Just as everyone has been gearing themselves up for the return to school/work, I have been gearing myself up for my first non-rentrée since living in France and let me tell you, it's a mixed bag of emotions.
For the more informed amongst you, I've been doing my best to find a route out of teaching and the process has turned out to be heart-wrenching and well, dam hard.
I've been through relief when I finally decided to leave teaching, joy when an organisation took me on for a bilan de competences, and most recently I've mostly been through hell. It seems that it is genuinely THIS difficult to retrain. I have a BAC+4 in all things scienecy and yet my hoop jumping and administrative party tricks are still not enough to get me onto a BTS. Frankly, I'm done with my party tricks and I don't think it's necessary for me to degrade myself further. I still have a little self worth despite France having ripped most of it out of my chest along the way.
So, what's in store for me this rentrée? I could teach.... Only today I've been contacted by my boss at the uni and asked if I wanted to do a second year as a lectrice as they still have space. I turned it down. Tell me I'm brave and not stupid. On the way up to uni this morning I felt physically unwell. I was going to consider taking the job but seeing all the students on the bus reminded me how much I hated it. Yes, I have loads of stuff prepared already but the idea of doing the same things and having the same problems was enough for me to say no. It was hard though. I'm trading in a job for the job centre. It's a gamble but not too much of one considering I'd be in the same position this time next year anyway - jobless with no extra real experience to put on my CV.
People may think I'm mad to turn down a job but I'm never going to get out of the cycle without being brave. So, my rentrée is being dedicated in trying to pick up the pieces after the psychological damage I've sustained along the way during these last 4 years. Someone recently told me that I was too young to be so unhappy with life and I agreed.
I'm starting French lessons this month in order to regain my confidence in myself. I'm sending CVs left right and centre with the motto 'I can but try' to organisations that I think might need a 'me' and later in the year I plan to do more mini-courses at the adult education centre and maybe do some informal 'try-out' periods in jobs that interest me.
I don't think this year is going to be easy, but I have to try and find a non-teaching job in order to save my sanity. And today, just knowing that I have a non-rentrée back to a teaching job is enough for me.