."
"Wow. You should've taken the day off. If I knew you had this much going on, I would've forced you to take the day off. This is not right, it's not humanly possible. You need to speak up about this next time it comes up." 
In retrospect, they're right: I should've just taken a fucking day off. The problem is: I can't tell when I'm in too deep until it's too late and because of that, I'm afraid I'll never be able to "speak up" when something like this is happening again. For the sake of my friends and family, I hope I learn sooner rather than later.

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