But I guess I should start at the beginning, where my retardedness (and by retardness, I'm going to steal Sarah Silverman's definition of "I can do anything") begins. See, back in the third grade (my default grade for whenever I can't really remember when something happened), I had some issues with going to school in the morning. My family and I had just returned from spending a couple of weeks in London together, and I was used to spending every minute of every day with them. For some, going back to school might be a welcome relief. For me, it was cause for tears every morning before school. I was just too homesick to leave home in the morning.
This homesickness carried over to issues with sleep-overs and stuffed animals. For years and years, I could not do sleep-overs. I would get as far as, oh, say 10:00 p.m., and then, inevitably, I'd call home, claiming "sick" to my parents and my poor friend. I thought I'd never be able to go away for college, let alone the one-nighter at Camp Timberlee in the fifth grade (and, yes, it was actually the fifth grade).
With stuffed animals, it was similar feelings about leaving my family...except...right, they were stuffed. animals. But I felt bad leaving them in the morning, and I so looked forward to winter and summer break when I could spend all day and night with them. Yes, I could do anything.
So, therein lies my early weirdness, except I did go to Camp Timberlee and I did make it to college. And things seemed to be going along just fine. Until I got the brilliant idea to become a high school English teacher and no one stopped me. That's when my trouble with going to school in the morning began all over again.
Of course, there are many reasons to dread teaching, and that sick-to-the-stomach feeling, I think, is not completely abnormal when you have to perform in front of teenagers. The thing is, though, it never got easier. During my second year of teaching, I occasionally needed to call a lifeline on the way from the L to my school, just to get myself to go in. And then, by my third year, I needed anti-anxiety medication to get myself to go to school.
So, I switched schools. And I went off the medication. However, I still spent too many before-school minutes sitting in my car in the school parking lot on the phone with my mom or Willie, sniffling away tears, and hoping for some kind of miracle encouragement. Every morning when I locked my car, all I wanted was for it to be 3:15 so that I could return to my car, unlock it, and go home. (By the way, if you feel any pity for it, I have no problem with that. Please, pity away.)
So, I switched careers. And two weeks into my new job, I'm definitely not crying in the morning. The wishing it was the end of the day is definitely less than it was with teaching. (That was one of the reasons I got out of teaching: I wanted to stop wishing away my days -- hoping and praying that it was already 3:00 or June 15.)
And yet, although I don't need to make a call or ingest small white pills, that homesicky it's-time-to-go-to-work feeling has not completely gone away. True, the job is still brand new and so I'm still dealing with nerves and anxiety. And Fonzie's face at the window, which I can see all the way from the car, definitely doesn't help.
I know that, ultimately, I should feel very lucky that I have had and continue to have happy homes that I don't want to leave. And maybe, as I get more comfortable with the job, my morning homesick-y feeling will get better. Or maybe not. Maybe I'm just a weirdo (who can do anything) with separation anxiety who will always want to stay home and play with her stuffed animals.
Well, at least I got the sleep-over part down.