The Fire is Lit


For the past five years, I have not really been happy.  I love teaching, but their were aspects of my job that I was really not happy with.  I was constantly frustrated with the students and their lack of ambition, and I think some of that had worn off on me.  I’d looked for other jobs, but if I am going to be truthful with myself, it was only a half-hearted effort.  I was comfortable with my job, even if I was unhappy.  Losing my job has lit a fire in me to search for better employment, employment that will be fulfilling, and employment that I can be proud of.  I am going to continue looking into teaching positions, but I am also turning to the museum sector and other areas where my degrees will be useful.  Maybe it is time for a new path.  Many of the museum jobs require a degree in history, and I have also had some training in public history.  Museums often look for someone who can be an educational resource, so they often look for someone who has educational experience.  It’s a small glimmer of hope, but you can’t get a job if you don’t apply, so I am applying to as many places as I can.  If anyone has any suggestions or can offer any assistance in this endeavor, I’d be greatly appreciative.

If you’ve ever lost your job suddenly and without any type of prior warning, you probably know the emotional roller coaster that I have been going through the past few days: shock, anger, hopelessness, disappointment, but also hope for better things to come.  (By the way, I’m almost certain that I was let go so that they could make room for the new football coach. If that is the case, I am better off not being at a school that puts athletics so far above academics.) My post yesterday was about that hope, and I’m clinging to that for dear life.  I refuse to let depression overtake me again, and I will be more proactive in my life circumstances.  I’m going to make this a positive experience, even though my heart hurts right now with the feelings of betrayal from a school I’d poured my heart and soul into making a better place.

As Gloria Gaynor famously sang:

Do you think I’d crumble
Did you think I’d lay down and die?

No, not I, I will survive
Long as I know how to love
I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
And all my love to give and I’ll survive
I will survive

It may be taking all my strength not to fall apart, but I will survive.  I want to thank all of you for your love, support, and words of encouragement during this period of tribulation.

It’s easy to get bogged down in my own self pity and forget that today is Memorial Day and what it actually means but this day signifies so much that is important to the freedoms we have in this country and the freedoms we strive to expand upon.  Memorial Day is a solemn day of remembrance for everyone who has died serving in the American armed forces. The holiday, originally known as Decoration Day, started after the Civil War to honor the Union and Confederate dead.  

On this Memorial Day, I want us not only to remember the men and women who have died, but to especially remember those gay, lesbian, and bisexual veterans who died serving in silence in the times before the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  They served and died for a country that denied them their own freedoms, many in hope that one day their sacrifice would lead to greater freedoms in America.  Most of those gay, lesbian, and bisexual service men and women would be shocked to know that not only can gay people serve openly in the military but that they can be married to someone of the same sex and receive spousal benefits, or that the majority of states allow same-sex marriage and that we seem to be on the verge of it becoming legal nationwide. We cannot let their sacrifices be in vain, and we must continue the fight for a better and more free America.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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