“Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?” ― Kurt Vonnegut
I have written on and off throughout my life, leaving it mostly behind after college. After my graduation, my time was devoted mainly to practical matters, those revolving around work, food, home, and family. There have been brief forays into writing and other types of creation, but they have been brief.
Now that I am attempting to get back into the game, so to speak, I have found it sometimes difficult to find a topic for writing, much less even to write. I suppose part of this comes from the everyday stresses of life that seem to overwhelm any access to the imagination. Or perhaps I am simply out of practice. Most of my writing lately has consisted of short articles geared toward gaining an “online presence” and hopefully earning a bit of money. This is certainly necessary in my current financial situation, but even writing those little articles can be somewhat difficult at times.
When words come but little, I have lately been working on altering digital pictures. The change in media is enjoyable and will hopefully stimulate some more extensive writing than the short articles and tips for Bubblews. The work seems a little indulgent, but it helps to get beyond that brain freeze that I’ve been experiencing lately. I may also again create an account on 750words so that I am forced to write and with a definite goal in mind.
So forgive me if I share my pictures from time to time. That currently is my bit of creative fun. Having completed a few of them, I will be returning to writing, especially that of my ebook and longer articles. Who knows? There might even be a poem deep down in this brain of mine.
I suppose that today is officially the end of my online teaching job. All grades have been submitted, and the students are eagerly looking ahead to their new classes. There will be no goodbyes, no packing up of desk supplies. Just the simple shutting down of my email account.
Although the work could be overwhelming at times, I will miss that job. It was challenging to find ways to convey concepts and ideas related to writing and literature. Too, there were always the “thank you” emails from students as well as those students who showed such talent and dedication. They definitely made the work worthwhile.
And yet, even with endings, there are beginnings. This blog, for one, and the return to writing. There is some excitement brought by the change and the new endeavors. Also some recognition has already come my way, bringing happiness of its own. One of my Hubs, What to Do When Your Family Member Has a Mental Illness, has been nominated for an award for quality content. You can vote for it at this link. This makes the loss of my job at least a little bit easier.
So yes, jobs come and go, but perhaps we’ll be alright.
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
It is sometimes a struggle for many of us to even step out of bed in the morning. Whether it is a period of unemployment that never ends, a new diagnosis of a terminal illness, or a chronic mental illness, life often brings us to the point of giving in to defeat. I’m not so sure about the saying that “God doesn’t give us anything that we can’t handle.” I’ve seen plenty of people bear more than they should have to handle, ultimately succumbing to addiction or suicide.
If you were to ask me today how I’m doing, I would probably say, “I’ve had better months.” The upcoming loss of my teaching position has me at a loose end. I seem to be scrambling at writing anything possible online in order to gain some attention for my efforts and hopefully some employment. As I watch for comments and increasing scores–and not seeing either–it seems a futile effort, one that will ultimately bring me nothing.
But I’ve had worse months as well. And on those days when everything seems hopeless, I try to remember that I’ve come through worse times, ones that were filled with illness for myself and family members, along with the deaths of several family members. I’ve survived. And that’s what I’m trying to hang onto right now when the outlook for our future seems so uncertain.
Yes, I’ll admit it. My Scrooge-like motivation for beginning this blog is to gain an online presence and hopefully obtain a job. Who isn’t, right? With so many out of work or even dropping out of the workforce altogether, I know I’m not alone.
Much of my situation was brought about by me. At the age of 40, I realize the mistakes I made in choosing my degrees and subsequent work. With degrees in English and history, I wasn’t qualified for much other than library tech, writer, or teacher. I wish now that I had listened to my parents when they tried to guide me toward a more practical degree path, but that won’t change the past.
At the time, I was on fire for writing and learning from the work of others. I wrote constantly and thought little about the future and what it might be like to be middle-aged. I take a bit more practical view nowadays. I still love reading and writing–and helping others to find their own love of those skills–but I also need to eat. With time comes responsibility as well as the desire to care for those who rely upon us. The passion is still there, but I regret not being able to care better for my family.
Now, having lost my teaching position due to budget cuts, I need to find additional work. My family relies on me solely for income, and I cannot flub this one up. This blog is therefore a part of my attempt to “show off” my writing skills and possibly gain some gainful employment.
That being said, I hope that it will be much more. So keep reading. As Tom Bodett might say, “I’ll leave the light on for you.”