Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Life, the Universe, and Everything

No, this post isn't about Douglas Adams, and if you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry. Someday you will.

This is about my life. To sum up briefly, I have spent the last 21 years being a mom, a writer, and a volunteer. A few years ago, I had the urge to go out into the workplace and add more money to our family income. I began substitute teaching. That was okay, somewhat fun, and at least intellectually stimulating. I love teaching, love kids, love the idea of helping them make their way in the world. I've worked with kids for years and years. I love being part of their lives.

After a while of that, I thought I'd much rather be a permanent teacher with my own classroom and in charge of my own teaching. So I got my teaching certificate. For two school years now, I have tried to find a teaching job to no avail. There just aren't that many openings for secondary English teachers here. If I were in special ed, science/math I might be having better luck. But I'm not going there.

For the last several months, I've applied for other kinds of job as well, mostly writing jobs for which I at least have the necessary skills. Again, to no avail.

I realize there's a recession on, so I am not so much dejected at not getting a job. Sometimes I am, but mostly, lately, I am of the opinion that the universe is telling me that I am not here for that kind of work. Sigh.

Okay, universe, you win. I accept the closed doors as verification that I am here for other work. Whatever that might be. And thank goodness, someone else in our household has steady, secure, income-producing work so we can remain housed, fed, and clothed.

Just for fun, here are a few of the ways the universe has been communicating with me, aside from the lack of job offers:

1. a sudden increase in available freelance jobs coming my way, which indicates to me that working at home is where I still need to be.

2. a massive creative surge with numerous new book ideas, writing events, opportunities, etc. that indicates to me my writing is the best way I have to help kids make their way in this world.

3. a blog post by a teacher detailing her horrific experiences with an administration that did not support her worthy, innovative, and effective teaching techniques and instead copped out when parents suggested the literature she was using should be banned, which reminded me that I don't do well in situations where I have to do what the authorities say even if I disagree.

4. the still small voice within reminding me that I have much to offer the world but that I will not be paid for it, indicating to me that I have the unique position of being financially supported so that I can offer my time to those in need. And indeed, the most rewarding pieces of my life are in service without pay, again indicating that my work may not be paid, but pays great dividends.

5. dozens of articles, horoscopes, quotes, and reminders that come my way through serendipity to remind me that a job would only deaden the impact of the gifts I have been given and should be embracing and using.

So, universe, I am starting to listen and pay attention, okay? I realize you have been bashing me over the head with messages, and I have been too stubborn to heed them. I realize I don't always like to hear the truth about my life. But I get it now. I'm here. I'm trying to open my heart and mind to the work I am here to do. (It seems I have to go through this about every ten years or so.)

Which is to say, I'm focusing on writing and helping out those in need wherever I can. I'm still not totally comfortable giving up the idea of getting a job. I still look at all the job boards I was on. They still have nothing for me. It's going to take time to refocus and get to work. I'm going to have to re-accept that my position in this world is one in which I am a helper, a guide. And I am called to that in whatever capacity it comes for me.

1 comment:

  1. I thank you for all the work you've given us Boise children's writers over the years! Look at all the friendships you've facilitated!! :)