It’s a nostalgic day for me. It’s Children’s Day alright, but today is also the 5th anniversary of my first job. Yeah, remember those days when I had recently started blogging? Those posts amuse me, embarrass me, even confuse me. It all seems from a different lifetime, things have changed so much. I was changed so much. This was my first real job, no, not pocket money earned through tuitions as a student, but a full-time, real job. I was 24 then. Ambitious, starry eyed, with full of energy and enthusiasm, ready to face anything in life head on. I was in love with life then. I am still in love, but it’s a different kind of love now, and a different kind of life now. Nothing bothered me then, not even the measly amount I earned back then (I am told I was the lowest paid), not the fact that I was a teacher and had to be serious with the students, or the fact that teachers didn’t have much of a social reputation compared to say engineers or doctors. Every morning I woke up at 5, all dressed and ready to face a new day.
Things were always eventful in school. Children were always up to something. I loved the math and physics lessons I taught. I would eagerly wait to grab the marker pen and start scribbling on the board. I loved the fact that as I spoke, so many children, all young and impressionable, listened to me and enlightened themselves. I loved the fact that my children (well, most of them) enjoyed science and math. I loved the fact that I was so much thinner and younger. Children couldn’t hide their curiosity to know my age and if I was married. I once told them I was married and had five kids at home. You should have seen their faces.
Eventually I learnt the names of everyone in my class. I even knew the handwriting of every student in my class. It was my only job where work never seemed like work. It seemed like fun. I have worked in different positions ever since, a toxicologist, a graduate student, a research assistant, but my best memories come from my job as a teacher. Then why did I leave my job and move to the U.S., you may be wondering? Because I was young and wanted to see the world. I hadn’t really planned my job as a teacher, it just happened. I had finished my masters, applied for a PhD abroad, and had a couple of months till I heard back from them. I was basically sitting at home doing nothing. It was then that my job happened to me. By the time I had started working, I already had big plans in life for the following year.
Have I ever had second thoughts about leaving my job and moving? You would be surprised to know that the answer is a yes. There was a brief moment when I seriously wanted to ditch my plans of moving to the U.S. and continue working as a teacher in Kolkata. But then, they paid me too less, and I was too eager to see the world. Life gave me an opportunity to go explore the world, and I grabbed it. I don’t regret my decision once. It was the best decision I could have made under those circumstances. But even today, my job as a teacher remains my favorite job. Working as a teacher gave me a whole new perspective about what I was capable of doing, and what I loved to do. This is why even after 5 years, I fondly remember my first day in school.