I'm freaking out because August is over. August is over and I'm not going back to school and the tomatoes are done and it's cool enough to sleep without the air conditioner or fans running. It's getting dark earlier. Summer is waning and it will be another year before I can watch Laurel devour a perfectly ripe peach in a big grassy field. All summer long, I've been playing like this isn't real, like I am still a teacher and I didn't just take the plunge to completely overhaul my life. But now, a new page on the calendar and lack of steady of paychecks and it's Real. Yesterday, when my teacher friends were texting me from long and boring faculty meetings on their first day back, I had a twinge of panic, like I forgot to set my alarm and I was late and now I would rush in and find a place in the back and everything would go back to the way that it was.

I don't want it to go back to the way that it was. It wasn't good. But unpacking all the reasons that it wasn't good has been hard to look at. Because I wanted the reasons to be things like my district refused to give modest 2.5% raises to its teachers and they have now been working over a year without a contract, but gave 8-10% raises to district administrators. I want it to be about them.

And it turned out it's stuff like my personality.

Breaking up with school is hard to do, even when you know you are not right for each other.

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