My Early Retirement Journey- #singlegirllife
Early Retirement Journey Season 1

I Got 99 Problems and This Job Ain’t One: The End of My Side Hustle

Welcome back to My Early Retirement Journey. As you may know, my side hustle ended the first week of May 2018. Hooray! I started the side hustle because in my initial states of early retirement research, the prevailing thought was either earn more or spend less. I had few expenses I could easily cut as very early on in My Journey, I valuated each expense with the amount of soul sucking it would require and the decision not to spend was often an easy one to make. So I decided to earn more. A job I had applied for 2 years ago called me, and like a human, I thought it was kismet. It wasn’t.

During the four months (Spring Semester 2018) of my side hustle, I was in a few too many near miss car crashes. Either because I was rushing to and fro; trying to avoid peak commuting hours; sweating through that poorly designed exit ramp by the college; or swerving around young drivers in the college parking lot. I filled up my gas tank more often than once every 2.5 weeks;  I would say I was at once every 10 days. I even got vertigo twice and was miserable for a sum total of 7 days because of vertigo symptoms.

I worked 50 hour weeks and was only getting paid for 43. I worked weekends and during my lunch breaks grading and planning. I had to provide more customer service after leaving my day job working in customer service. I had to respond to stupid emails from whiny students. I had to do administrative things – printing, copying, creating a classroom resource site, filling out forms. I had to complete a 3 hour training for which I was not compensated. Did I mention grading? Good. It bears mentioning again. The amount of menial tasks was life-sucking. I underestimated it even though I had taught before a decade or so ago. Class was Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:45 pm to 7:25 pm. I usually got home around 8p or later. Even though I was tired from a long day, it took me a little longer to fall asleep because my mind would still be racing from a night of molding young minds. Ha. It was harder to shut my brain off at night because even though I hated it, I was still looking for ways to be better. Even on days when I didn’t have the class, I had to work late to make up time I lost from leaving my day job early to get to class. I really don’t know what kept me from quitting. I really hated the first 2 months.

My Early Retirement Journey - side hustle

But education keeps seducing me, so I persisted. Stupid, stupid woman. There is some pull teaching has on me. I am a failed public school teacher with a $300,000 student loan debt to prove it.  Teaching middle school in my twenties was one of the worst experiences of my life, and I’ve lived through an actual civil war. Obviously I’m being hyperbolic. It was a pretty terrible 1st world experience, but war, really?  I digress. Something about progress and improvement and self-reliance really gets me excited. So far my interest in it hasn’t proven to relay well to the classroom. Before giving up the ghost, I tried classroom teaching, subbing, tutoring, academic summer camps, college prep tutoring and I never found my niche. So in 2011, at age 27, I changed fields altogether, and now I work in healthcare. Still, I keep coming back to education. I applied for the job that started this whole train wreck, didn’t I?  Despite the constant #fail, there’s some aspect of teaching and education that interests me and I haven’t quite teased it out yet.  Perhaps, I need to dig deeper and really figure out what about this field attracts me. Is it just the joy I used to experience as a learner? If so, how can I capture that essence again without owing the US Department of Education any of my unborn children or unharvested organs? More importantly, at this point does it really matter?

The Haul:

  • I think I made about $1,600 after taxes for the 4 month course.
  • I saved on entertainment because I was too tired to watch much TV. I ended up cancelling cable February 1, 2018 because of this.
  • It motivated me to start this blog. I don’t remember how exactly but I wrote it down as a pro when I started this list 3 months ago. I remember feeling really compelled to start blogging in the midst of the side hustle struggle – maybe to air my grievances or maybe as another attempt at a side hustle that wasn’t so soul-sucking.
  • I realized what I likely won’t do whenever I retire, early or otherwise. In my dreamer’s mind, I had pictured going back to education as a side hustle/hobby. One of my favorite college professors who retired still does tutoring at the college where he taught for x years. I thought that sounded like a nice way to pass the time.

Overall, the side hustle had a negative impact on my quality of life.  But would I do it again? If I had to, yes. If I were offered both the night section and the online section, that might make it more worthwhile. As for now, the answer isn’t as resounding of a no as it was during the first two months. As with most things, I adjusted. But I wouldn’t want to do it again, if that makes sense.

I pushed this post back so much, by the time it was scheduled to publish I had the student evaluations.  I even included the negative ones for your voyeuristic browsing pleasure. No shame in this side hustle game 😉.

My Early Retirement Journey - side hustle
Just a snippet from a 3 page eval.
My Early retirement Journey - student evaluations
Only took out my name.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    That “you don’t go into teaching for the money” pisses me RIGHT THE FUCK OFF.

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