There are many truths I wish I could tell you, things I feel I keep from you to both protect myself and also maintain the specific content I aim to create for Not the Marrying Kind. For the most part, this arrangement has never bothered me. For various reasons, I'm most comfortable writing under a pseudonym. But if you've been reading since the beginning or if you blog-stalked the shit out of this blog when you first found it and just read post after post after post from way back to figure me out (can you tell yet that I do this myself???), then you know that slowly, but surely, I've revealed parts of myself here. I started this blog in 2009 and I would only post a portion of my face in images. It wasn't until was actually got engaged that I posted pictures of us on the blog. Back then, it was more sporadic. Now, I would say I post pictures of myself fairly frequently. That sort of gradual trust that I built in you, my few, but lovely readers, is why I feel that I can now reveal another truth. A big one. And one, which, for the most part, I try very hard to avoid on this blog, but which, for reasons I will soon explain, I can no longer keep to myself: my job.
Before I reveal that truth, though, I want to talk about my absence and why, for a while, I think, I may need to not talk about things like weddings. Currently, I have 22 posts drafted, 10 of which are from this year (the rest span three years!). This year, like no other, I have struggled with writer's block. When I stopped blogging the last time, it wasn't because I wanted to, it was because I had zero time to write. This time around, I'm certainly shorter on time, but I also have felt creatively tapped. And I couldn't figure out why. Certainly, being burned out at work was part of it, but I've blogged through that in the past. Why was this different? Not that long ago, I had the realization that it was because I didn't want to blog about weddings anymore. I mean, I did...I do, but I felt very pigeonholed by the blog. I love planning parties and events and I love weddings, but I felt like I didn't want to talk about those things anymore. Instead, I wanted so badly to talk about the one thing I sort of vowed to always keep private.
There are many reasons why I don't talk about my job here, the biggest of which is privacy. I don't talk about my job to both maintain my own privacy and the privacy of those with whom I work. I also don't talk about my job because this blog was, for so long, my distraction. I needed some things that were separate and Not the Marrying Kind was exactly that: a place that had nothing to do with my day. Instead, it was a frothy, wedding-filled wonderland filled with amazing people that I never wanted to leave.
But reality has kicked in big time over the past year and my frothy, wedding-filled wonderland no longer does the trick. Instead, all of my waking hours seem to be filled with job-related thoughts. My internet time is focused a lot more on learning more about my job and its history. And I'm feeling more creatively-fueled by an accidental side-effect of my job: activism.
You see, as of tomorrow, Monday September 10, 2012, I will be temporarily unemployed. I don't know when I will return to work. The future of my career is in the hands of others right now and all I can do is hope that everything works out for the best. Why is my life in such limbo? Because I am teacher and a member of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).
Tomorrow, for the first time in 25 years, the CTU will strike. I left work on Friday and will return tomorrow only to picket outside. A lot of people have been asking me how I feel about striking and I've been replying, "I never feel bad about doing the right thing."
Whatever you've heard in the media, this strike is the right thing. For the last two years, teachers in the CTU have been disgraced by the local government and painted as lazy, greedy people who don't give a damn about the students. I am telling you that the reality could not be further from the truth. And so, I've decided I have to do my part to change how teachers are portrayed.
I've started blogging over here. That doesn't mean I won't be blogging here, too. For now, though, I need to be there. I need to be standing strong with my colleagues and telling the world the reality of my job. And so, I'm adding a new label here: education. I probably won't post too much under it since I have a new outlet for that, but it fills in yet another detail about who I am away from this blog.
As a show of solidarity, I'm asking that you please wear red tomorrow (Monday 9/10). It is the color of our union and is a small, but meaningful gesture. If you are in the Chicago area and would like to know more about how you can help out, please feel free to email me.