Have you ever been waiting, hoping for something, but when it finally happens, your emotions are completely thrown off kilter and you can’t get them back in balance? Well, so is the case for me right now. I am stuck in a state of disillusionment. I have been congratulated by many and I’m sure I should be happy. I mean, after all, this was a decision that was necessary, one that I pursued, and one that I have now succeeded at accomplishing. Nevertheless, I have not reached that point of euphoria yet.
You see, almost a year ago, it became clear, after two neck surgeries and ongoing complications, that I needed a position with more flexibilities. Therefore, I started the very long process of applying for Federal disability retirement. As it turns out, I received notification just last week that my application was approved. Don’t get me wrong, I do realize, by receiving an approval, that I am one of the fortunate ones in this journey, and for that, I am truly thankful. I also realize that since my file was just received in November, my case was approved fairly quickly, another reason to be thankful. It’s generally a nine to twelve-month turn-around time versus the seven months for my file. Yes, it’s an incredibly long waiting period and this is after you’ve done all the preparation, which in my case, took about six months. This involved lawyers working to get the medical documentation and work history together. This is not something I would recommend someone handling on their own.
Nevertheless, here I am today attempting to deal with these emotions. I am happy that this portion of the process is over, so I can now focus solely on a new career. However, I am saddened to be leaving for these reasons. I am also worried about my future. Will I be able to make this transition work? Will I be able to break through and get that first critical teaching position? This path of moving from a career of almost 27-years to a brand new career of teaching in higher education is challenging – physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. It truly changes on a daily basis. Some days are great. I feel I can conquer the world. I’m applying for positions. I’m confident, believing that I have a great chance at landing a position. And then, there are days that are not so great. The rejection letters pour in one after the other. I start to feel let down and begin to wonder if that first break will ever come.
And now to make that challenge even more paramount, retirement is here. I just can’t believe it. It certainly happened several months earlier than I had anticipated. It certainly isn’t the way I wanted to retire or how I envisioned it for so many years. I guess, though, this is true with so many things in life. Right now, however, I have no choice but to focus on moving forward with a new career – one that will make me happy and healthy again. One that will allow me to focus on myself and helping others on a daily basis. This is the mission I started almost a year ago when I purchased Dr. Dani Babb’s 2nd edition book, “Make Money Teaching Online.” I have learned so much since then and have made so many fantastic contacts. I even had the wonderful opportunity to apply my knowledge first-hand and develop two accounting courses for an online university.
As I wrap-up my final weeks as a Federal employee, I will say my goodbyes and farewells and shift my attention solely to applying for higher education positions in a full-time capacity. I will no longer have to worry about juggling responsibilities. My focus will be finding that next career.
Change will not be easy after so many years, but I understand it is necessary and I will use it for positive purposes. Receiving that retirement decision last week only served to help propel and drive me towards my ultimate goal of teaching, which hopefully, in turn, will help others succeed at reaching their goals. After all, that’s the reason I began this quest – to help others and fulfill my lifelong dream of teaching. I guess receiving that letter in the mail last week was a much needed jolt of inspiration for me and it was definitely one more step down the path towards my goal of online teaching.