I student taught in Davenport this past winter, at both an elementary school and a high school. The principal I worked with at the elementary school had observed me teach, given me a mock interview, and wrote me a letter of recommendation. After being hired on by JB Young I got a phone call from this principal telling me she was moving to the Kimberly Center, and asked if she could interview me for a full-time position. Since I had not yet signed any contract that would place me in comittment to JB, I happily accepted to offer for an interview, which on the same day turned into an offer for a job.
In the span of one month and three weeks since graduation, I have landed full-time eployment in my career field of choice, put a deposit down on an aprtment, purchased furniture, and put my notice in to Woodlawn that I would be moving on (although they're determined to have me come back to do Japanese and Princess Academy in the summer). Things feel like they're happening so fast because...well...they are, and at times I find myself very stressed and overwhelmed. But despite the stress, I am aware of how lucky and blessed I am to be in this position, because not many fresh college graduates receive this type of opportunity (and of the four art education majors in the Augie class of '11, I'm the first and, as far as I know, only one who's gotten a job). I also have a great support system of family and friends to thank for their well-wishes, encouragement, and listening ear for when I need to vent.
Now, amidst all the excitement of beginning my adult life, I can't help but wonder what will become of the lolita aspect of myself? My budget will be very tight for a while, so my spending on new frills will be at a standstill until I have a good system worked out and am settled in (which could be a few months or over a year). My involvement with the community will also be affected, in that I won't be able to make more than a couple Chicago meetups a year, and local meetups that are on the pricier side I may have to back out of more often.
The other thing that has a strong possibility of changing is how often I wear lolita.
Before the end of the school year, I would dress up around once a week, mainly because I had a community to dress up and go do things with. Since the summer began I've only worn lolita a handful of times outside of Princess Academy classes. This is mainly because: 1. I have no one to dress up with, 2. there is never much of a reason to dress up in the first place, and 3. lolita makes my parents uncomfortable, and rather than whining about how they "just don't understand" I respect their concerns and try not to wear it around them too much.
Going into a full-time teaching career will have a greater bearing on how often I dress up as well, for the obvious reasons that lolita is not work appropriate, and there will be a small and constant worry of running into a student or a student's parents when I'm dressed up. This latter concern is one of the reasons I chose to live 20 minutes from where I teach. My students don't need to see me in a fluffy dress any more than they need to see me at a grocery store buying alcohol. Furhermore, where I am working is an alternative high school, so I need to make a much greater effort in seperating my personal life from my professional life if I ever want to gain respect and authority in the classroom.
While chatting with a friend the other night about all of this, he said, "Well, maybe it's time you think about leaving lolita soon. After all, you know you can't do this forever." My friend has a valid point, I will admit, but leaving something that has basically become a normal part of your life and an outlet through which you met some of your closest friends is more difficult than one would think. But at the same time, where will it fit into my life now that I'm beginning the next chapter?
Guess that's just something I'll figure out as I go.