Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What's Your Age Again?

It appears that I am going to be a Substitute Teacher. Today I have to go get my fingerprint done for my substitute teaching application, and before I left, I skimmed through the newspaper to find the headline, “ROE offers substitute teacher training. The article begins, “In order to address area school districts’ increased need for substitute teachers…” Talk about serendipity, perfect timing, affirmation, or whatever.

So there is a need! That’s good because it solidifies my decision. I have been so indecisive lately. Yesterday I had decided that I wasn’t going to substitute after the receptionist at the chiropractor’s office mistook me for a 16 year old! “Oh, you’re very youthful looking,” she said, tactfully. “That will be great when you get older.” Ah, yes, but I’m freaking 22 for crying out loud! And I’ve heard that line so many times that I can almost mouth it along with whichever person is commenting on my age.

How can I put myself in a teaching position, I thought, if everyone thinks I’m a high schooler? On the missions trip to Montana, people couldn’t get over the fact that I was 22. Once they found out the truth, every time they would look at me, they’d say, “I can’t believe it!” It was quite depressing. I know I should be getting used to this because it happens so often, but every time it does happen, I just want to cry. Honestly, I don’t know what to do to make myself look olderm beyond wearing make-up. Should I act differently? Should I dress differently? Wear my hair differently? Or should I just laugh and make a joke out of it? Perhaps a combination of all of those…

Anyway, this morning my mom talked me into becoming a substitute again. I mean she’s right after all. I don’t really want to work at the library. Or anywhere else in this cramped town. Plus, the money would be a little better and I would be able to pick and choose when I worked. Ah, freedom! And, most happily of all, I will have time to focus on my writing, which is what I really want to do.

I am coming to the realization that I can’t let people pigeon-hole me because of my age. I can do whatever I want, and if people are astounded at my age, that’s their problem, not mine. Yes, I know. So much easier said! But I do need to keep reminding myself of it.

Does anyone else out there have the same problem as me?!

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