Here is a short list of things I have always known about myself:

  • I am honest regardless of the setting or potential consequences because I feel that clear and direct speech is the most efficient method of communication.
  • I do everything completely or not at all. Attempting to live in the middle feels like nothing short of purgatory – in other words, I’m passionate.
  • If I know something, it’s important that I share that knowledge.
  • I don’t pretend very well, and my facial expressions make me a bit of an open book.

While one or two of the items on this list have gotten me into trouble in the past (well, how do you think I learned about them?!) I have never been “on trial” for all of them at once. You see, in my particular personality with my particular job and expertise, this list (when stirred vigorously) equates to nothing less than a strong, independently-minded woman. In Chicago, this recipe was much adored, but it doesn’t seem to be going down very well out here.

Two years ago when I started this blog, it was appropriately named “Overeducated and Underemployed”. Twenty-four months later, I made the decision to remove myself from an environment where my emotional and professional future were compromised on a daily basis. Now I just need to start over.

Before I left, another teacher said to me, “Women like you just make me wonder where you would be right now if you were a man.” I just smiled and imagined that I would be much less threatening.