Still very unsure about employment prospects for next year... sent in an application for a job that could potentially work out to 2 days a week, but very meagre income. I'm a little burnt out at the moment, but I'm also really worrying about what I'm going to be like working next year. I guess because I've had this one job all this year I've lost a bit of perspective on what it's like to be here, there and everywhere. I just haven't found the right balance yet. Vet nursing was great, but is was physically exhausting and had crappy pay (and difficult bosses). Peripatetic teaching was great, but inconsistent and I didn't have enough of it to make any substantial living from my earnings. Classroom teaching this year has been awesome, but so tiring and so much commitment. Casual teaching is great, but inconsistent, unreliable and I find it mildly terrifying going into brand new schools, brand new classes and standing in front of unfamiliar kids every day and hoping to God that they don't commence rioting 2 minutes into the lesson.
Thinking about working and my options has me asking myself a lot of questions. Is it really, ultimately, going to be the case where I will never be able to find a job that will suit my condition as best as possible? Am I always going to struggle with it, be constantly compromising my health for my job and vice versa? Is this what it means to have a disability, to have a condition or illness that prevents a person from leading a totally normal and fulfilling life? Should I be looking into my rights as a 'disabled' person? Am I really disabled?
That's the question that I wrestle with the most. I feel like my musings on this topic may be interpreted by some people as me being negative towards people with disabilities, so let me say first up that that is certainly not my intention. Perhaps the way I perceive 'people with disabilities' does not match up with the way I perceive myself. I certainly don't have a mental or intellectual disability - I am very capable of intellectual processing on a high level and I am emotionally stable. I don't have a physical disability - all my limbs are in excellent working order and all parts of my body function well enough for me to be able to attempt just about any physical task (except maybe open heart surgery, probably wouldn't want to risk that). Yet I know that I cannot work full time. I'm barely managing part time, although there are other factors contributing to my current position that exacerbate the situation. Several times this year I have had to make decisions to compromise my health and well-being for the sake of my job and the expectations of my employers. Yet I am excellent at my job. I'm happy to admit it when I am unable to do something, but if I'm being honest, I'm a pretty good teacher and have done really well this year.
So what am I? Able, yet unable? Is it fair that I have had to make these decisions this year that have compromised my health, quite genuinely to the point where I have definitely been a dangerous driver and, to a lesser extent, a fairly ordinary teacher? Do 'normal' people make these decisions too, on such a regular basis? Am I just in the same position as, say, someone with a shoulder problem - sometimes it hurts but they just have to suck it up and push through the day? It's so unclear.