• KC Fitzgerald

Burning Out With Grace

Here I was, 35 years-old, in my tenth year of teaching Special Education, still paying off student loan debt, and contemplating leaving my career that I invested so much of myself. I knew at one point after finishing my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training, I would leave the school system to pursue teaching yoga full-time, but I didn't think now was the time. Or was it?

I worked hard. . . and not just when I was teaching multiple grade levels (up to 3!) or de-escalating students, but after school, on the weekends, and during school holidays. I thought going to yoga three or four times a week, getting regular manicures, and haircuts were all I needed to take care of myself. I even had a therapist. Those are all wonderful self-care tools and I hope all my girlfriends are able give themselves these gifts, but it wasn't enough for me. I needed something else, I needed more to help me de-stress.

My sleep was irregular, I woke up a lot during the night, I felt tension all down through my neck and shoulders, and I felt at any moment I could snap. It was like this for a good three years. Get the picture? Not pretty. The stress from my job wasn't going anywhere and it was only increasing due to a poorly run school district and a poorly run school site.

Then comes a Friday in February. I received a notice from my principal that stated I needed to report to the Coordinator's Office with materials to keep me occupied until Recess. I was in shock! In all my years working with the school district I had never been removed from my classroom. To this day, I still do not know what that was all about. I returned to my classroom and my assistant wouldn't even look me in the face. I WAS DONE! I was so disappointed in how I was treated by the people I had worked with for so many years. Later that day, I had a discussion with my husband and he supported me in whatever I chose to do; stay teaching or quit. I chose the latter.

It was a holiday weekend, so I had time to think and of course, brunch with my girlfriends. I retold the events from my week and how I wanted to leave my career. The ladies supported me whole-heartedly, which gave me the courage, strength, and confidence to make this choice. I was so excited to start the next chapter of my life!

I went into work the following Wednesday, packed up what I wanted from my classroom and resigned. It was like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. I felt like a new woman. Don't get me wrong, I was scared. So scared. What did I do? Am I making the right choice? How am I going to earn money? Even with all of these thoughts in my head, I still knew I had made the right choice.

All of my life experiences have led me to where I am. So, no, I do not regret all the student loans for my BA, teaching credential, and Master's Degree. I am now using my background in Special Education to teach kids yoga. I can still be a teacher, just a different kind. I get to work with parents and teach them how to use yoga and the breath to help when their kids have tantrums or melt-downs. I now get to coach women in Health and Wellness because I've learned that taking care of ourselves IS the most important job. I want to be of service to women who were like me, trying to do it all. I've learned that the weight of the world is not meant for one person and we are not supposed to do it all by ourselves.

Maybe you resonate with some of my experiences or you want to make some major changes to your life and you don't know where to start. I'm your woman! My mission is to give women who have overwhelming responsibilities the permission to make more time for themselves. I did it and so can you. I believe in you and your awesome feminine power!

Thanks for reading, Beauties!!

xoxo,

KC

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