Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dreams – Dead, Emerging, and Deferred

Last week I was fired from my relatively new corporate gig. I wasn’t fired for cause, mind you. I didn’t steal anything; I wasn’t even insubordinate; although, that would have been fun. But they did decide that they “just weren’t that into me.” I was shocked, and it stung—I’ll admit—even though I wasn’t all that into them either. It was like having a boyfriend break up with you while you’re still toying with the right time to break up with him. The right time for me would have been February or March. They beat me to it.

Today, I submitted an essay to an online literary journal, and I am about to search around our messy house for a folder on which I will write in indelible Sharpie SUBMISSIONS. I’m hoping this piece sent out into the world will be the first of many.

It’s easy to like a steady paycheck, and it’s easy to grow comfortable with one. But, before he died, Steve Jobs insisted that the way to success is through doing what you love. And the honest truth is that I didn’t love writing about data integration software, which is a shocker, I know. I do LOVE reading literature—more than ever. I love reading novels, memoirs, and essays—pretty much whatever I can get my hands on. I’ll read a cereal box if it’s the only print in sight, and even though I get nauseous reading on a city bus, the print on the newspaper the person next to me is reading is irresistible. Even when I try to tell myself that I am both being rude and toying with loosing lunch, my eyes are still drawn to any print nearby. And, since I lost the corporate job, I’ve been reading like a drunkard on a binge. It’s as if I hold myself back from the world of reading and writing when I have to force myself into business slacks, a blouse, and stupid, uncomfortable shoes. It seems that I have to force myself wholly into playing the part of someone I’m not when I go back to the corporate world. And, then when I get sprung, I am free again to roll around in and immerse myself this world of writing that feels like play.

I know that I’m not going to instantly become successful as a freelance writer. I’ve made a fraction of one months rent in all the years I’ve dabbled at it. But, for the next few months, Brian is going to help me get by—returning the favor I did for him when he graduated into an economy in free fall. And, in time, I will have to find a way of making the balance of the money we need to fund our dreams. But for the present, I have a short respite, and for a few months, I will play the role of a writer. It may be make-believe, but eventually, I’m going to try (as I did in business) to fake it till I make it.

In other news, the little cottage in Maine is terminal, which is very sad. I really didn’t know that a house could be beyond saving, and I suppose technically it’s not; however, when it turns out that it will cost more to fix it than to replace it, it’s time to rethink the plan. It won’t get rebuilt right away. We’ll use it as a camp until there are sufficient funds to start over. More news to come.

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