Once again I’m suffering from a self-imposed crisis of faith. No, not Saturday’s Rapture that wasn’t. Rather, a lack of faith in the wisdom of existing in the moment, going with the flow, taking things as they come without trying to control outcomes far beyond my ken…and any other clichés that fit the topic.
The Yellow Spring lifestyle I’ve dreamt of for so long: working at home, writing full-time, living our much sought-after voluntary simplicity (except, of course, for the whole mortgage thing), seemed to have finally taken hold. On those days when I was able to pull myself out of the financial-worry vortex and live in the moment, life was good. I was writing regularly, publishing a few little things here and there, maintaining a decent enough blog presence. I was settling in and making connections in the writing world both locally and farther afield.
While the elusive publication breakthrough has yet to materialize, I was learning to be happy in the now, to stop chasing after a monetary pay-off that seemed always just out of reach either through a 9-to-5 office job or a much-coveted book contract. I learned to “let go of the banana.”
And as soon as I reached that plateau of course, I got the call. Oh, not The Call from an enthusiastic agent eager to shepherd my novel to best-seller-dom – I’m still waiting for that one. No, I got a call from a recruiter about a job. Nothing earth-shattering, but at least something that sort of almost uses my writing talents. Temp-to-hire; okay, maybe three to four months; well, could I start today for a week or so? Nothing definite.
My oh-so-comfortable schedule of writing, chasing the dogs, baking bread, gardening, weekly coffee klatches with writer friends…poof! Be careful what you wish for.
It’s an opportunity I can’t ignore; I’ve been searching for an income for far too long. Hubby’s stress at work is piling up so I feel even greater self-imposed pressure to relieve it in any way I can. His weeks are a roller coaster of got-a-handle-on-things-no-problem highs to a heart-wrenching (for me) can’t-do-this-anymore-something’s-got-to-give abyss. But this temp job is a tenuous position. While I work for a few days, maybe a week, to fill an urgent project need, the company continues to interview for a permanent replacement. Huh?! Hello!
As much immediate financial stress relief as this position offers, I have to admit it’s not my dream job – not even close. I have my dream job as a writer, but it isn’t paying much these days. I’m simply looking to supplement my writing efforts with something at least vaguely interesting. And on the extremely unlikely chance anyone from said company runs across this post, I am not ungrateful for the opportunity. Everyone is very kind, I’m learning lots, and I’m glad I can be of service. I’m just very confused as to why the interviews continue.
What is the lesson here? Is Joni Mitchell singing in my ear, reminding me “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”? Am I to take this brief experience “For What It’s Worth,” with Buffalo Springfield reminding me to “Beware” the materialistic entanglements of corporate America? Or, as usual, am I simply over-thinking everything?
I realized this morning it’s all that and more, including the over-thinking. All this is also a reminder of how spoiled I’ve become, living the life of an academe these past almost five years, working for pay only sporadically. Many of my colleagues work full-time, and raise a family, and still find – no, make time to write. Why does the idea terrify me so? My physical endurance is somewhat shaky, with far more too-frequent migraines than I’d hoped after that mystical threshold of menopause. But I guess that’s my reality. Deal with it. If my friends can juggle it all, so can I.
So I’ve decided to reframe this time of my life. It’s not an upheaval, a crisis, or a chaotic reshuffling of the comfortable and the familiar. It’s a paradigm shift, with exciting opportunities for growth in any number of directions. If I can stay open, and flexible, and receptive, the universe is ready to reveal a new path to a future I’m sure I can only begin to imagine.
Not that I won’t still be waiting for The Call…