Tonight I taught my last Tuesday night class at the hospital in Mt. Vernon, MO. I’ve been driving there for a tad over a year now on Tuesday and Thursday nights to teach. This Thursday will be my last evening to teach there. Last week was my last week at the YMCA downtown and my last week to teach at Immaculate Conception school. It feels weird. I’ve been teaching yoga for at least 10 years now, maybe a bit more. I love it. I really do and I’m also pretty good at it. But in the town I reside in I really have to drive from one location to another to teach as much as I want to. That said, I was starting to feel burned out but didn’t realize that’s what it was. Yet.
I actually started looking for jobs last year at this time. I ran across seasonal employment and a couple of things that would’ve required me to totally give up yoga. I was like no way. What I did do was participate in a medical study (which was way cool and I’d like to do another one someday) and I did take a job cleaning. Several of you know I’ve been cleaning a movie theatre for almost a year now. It started out to be a weekend job which turned into Fridays as well. I actually ditched teaching a Friday morning yoga class to clean. I know what you’re thinking. Kirsten has lost her mind.
Maybe I have, or already did. I don’t know. I also started cleaning a cool office building a couple of nights per week. Why? Because I passed it on my way home from teaching yoga in Mt. Vernon. But now I’m not going to clean it anymore as it’s out of my way. I also picked up a small office and one more large building that I clean every Saturday. I take my kid and teach her what you have to do in order to buy lunch at the mall. So far, so good.
Cleaning can be really meditative. When the theatre isn’t totally trashed, it’s very quiet and peaceful and I have lots of time to think. Cleaning isn’t always mindless though. Sometimes you have to play maintenance person and sometimes you have to shift gears and play security. One time I was supposed to be playing security and didn’t shift gears fast enough. Just imagine if you were the boss and received a text that said, “I just gave my alarm code to the Russian translator.” I won’t even elaborate on this, but you proably get the general idea. It was all cool in the end.
Cleaning it turns out is a lot like yoga in the driving department. For the past several months I have been teaching 10 yoga classes per week (at 5 different locations) and cleaning (at 4 different locations) as well. And to make matters even worse, three more places recently called me to teach yoga but I couldn’t do it. Why you say? Because everyone wants their yoga classes at the same time. If I could clone myself I could have a sweet yoga career, financially speaking.
Since I am old and getting even older as I type this, I knew I needed to make a shift. I’ve applied for so many jobs it’s not even funny. I have every job search engine you can imagine saved on my computer. I’ve applied through Craig’s List and elsewhere, you name it. I’ve gone on several job interviews. One interview (this was hilarious) was at a hotel. There were 1,000 people there to apply for 85 jobs or something like that. I didn’t get that job, or any of the other ones either. I usually got an email back that said “Thanks but no thanks.” Most of the time I didn’t get any response at all. A lot of the jobs I applied for weren’t even real, but you couldn’t tell that until after you spent 30 minutes of your life filling out crap online, only to be redirected to some employment web site.
At least when I went in for the interview for my cleaning job (which I did get and still have) she actually asked me what in the heck was I doing in her office and why I wanted to clean.
On my birthday, I applied for a job on Craig’s List, on a whim mind you. I found out the day after my birthday that I closed my email out so fast that it didn’t go through. So I resent it. I had my birthday lunch with my yoga teacher and told her my ideal work situation would be this. Read on – I could work full-time and have full paid benefits. I could wear jeans (very important)! It would be close to my house. I would be able to leave and go teach my noon yoga classes at the new recreation center at MSU. I wouldn’t have to work late at night if at all. The job I wanted to take wouldn’t be in a cubicle at a massive corporation, nor would it be big time retail. My teacher asked me where I wanted to work and I told her I had no idea. We both laughed.
Later on that very same lunch day, I got a call for a job interview. It was at a place that I’d frequented but never thought about working at. The interview went well. It seemed too good to be true, so I didn’t get too excited. The job offered (get this) everything that I mentioned above aobut my dream job situation. I went back and talked to them again. Then I started to get a little excited. They offered to let me come in and work a little between yoga classes to see if I liked it before I gave anything up. After the first day there I was making arrangements for other people to take over my classes. Just like that. In a heartbeat. My life has shifted.
Starting next week I will be working this job full-time. They close at 6 and I will only work Monday through Friday so I can clean on the weekends if I want to. I will be teaching 3 to 4 yoga classes per week. I think it’s important to voice out loud on occasion to others what we want and what we might be looking for, even if what we’re looking for seems out of reach. Hopefully I’ve found that balance between passion, personal growth and finances. Perhaps this is what I’ve been searching for but didn’t realize it.
I don’t seem to be grieving over the loss of teaching so many yoga classes. I actually feel relieved. I am taking that as a good sign in the right direction.