Thursday, October 6, 2011

Art Blog: SCARY: New Start

I haven’t been writing on my blog much because I am looking for a new life. I figured I better lay low for a while. Well my new life is not happening like I wish it would and I felt I needed to write.

So I will.

I want to begin again, so to speak. I want to do something different. I will always be an artist, but my day job needs to change. I already have my place in heaven. I have already done very good work for society and art. Despite my life plans, somehow, some way I ended up teaching. This was never my dream, really. However, it has worked out very well for more than twenty years. I went with the flow. All the while I have maintained my artist’s work and did the teaching thing. I did both very well too. But now it is time for a change.

I LOVE teaching. I really do. Every so often I have a day that is so wonderful. I am up there telling the students about this artist or that and how art relates to their lives……….I have moments of joy (or I should say mere seconds) that make me realize I am doing the right thing. However, every so often those seconds of recognition don’t compare to all the hours spent fighting to teach and not being able to do a great job. If you follow this blog, you all ready know I teach difficult kids. I have loved that so much. I am their people. However, our society has changed so much; my students are reflecting that change. I can’t do this anymore at least in the same environment I have devoted the past eighteen years. It is just too difficult and emotionally damaging. I want to teach and that is almost impossible due to systemic mandates and decisions beyond my control. So be it. It is time to move on………

This makes me so sad. I feel beaten down. I go to work in the morning with enthusiasm and by the end of the day my knees are literally weak and the life is sucked from my body. I have been yelled at, harassed, tormented, and have been surrounded by violence. I don’t want to live this life anymore. Like I said, it is sad because I have loved it for so long, but I don’t love it anymore.

The biggest problem I am having besides not being able to find an alternative job is my feelings of uselessness and doubt. I am a really great teacher. That has been proven. Despite great success, I feel like I have put all these years in to something and now, it is meaningless. I know that is not rational, but I really feel that way.

I want to start again. I want something new. I want something fresh. I want a job in which I can transfer all my organizational, technology, teaching, and administrative skills into another form. I want a job in which I am appreciated even if that only means I still feel enthusiastic at the end of the day. I am a happy person and smile a lot usually. This is not true anymore and I hate it. I want to be happy again and for silly me, that isn't asking much. I have so much to offer. I have so many skills and attributes. I have a long history of success after another success. But now, I feel beaten down. I don’t have my usual confidence. This is why I know it is time for a new start………..a fresh start.

The SCARY part is what if nobody cares or what if change doesn’t come? Ordinarily, I would spit in the wind and know everything will be fine. This isn’t in my head right now. I don't have the strength. I am trying to be positive, but I even doubt myself at this point.


“New Start”
Acrylic on Arches
18” x 24”
Sheree Rensel
(Click pic for detail)


Diana said...

Hi Sheree,
I left my "job" after 18 years too, completely depleted. Perhaps time in itself is wearying no matter what you work in. I started out all excited and was able to rejuvenate myself over and over whenever my interest or spirit lagged. But eventually even those techniques wore out and I had to admit I did not want to do this any more. I thought of it as burnout but maybe it's just having had our fill, and also craving newness, wanting to feel the excitement again.

Good luck in your search for that newness.

Sheree Rensel said...

EXACTLY!!! Thanks for the encouragement! :-)

Elizabeth said...

Sheree, You were brave to go on as long as you did! I was trained to be an art teacher but have had trouble tolerating the system. Lucky for me I have a pretty decent career as a studio artist, and teach when I want to. But KIDS NEED ART and they all need it! Even the rich kids are poor when they cannot access art. The parents and the schools here where I live, in a prosperous community, think of art as a subject only for the "losers" I am discouraged by this in so many ways.
As far as you new life: What about a private/public partnership in art classes for all kids? What about running it as your own business and bringing in inspired and inspiring artists? How about bringing your passion to the kernal, the center, of the subject? Getting out of the schools seems wise. Public schools are not working, for anyone.
I feel for you, and feel your pain, and passion in your words.

Sheree Rensel said...

Thanks for your comment. ABSOLUTELY! Kids need art. This is why I want to leave the "system". The schools don't value art anymore. There is too little time and too much chaos to teach, let alone do a great job.

As far as teaching as a business, I have thought about that and researched it. However, it doesn't look like that would be a wise in my geographic location. I have read about others who have tried to start their own "schools" and it didn't end well. There are just a few art organizations in which I could teach, but I wouldn't make enough money to pay my mortgage. I am single and have to pay all my own bills. I need at least one anchor job.
I maintained a life as an artist who taught part time for more than ten years before I started teaching full time. I can do it again. I just have to find a way to do it.
Thanks again,

deb said...

Sheree, it sounds like it is time, you have emptied yourself out for too long. Wishing you success and for all the right doors to open for you

Sheree Rensel said...

Deb. You hit the nail on the head. EMPTY. That is how I feel right now.

Thanks for your comment.