Monday, October 28, 2013

Burning, Scuttling, Trying to Move On

I’m home from work today. Rather than teach classes and then drive half an hour to a department meeting to analyze data from poorly designed tests, I'm writing, reading, walking the dog, dropping my daughter off at school, listening to NPR and jazz, and following some things online. I found a link to Burn Down the Farm by Leo Babauta on Zenhabits.com that fits my mood. It’s all about burning bridges and scuttling the ships.

I want to get out of my current teaching gig. I want out of teaching entirely. This is easy to do. Pick up the phone and give thirty days notice, but then how do I pay the bills? It seems irresponsible to quit without some new paying job.

Still, the safety of a paycheck is why I still work a job I haven’t liked in years. The fear of discomfort slows me down and stops ambition. I have trouble imagining what I would do outside of teaching.

No, that’s not true. I imagine I would get up at 4:45, empty the dishwasher while the coffee brews, carry the cup downstairs to the basement office, sit my ass in the chair and write. At seven, I'd eat breakfast and get the kids ready for school. We would walk and I might meet friends for a run. Back home I would shower and dress, throw in laundry, have lunch, and take a catnap. Then I would write and read until the kids and my wife come home and we dive into family stuff.

I can see all that and today, I lived some of it, but I can’t imagine how to make it work. Walking the dog today, I went through finances, cutting this and that, wondering how to make money at writing. It doesn’t add up yet.

Yet.

I don't love my job, so I have to leave. I love to write, so that's the star I'm following. The more I imagine that life, the clearer it will become. I might figure out how to make enough to buy the life I have always wanted to live.

It’s a scary thought, burning down the farm, but I see I’ve already got a box of matches and there’s plenty of dry grass here. All it takes is one creative spark to lead to a life of writing on.