I woke up this morning to an email that confirmed for me that I’m headed in the right direction. Since this school year started, I have been suffering from soul discontent. It’s caused by the knowledge that I’m not where I’m supposed to be. And haven’t been for a while. But as happens with most people, the fear of the unknown has kept me here longer than I should have been.
So, I read the email (twice) and tears welled in my eyes. Okay, who am I trying to fool? Yes, I cried.
Over the past few weeks, I have gone through a series of conversations with trusted people in my life. I was trying to figure out how to get unstuck. I don’t have a sprit of settling and it’s not one I want to embrace. But it can be difficult to leave the place where you feel you don’t belong when it’s the only source of financial income that you have. What I decided was, while I wasn’t in a position to leave yet, I could stop giving it my ALL. I had days where I literally spent every waking moment planning, teaching, grading papers, etc. But I had to realize that there was no way for me to be able to live my passion when I give every ounce of my strength to the thing that was starting to destroy me from the inside. Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching. And theoretically, I could do it for many more years. But I believe I have served the purpose I came to serve. I used to look forward to going to work, used to look forward to the end of breaks so I could see my students again. But, I realized early this school year that it was time for me to move on. I said, when the heart is no longer there, it won’t be much longer before the body follows. I meant that.
So, back to the email. It’s another thing that’s going to allow me to live my passion. I can’t share the details yet, but as soon as I’m able, I will. Actually, I have a few things lined up this year. So far. And I can’t wait to share it with you.
So, what’s the purpose of this post if I can’t tell you yet, you may be wondering. This space serves several purposes for me. It’s a place to share my works in progress. It’s a place to have conversation with other artists. It’s a place to communicate. It’s a place to inspire each other. Being a creative artist can be such a solitary endeavor and that’s what makes it easy to become discouraged. We all need a little inspiration to keep going. We all need to feel that what we’re doing is important. And sometimes we need that nudge to move outside of our comfort zone. As the quote goes: Life begins on the other side of your comfort zone. You are pregnant with possibility. Don’t go to your grave still full with unused talent and dreams. Don’t starve your soul. And stop accepting what destroys your soul. Material riches don’t mean a thing to me. I’m most happy when I’m writing. I feel like I have gold in my pocket when I’ve written a particularly nice line of poetry. Or prose. I feel rich when I connect with my characters and I know they trust me to tell their story. I feel like I’m rich when I’m surrounded by the work of some of my favorite authors. It feels like a communing of souls.
One of my favorite books is Ruby by Cynthia Bond. In the book, the protagonist, Ruby is a broken woman. The world has broken her and used her and she appears unhappy. But the soul is rich. She is sitll whole on the inside. She’s a loving and open spirit. So there’s this scene in the book (several scenes actually) where the spirits of dead children seek her protection. That passage speaks to me because that’s how I feel. The dead children are the souls of the stories, the souls of the characters that come to me. They trust me. They are those nudges I get in the middle of the night where I open my eyes and grab the pen and notebook I keep on my bed and I just write.
I leave you peeps with two quotes that have inspired me a lot lately: “If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.” — Seth Godin and “Do one thing every day that scares you.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
Peace & Love,