Monday, January 31, 2011

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I've been seriously considering teaching.  Or quitting my job, finding a nice part-time position, and writing my novel.  One of the two.  Both would require mountains of work, but different types of work.  The second would require a lot more self-discipline.  The first would require a lot more money.

It has been a difficult time for me.  Never before have I not had a reason to get out of bed in the morning.  Life has been such a challenge for me when I have work to dread rather than look forward to.  I used to enjoy working, and while the commute was inconvenient, I would drive it because work was worth it.  Now, the commute is unbearable because I have no personal motivation to get to work on time.

My dad once told me that there are times in your life where you have to work places you don't like just because you need the money.  I guess I've never been in financial want before, so I don't know what that feels like.  But still, I think that might be more of a male mentality.  I feel like girls most often get to have a job they want more so than boys because boys have the pressure of bringing home the bacon.  Girls work almost for recreation and personal fulfillment.  So, its hard to consider the financial aspect of working.

As long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a writer.  It was the only serious occupation I ever "declared" when asked the age-old question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  Figure skater, artist, teacher...those I never seriously considered.  They were just dreams.  But when I was eight and told people I wanted to become a writer, I meant it.  It wasn't something I dreamed of doing; it was something I planned on doing.  I don't know how I knew at such a young age, and I know it has been a blessing to have a consistent self-chosen direction in my life.  What I didn't realize was how complicated this dream would be.

I've discussed before about how much of your life do you surrender to writing, when there are plenty of other priorities that demand one's attention: work, school, family, church, friends.  How am I supposed to put writing above those things?  It is my desire to replace work with writing, make the two synonymous.  Yet, how do I accomplish that financially with a soon-to-be husband and a family to contribute to?  It seems selfish to drop everything and pursue a childhood "fantasy" and leave everyone else at the whim of such a dream.

Teaching is a compromise.  It involves writing and my passion for mentoring adolescents, yet again it involves time and schooling and money (more money...I really hate money at this point).  I hate how pursuing a dream requires the people around you who love and care for you to sacrifice so much.  Especially when my fiancĂ©e has sacrificed his dream so that I can have mind.  How am I supposed to go for it now?  I'll leave a trail of guilt behind me.

As every morning passes and the motivation to get out of bed diminishes, I feel more and more tempted to throw my hands up and start anew.  But I have a wedding in (less than) seven months to pay for and a life to maintain.  Who could get married and start a new job at the same time?

There is almost too many factors to consider.  Part of me wants to think this through, the other part of me wants to just go off of instinct.  The safe and logical part of me demands I stay put for the time being.  We shall see...