Leaving the Classroom for the School of Life
Four weeks ago, we asked our community to share their stories about quitting with intention.
We were instantly moved and inspired by your personal stories of quitting the very thing that is preventing you from creating a space for more positive ways to contribute to the world.
Here is one of your stories…
By: Andrea Sofia Alemany
Last June, I quit my job. I didn’t hate my job. I taught second grade to a wonderful group of kids and I love 94% of my time around them. Parents can back me up on this stat, right? I loved their energy. I loved their creativity and their faces when they finally GOT something. I loved that I was the one they turned to in those beaming-grin moments and I could say to myself: “I FUCKING MADE THAT HAPPEN!”
From the outside I had the perfect setting. I was a teacher at American schools around the world. My rent and some utilities were taken care of. I had less paperwork and smaller class sizes. Best of all, I had lots of time off to travel. I got to teach in Kuwait, Lebanon, and Colombia and make these places home. In the seven years that I taught abroad, I backpacked my way through over 70 countries. It was a nomad’s dream.
Still, I wasn’t satisfied. I had zero time for myself during the school year. All my creativity turned towards my classroom and after nine years, I resented this. I’d hate coming back from summer break not because vacation was over, but because I felt that I was on the cusp of something great for myself, different, and I had to let it go just as I was about to reach it. I’ve known for a while that teaching wasn’t my calling. That I was DAMN good at it, that most days I found fulfillment, but that it was just a chapter and not the whole book in terms of what I was meant to do.
So I quit. I thank those kids from the bottom of my heart. They taught me lessons about empathy, honestly, creativity and what it means to be fearless that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
These last few months have been life changing. Tell the universe that you are ready and watch how it conspires to make shit happen. I found breathwork, a self-healing modality that helps the mind get past the ego and allows the body to release trapped emotions and trauma. Through this heart-opening practice, I found ways to change the creative flow that for years I’ve been spilling into my lesson plans. I started writing again, dancing, climbing trees, making genuine connections with strangers. I can see how my energy has shifted and how even if I’m still not sure what the end game is, I get to bring the fear and discomfort of not having a steady income or a plan (on top of having everyone I care about watching on social media) along for the ride and DO IT ANYWAY.
I believe in this practice so much that I became a facilitator. The universe put me in touch with business-savvy people that have seen the potential and are guiding me to create a business. It’s been a humbling experience, one that has taught me to ask for help and admit that I don’t have all the answers and that most times I don’t even know the questions. I bought a domain and a website. I partnered up with the yoga community in Medellin, Puerto Rico and Ottawa, Canada, where I currently bounce around and call home, and offer workshops. I now work longer hours, but with a sense of accomplishment that I hadn’t felt in years. It’s still a long way to go, but it all started when I quit.
What are you waiting to start?
Follow Andrea’s journey at @andrea.sofia.alemany