Twice in the last couple of days I’ve tried to explain my game plan to people. Admittedly, it is roundabout. Most of the time when I undertake career movement I tend to implement the scattershot method as opposed to the trained marksman’s shoot to kill approach. That’s not a great analogy, I agree. Suffice it to say, I tend to throw lots of ideas and plans into the universe, and usually one of them sticks. Fortunately or unfortunately, I married a man who tends to do the same thing, though with a little more caution.
So, my game plan is basically this: I want to write and teach people to write. And, frankly, I want to teach the folks that might not have the opportunity otherwise. I am not totally clear how this is going to happen, but the more I throw that out into the ether, the more I find that opportunities are creeping my way. Creeping is the key word. I’d prefer opportunities to be rushing at me at light speed at this point, but I’ll settle for creeping.
So, when this unsuspecting neighbor/acquaintence-type person asked me what my game plan was, I rattled off the MFA programs I’m applying to, the job I applied for at the local restaurant, the various community teaching jobs I’m working on, and the possibility of doing some TA work at a local college. For good measure I mentioned that my husband was interested in going back to school as well, to study art. He looked at me like I was speaking gibberish.
“So you might move?”
“Well, maybe.” And I was off again, spouting more possible contingencies to the plans. He nodded as if to say, “oh, of course, it’s all clear to me now,” but it obviously wasn’t. He made a comment about how “you Beahans always have something cooked up.” I’m pretty sure that wasn’t meant to be a compliment.
After a couple of these, I was feeling pretty disheartened, actually. I mean, finances are tight, and there is a part of me that just wants to go get a job selling cars or answering phones or something so that I can freakin’ afford to buy flowers for my flower beds and buy a new pair of running shoes and oh, maybe take a little weekend trip somewhere, as opposed to being concerned about how to pay to doctor bill or buy the groceries. So, I find myself precariously balanced on the precipice of something new…and trying desperately to hold on just a little longer. And that one rather confused look, that complete befuddlement–it made me feel about two inches tall.
And then I woke up this morning and realized that if I sold cars for a living, or answered telephones I’d be more miserable than ever. And that I have something really awesome to offer the world, and frankly, just because the path isn’t a straight line doesn’t mean it’s a bad path.
I’ve always battled this feeling that maybe people think I’m flighty. Someone I loved once called me that, and I’ve never quite gotten over it. I constantly worry that my roundabout path, all those irons roasting away in that fire, that somehow my impulse to try ALL OF IT will somehow be interpreted as irresponsibility or flightiness. But I can’t change who I am, nor can I change the way I operate. And I don’t want to. And so I fight the flightiness.
I am willing to bear the “irresponsible” label for bailing on my parking tickets, or forgetting to renew my drivers license. But I will fight every day not to be labeled irresponsible because I pursue what I love, especially knowing that my intention is to make the world a better place for somebody. And that I’ll try all kinds of ways to get there, because, dammit, I’m nothing if not resourceful.
Not all who wander are lost…and sometimes the straight line path, well, it’s just boring.