There is a difference between giving up and moving on.
I have wanted to be a school psychologist since I was in high school. I went to college and then graduate school for eight straight years, earning three degrees along the way to achieve this goal. I never questioned my decision to go into school psychology in college, I never even had the typical sophomore thought to change my major. This makes the next statement very difficult for me to even type.
I no longer am convinced that school psychology is the profession for me.
Without being too technical (although if you want to talk shop I would love to chat), my job is to write up paperwork for students to be in a program that I don't believe in. I got into this profession to work with/help/advocate for students with disabilities and mental health needs but that is not the reality. The reality is that I sit in a teacher's lounge all day typing up paperwork with data that other people collect and I have a hard time sleeping at night thinking about the implications the paperwork I write has on students. I have tried so hard, as I always do, to make the job my own and find purpose in my work. But the barriers are too great for me to feel like I am making a difference. I work in great schools, with great people, but have struggled to see how my role has a positive impact.
I have spent the last four years deciding if I wanted to stay in education to try to fight the good fight and advocate for personalized learning where students just get instruction in the way that they learn best. I have thought about rising up in my profession to help make these changes. This year, I came to the conclusion that the system is too corrupted and big for me to take this on. But most importantly, this is just not the fight I want to spend my life working on.
This was a heartbreaking conclusion to come to after I have spent years working tirelessly be a great school psychologist. I only know myself as a school psychologist, it is such a large part of my identity. How am I supposed to introduce myself at a dinner party now? What am I supposed to write on a form that asks for my profession? I am still VERY passionate about psychology and working with students and have identified ways that I will fulfill that passion in other avenues. I plan to keep up my school psychology license and am open to coming out of retirement if certain things change. But right now I need some space from it all.
So when school is over in June, I will be starting a new journey building my business, Axle Rev full-time and advocating for workplaces that are focused on innovation and engaging employees. I have been working hard at figuring out what this will look like and while I am nervous about the uncertainty of it all (especially the making money part), I am excited to wake up and work on something I believe in. I will keep you updated on how everything comes along, I can't wait to share what I have in the works.
The quote below is my mantra for this year. Friends, I want all of you to live a life you are proud of, and if you are not, I want you to have the courage to start all over again.