How Far Does Your Work Go?

I have often wondered how people can actually leave their work at work.  First of all, your work (at least when I think of my work as a teacher…when I’ve had long term positions) is so much of who you are.  You spend a good majority of your time at work.  I think that it’s impossible to not have your work with you always.  But that’s me.  And I’m sure there are plenty of people that would say that is unhealthy.

But, I have a more important question.  And this might be more specific to someone like a teacher.  How do you leave your work persona at work?

When I was in college, I was an RA.  I was an RA for 3 years.  I’d like to think that I was a well-liked RA and all signs pointed to that while I was in the position.  Maybe not the most well-liked.  But people seemed to be okay with me most times.  But I was always wary (partially because they put the fear of God in us) when I went out or acted like a college student.

Now, I wasn’t a big partier – and I’m still not.  But I went through a “party phase” where I liked to go out and have a couple of beers with friends and hang out and have fun.  I only ever blacked out once (I’m sure this conflicts with the whole I wasn’t a partier persona…but trust me, I wasn’t and I’m not).  And, although I have felt sick and hungover before, I’ve never actually thrown up from drinking. 

But I always worried.  Always.  I worried about someone seeing me that maybe shouldn’t have.  I worried about giving off the wrong perception.  I felt like I was always “on” and was never able to just be myself and have fun.  It was hard.

Now, as a teacher, I am finding some of the same things.  I drink even less frequently than I did in college.  Way less frequently.  But occasionally I like to have a beer while I am a hockey game or I like to enjoy a glass of wine with my dinner or have a beverage while I’m out with friends.  Usually one.  And it’s enough for me.

But I’ve been subbing a lot in the high school.  And I am extending my certification to include 7-12 English.  And I look young.  Really young.

And, so I worry again about seeing students – both younger students and older students out in public when I am wanting to just have fun and be a 25 year old woman.   I don’t want to run into a senior that thinks it’s okay to be out with a fake ID when I am at a bar.  I don’t want the young students to run into when I’m hanging out with possibly wilder friends and I also have a beer. 

I don’t want to feel as if I always have to be “on”.  It’s hard.

It’s hard to find a balance and it’s hard to figure it all out.

I bring this up because I am going to a country concert tomorrow.  I am so pumped because I am going to see Eric Church and Brantley Gilbert (come back tomorrow to see my wish playlist and then next week to see my review of the concert).  The thing is.  There are a lot of high school students that I know will be there.  Now, I don’t plan on drinking much (if anything) for a variety of reasons (mainly because I’m going to be in the pit and I don’t want to have to leave and then try to get back to my spot…which will hopefully be right at the front of the stage).  But I don’t want to have to deal with the students.

Because I intend to rock out and have a good time.  And I need the students that would be there to still see me as an adult…especially those students.

I’m not going to worry about it.  Or at least I’m going to try not to worry about it because I am going to have fun and I’m sure it’s going to be a kick-ass concert!

Do you ever worry about your job as a professional and how it carries over into your personal life?  Do you think that I just worry too much?  (Trust me, you would not be the first person to tell me that…to be honest, it was a big topic of discussion in college and a whole summer project one time – I’ll have to tell you about it … I’ll add it to my list of topics I want to write about).  Do you have any advice for me?  (I’ve been seeking a lot of advice lately, haven’t I?)

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