Their Graduation and Mine

I probably should feel more after packing up a desk and a classroom, and an entire career after almost a decade of teaching. I should be looking back on the good times as a nice folk rock song plays. I should be lamenting the end of an era, the death of an identity. But instead I don’t feel anything. I’m just numb. I returned for final exams and graduation. I didn’t hang around after graduation. I didn’t look back longingly at the campus as I drove away.  I just felt relief more than anything. Relief, defeat, and exhaustion. Teaching took such a toll on my body, and when the sick days ran out, an additional toll on my finances. Of course I have good memories, and from all three schools where I taught over the years. For now though, I will have a lot to sort through. All I know is that I began to recover as soon as I stopped spending time in that toxic building. I can only hope that the more time away, the stronger I will be. For now, I’m simply exhausted.