Working at an elementary school has been an interesting experience, to say the least.
I took some time off from my service there, mostly because I felt overwhelmed with the work, but also because I was beginning to have some anger and resentment toward the school and its staff, as well as the AmeriCorps service program generally. It's so unlike any other job I've had, and so incredibly interactive--and frankly counter to anything I would gravitate toward naturally.
As I've gotten older, I've learned different techniques to get me out of my head, into the world, etc. I'm reclusive if I let myself, and all too often the effects of this are more trouble than they're worth in the end. That being said, this setting has pushed me to my limit. Volunteering my weekends, my holidays, working 9 hour days, for a monthly check of $1,110...and to still be looked down upon by credentialed staff (most of whom are great at what they do) for not filling a particularly 'important' position. And apart from the work requirements, feeling drained after the constant interaction with staff, and kids everywhere...It's a humbling experience. I'm sure it's even a lesson I need to learn. But it's really exhausting, and so counter to what I thought I'd be able to do.
My main problem though, seems to be that I can't figure out a way to sidestep feeling burned out. I took 2 weeks (2 weeks!) off in order to get my bearings straight and consider whether or not this was the right fit for me, for my personality, and for my limitations at this time.
I have roughly 7 months left in order to complete my full year of service. Has anyone out there been in a similar position, or place, where the job you've committed to, and sometimes even love, contradicts so much about you, the way you interact with the world, and where you'd like to be financially...so much so that you don't know whether or not you'll be able to complete it? I know there are people who find things like this easy, and are social butterflies bursting with charisma (I envy you), but I feel like I spend too much time wishing there was a quiet spot for me to go to and escape for a few minutes, just to feel like myself again. So how did you overcome it? Or did you take the lesson for what it was worth, and motivate yourself to pursue something more in line with your natural inclinations and interests? I'd love to hear about it.