I was sitting, eating lunch when M comes over and says that everyone (the teachers) are eating in the teacher’s lounge and that I’m welcome to join them. When she said everyone I thought/projected the teachers like H and L sitting there, similar to how I saw them a few days ago, and a fluffy soft experience comes up, and then I had this experience come up within me of fear and resistance where I then didn’t want to join everyone. I thought that I would be awkward and not know what to talk about, so I lied to M and told her I was going to call my boyfriend and then she said “oh your boyfriend” in a silly manner and walked away.
I then sat there feeling regretful and ashamed because I lied and also because this opportunity of eating with the other teachers would not harm me, it was a nice offer, the teacher are nice. I felt guilty for saying no, I thought about how nice L is, how this would be the opportunity for them to ask me questions about my wedding, how I can share more about myself, how I could enjoy myself, feel “in” with the group. I then thought about my supervisor D being there and feeling
uncomfortable/awkward/shy as well, and thinking of all ideas of what I think he thinks of me in the head. Then I looked at how I was last year, how I kept to myself and got the impression the teachers I worked with then didn’t like me and talked in spite behind my back cause I didn’t hang with them/didn’t really talk to them/was weird.
Then I thought/asked how am I going to do over there in another country when I move? Cause it may be the same situation in where I’m with a group and ‘awkward as fuck.’
There are excuses of I shouldn’t walk this point because it’s almost the end of the school year so ‘why walk this point if you’re not going to see them anymore.’ I do have 3 more weeks with these people, I can make some improvement and use what I find/see to improve my interaction skills with others.
So, the experiences I basically feel is a shyness, a fear, an awkwardness, a wanting to hide around these people. The teachers are much older than me and I have insecurity of not knowing what to say or how to feel/be around them. If they were my age or younger I have this idea/belief I’m sure I would be more comfortable.
I don’t want to be awkward around others, but I am currently. I want to be myself and have no fear expressing/being me. The truth within this is that there can be improvements done with my social interactions and how I communicate/use my words with others in a way where it’s comfortable and natural.
To imagine going into the lunch room and sitting with the teachers makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. There is fear like this isn’t me, I don’t want to do this. It pushes me out of my comfort zone. I don’t think I’m worthy to be there – to be an equal, ‘I’m not much, I’m not a teacher, I’m not an equal.’ I have seen myself inferior to them, and with feeling/going into inferiority with myself, I must support myself and learn.
What is it about H and L that I see myself less than? They make money than me and they have a professional status. They are looked upon highly (how I perceive it) because they are teachers. I on the other hand, am an aide, make a little over than minimum wage, am not professional or certified and thus work with one student. Then I see the Teacher Assistant a notch above me because they get more pay and have more responsibility and are able to teach/be in charge of a classroom if the teacher is out. I am unable to do that, and that point came forth today when one of the teacher’s asked me to watch her class and hand out tests for the students because she is going to a meeting. Before I was able to go through with her orders, a substitute enters the classroom and asks me if I’m certified and I said no and she’s like “that’s why they (human resources) brought me up here.” So even from there I saw my position/who I was within my job as not even ‘worthy’ to run a classroom. From this, I realize that the job I have is only set up for specific duties and tasks, while the teacher has their own duties and tasks and it is because of the school’s current laws and regulations that non-certified staff cannot teach or run a classroom.
I can see I am taking my job personally where I am defining me as being less than others because my job is “less than” other jobs where I do get less pay and have less status or recognition in the school. I remember even complaining how aides like me have one of the toughest jobs since we work with the disabled and autistic and we are not able to get the same benefits as the teachers, even in terms of the little raffles that go one where teachers can win a prize or be given gifts from administration — aides and other service workers are not qualified to have that even though we work for the school and attend our responsibilities.
So the point is coming down to seeing myself less than others I work with according to my job and from there, I’m limiting my interaction with them and not seeing myself equal to the coworkers around me because of the ‘higher’ positions they are in.
I will watch for the behavior of me wanting to avoid the coworkers in the morning when they group up and talk to one another and see what it is I fear or don’t want to face. I will assist and support myself to see what it is I need to do for my job and do what I need to do and then when I have the time to simply go out to my workspace and be with my co–workers, not necessarily forcing myself to talk or share, but be there/be around/be within the presence of them if they need me, want to talk/share with me.
The what I’m going to practice is: When I face a coworker, I greet them/acknowledge them, and if I want to say something or share something naturally with another, I will do so. I will take into consideration beforehand the topic/conversation I want to start to make sure the outflow is not awkward/strange/uncomfortable for me and another. I will see how this goes on Monday.
I will continue with this point of inferiority and awkwardness around my coworkers in the next blog along with Self-Forgiveness to go deeper within the point …thanks for reading!
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Photo by Janelle Keith