The grass is always greener?


Yesterday, just after I had spent ages writing a post bitching about that evil Southern Belle bitch of a teacher, I received an email from her which was actually nice:

I hope you will continue to pursue your dream of teaching, and that you are doing well. If you would like to reapply to the cohort, don’t forget the deadline is October 30. Let me know if there is anything you need.

As soon as I read that, I actually thought to myself, “Oh, that was nice…Maybe she’s not so bad after all!”. The funny thing about me is that, even though I am capable of experiencing extreme anger, I calm down pretty quickly and sometimes even forget all about the person/situation that made me so angry. In many ways, this is a nice quality to have as I’m not the kind of person to harbour a grudge (God, I hate people like that!) but, on the other hand, my amnesia means that I sometimes fail to protect myself from unhealthy people and situations just because I’ve forgotten the pain they caused me in the past!

Take my former Master’s thesis advisor, for example…Readers from my former blog will remember that she said she would give me a good reference when I applied to the teaching program, but she then purposely sabotaged my chances by giving me a bad one, and sending it off without telling me. I wouldn’t say she was directly to blame for the problems that ensued with Southern Belle Bitch, but her bad reference certainly set up a situation whereby Southern Belle Bitch was looking out for me to slip up. I was extremely angry with my advisor – and I still am – but I’ve filed the anger away in a little compartment that’s so deep inside me that it’s hard for me to access it now. And because I find it hard to access that anger, I never wrote a letter to her telling her exactly what I think of her.

Part of me wants to, but would it really even do any good? Her actions show that she’s clearly a self-righteous bitch, and morally superior to others, so would she even stop to ponder my words?

Throughout my time in my teaching program, I swore that I would complain about Southern Belle Bitch at some point. I believe that she emotionally bullied me (as well as a friend of mine who left the program because she was so demoralized and broken down), and I saw her play the favourites game shamelessly, and let her ego and personal prejudices affect her teaching at every point. There is no doubt about it – this woman is a bad teacher, and an even worse person. How strange then that one little email can make me better disposed towards her!

Her email also made me wonder – and here’s where the title of today’s post comes in – whether I should re-apply to this program again and stay in this town where I’ve never really felt happy or settled. I’ve been thinking about applying to graduate schools on the East and West coasts, and the idea of that is filling me with excitement. I’m someone who gets bored very easily, and I need constant stimulation and “newness” to keep me going. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but I do spend a lot of time feeling unhappy wherever I am, and believing that I’d be happier elsewhere. I’ve lived in four countries at this point, and you’d think I would have learned by now that a change of locale is exactly that – a change of locale. Changing your physical location won’t really do all that much in the long-term to change your emotions. Sure, in the beginning you’ll have a regained sense of joy and excitement, but slowly and slowly, your old bad habits and negative thinking patterns will creep back in.

I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I will be disappointed no matter where I live or with whom I associate, as I’m far too idealistic and have far too many expectations; but there are, nonetheless, many things I don’t have in this town which would make me happier, if not happy, if I had them elsewhere.

I know that life on the other side of the fence might not be what I’m hoping for, but this time I really do believe it would be a good idea to try that grass out…

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2 thoughts on “The grass is always greener?

  1. Judith September 10, 2009 at 8:43 pm Reply

    Something tells me that Miss Southern Bitch may be in trouble for a student retention issue if she has been running off students for her nasty attitude. Tsk.

    I know what you mean about geographic relocation being a temporary fix to an internal problem. On the other hand, I love where I live now versus living in New Jersey or North Carolina. There are places that suit me better than others. Where I live now is not perfect — it isn’t Hawaii, I can’t walk to fabulous multi-cultural restaurants and public transportation is pitiful. I can’t get decent fish.

    But the 4 seasons are glorious (especially fall), my lot of land is fantastic and I can take the train into NYC. The air is clean and crime is low and the town is liberal and places importance on the arts. Living in North Carolina was pretty miserable for a North Eastern girl like me. I never felt like I fit in. Actually, in NJ I felt somewhat the same. Some places just don’t fit.

    Still, running from your problems isn’t the answer. It’s good to look at what you are trying to achieve. Sometimes location does make a difference.

  2. petrichoric September 11, 2009 at 12:34 am Reply

    I don’t know if Southern Belle Bitch will get in trouble for running off students. She’ll probably find a way to cover her ass and to make it seem that we just weren’t cut out for teaching in the first place.

    Yes, the four seasons are beautiful where you are now. I lived there too for a year when I was an exchange student. It was a happy time.

    I will probably always be guilty of wanting to try a geographical cure, but I do think that moving somewhere else would be a good idea. I need a change. A Belgian acquaintance of mine once told me “What are you doing here?! You don’t belong here!” and I think she was right.

    I’ll probably have the same fucked-up issues no matter where I live, but I’d prefer to have them in a more liberal state!

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