I think I had a revelation this morning.
The last few months, heck maybe even the last year, have been full of excitement and challenges. These events leave me minimal time for anything. I've forgotten my hobbies. I have no idea how to do anything fun. I also have lost the art of deeper introspection.
Now that I have graduated, I still have excitement and changes, but my daughter is home from school for summer vacation so this forces me to slow down and do the housework I've neglected for eons. This also gives me time to think.
My husband and I have discussed for about 9 months now the possibility of me returning to full-time professional work. The ends haven't met in a long time, and the finances have reached the point now where the car payment comes out of the grocery budget every month. Or, shall I say, the car payment consumes the whole grocery budget. Earning this new degree was to facilitate potential career change and give me a chance to recover from life as it used to be.
That's simply put.
My daughter is older now. She was four when I returned to school. I needed a flexible work schedule when she was home, in half-day kindergarten and in the early days of her academic career.
I spent four years as a college student, while serving on boards and working part-time. I thought, when my daughter was young, that I would use that time to promote my writing to publishers, editors and agents. But I didn't. I did earn a bachelor's degree. Why did I spend so much time on a bachelor's degree? If I spent the same amount of effort on promoting myself, I probably would have built some sort of fledgling career by now.
Do I not want it? And the answer is...
I don't know. My behavior suggests that I have no interest in a career as a creative writer. I think that's because I don't like the uncertainty. I have spent too much time being poor. I don't like the life of a freelancer, especially tracking everything for my taxes. I don't like not knowing how much money will come in or when it will arrive.
Writing has always given me solace and comfort. Maybe by trying to sell it, I'm sacrificing the element of my writing that provided me with escape and comfort and replacing it with the stress of using something I love with so very much of my soul as the means of my survival. That's ALWAYS why I resist the life of being a writer first.
Part of me also needs to be more than a writer. What makes writing so fun and interesting to me is that I can use what I learn and share it with other people. I can learn about haute couture or dance moves or even political circumstances and pull other people into that universe.
I want a master's degree some day and I know I could get into several MFA programs without an issue, but I resist. Instead I dream of a master's in international journalism, or international development, or foreign service... But then when I contemplate my Ph.D. I dream of history and Johns Hopkins because of my interest in post colonial Algeria-France relations.
And the MFA is on the list. It's just not the top of the list. Weird for a writer, isn't it?
Right now, I want to feed the family. I want to grow as a person. I want to do good. I want to help make a better world.
Fiction will remain my stress relief.
I need to see what I can do in this world, before I can help my fictional people make their mark.