A person spends a lot of time trying to shout down the voices in their head: not good enough, you’re never going to make it work, why would any one listen to you. Maybe my voices are just louder than others. I don’t know. But you couple that inferiority with the massive student loan debt I have and the lack of any teaching jobs available that pay me enough to live where the jobs are, well. That $204k isn’t going anywhere very fast.

But you manage to put on a good face. You argue the voices down. You try. You joke about your situation.

And all it takes is one snide remark from a family member to bring the entire fucking thing crashing down…and validate those voices you were trying to shut up.