Monday, April 6, 2009


At the end of this month some significant things will change. I will no longer have a job, which I know I am not alone in, as so many people are part of the financial crisis' layoffs. I find myself surrounded by awkwardness, and lost faces, who are bracing themselves for the coming day. Perhaps I should be sad. I've been here for two years, and I have friends here that I care deeply for. But, I can't help it, some part of me is incredibly excited.

There is the fear though. That ever nagging self-doubt and anxiety that makes me feel that I will ultimately fail at everything I truly want. I suppose this is part and parcel to why for years I've shut off the "want" button inside of me. If I gave voice to things I wanted, needed, desired then I was making them known, recognized, and real - and then what would I do when one by one I was let down, disappointed, or fucked up the things I wanted so desperately? Was it not safer to stay silent, to go numb, and to cling to past hurts as if they would protect me from the future.

I held on tight to a heartbreak that happened years before as my defining moment, and the inevitable outcome of loving someone. It was too vivid, those memories of lying on the floor in a heap, shaking, crying, feeling like I wanted to die. The inevitable loss, the parting words, the clumsy attempt to stay friends. And, I'm sure if you asked him today, he'd still call me a friend, even though we haven't spoken in years. It was too difficult, too tangled, and too painful for the both of us. I remember as if it were yesterday. Why would I risk giving my heart away like that, only to end up at that kind of ending? Better to build a wall, to be the one who left first, cared less, was able to exit unscathed.

And dreams of what I wanted to be, of what I saw when I sat alone and thought about where I should be, and who I should be? I'd held the desire to write and teach for so long that they became part of my interior make-up. They were the things I longed for, but would never have. Because what if I tried and couldn't teach a thing? What if I stood in fear and anxiety at the front of a classroom, struck mute? And what if no one gave a shit about the words I wrote? What if they were dismissed in stacks and stacks of well-meaning "thanks, but you are not what we're looking for" letters of rejection? What would I have to call mine if those unrequited dreams were smashed?

But, I did fall in love again.
I am still writing.
And I do still want to teach.

The love may not have worked out completely in the way I hoped it to.
The writing may never go where I want it to.
And I may return to school and get lost along the way, and never stand before a classroom.


My heart still knows how to love, and I still love, even hopelessly.
My writing has touched a few people, and it has helped me find myself.
My children learn quite a lot from me, even in my mistakes.

So, maybe this layoff is a tap on my shoulder, or a kick in the ass. Perhaps now is the time to try some of these wants out, or learn to let them go. I don't know. I may fail miserably. I may never be enough. But, I think I am quite excited to have the chance to try.

No comments:

Post a Comment