teacher-Tracy couldn't dress like this--for a variety of reasons...

Teaching changed me.  In tiny little ways every single day, I became teacher-Tracy.  I didn’t even notice–at first.  Some of the change was for better–I became much more comfortable talking to, well, anyone.  I became better at grammar (was that sentence correct?)  I learned to see the humor in almost any situation.  In these ways–and many more–teaching did make me a better person.

Of course it also changed me for the worse–as any Star Wars fan knows, life is a balance (and a battle) between light and dark. Teaching made me extremely judgmental.  I became embarrassed of my body and paranoid about how I dressed, I started to lose the ability to be patient in almost every situation, and, eventually, I became extremely depressed.  Which is why I left.

And while the jury is still out on whether this year will be a career break or a career change, I know that whatever happens I will be a slightly different person at the end of this year.  Hell–I’m a slightly different person than when I left on our road trip six weeks ago.  And as my next trip–which signifies the beginning of my ‘new life’–rapidly approaches, I know that those three weeks will change me.  I just don’t know how.  Here’s hoping it will be more ‘for better’ than ‘for worse’.