Thursday, June 10, 2010

4: Last Month

Part four of a series.

You’re scared to tell people you’re leaving your job. But when it comes time to sign contracts, you ask for a conference with the principal. You tell him. He’s surprised—he had no idea you wrote. He says you can have your old job back any time. You smile sadly.

You’re not coming back. You’ve come to understand that you can be a teacher and a writer at the same time, but you can’t be good at both at the same time.

You’ve made your choice.

When you tell your friend, the only one left of the original half-dozen who started working when you did, you cry more than she does.

News trickles slowly through the school. You hear “Really?” more than you can count.

The kids are the most surprised. It’s like when they find out you’re married, or see you at the grocery store. They have a hard time seeing you as a real person who wants anything or exists in any capacity beyond a teacher. They don’t think you can be anything but their teacher.

You worry they’re right.

Some of the teachers assume you’re leaving because you’re pregnant. You accept this; you’ve always known you were working in a place where a woman giving birth was often consider the highlight—the only high point—of her life.

When people say you’re a writer, you’re still a little shocked to hear the word in connection with your name.

The rumors run rampant. A billion-dollar deal, a movie deal, you’re going to Hollywood. You’re going to spend the rest of your life waking up at noon and eating ice cream in a mansion. You smile—they have no idea how hard this new life will be. They have no idea how scared you are.

You’re going to be a writer.

28 comments:

Missed Periods said...

Wow- that's very exciting. Especially that you will be waking up at noon and eating ice cream in a mansion.

But, seriously, congratulations.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

LOL. I love how realistic you still are. Writing is a dream job. But it's still a job. It's still work. And loving it won't change the fact that it's hard. But you're great at it and I have no doubt you'll find even more success than you already have! :)

Jade said...

You're totally inspiring me! "There is hope," she shouts.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

AWW! That's so exciting - and nerve wracking. Congrats a billion times!

Alexa said...

Yay! Congratulations and good luck in your new job :)

Liza said...

Beth,
I've just read all four posts in this series. I admire you so much for learning yourself and chasing after the most important thing. It takes strength and conviction to survive as a writer, and you have both. Good for you.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats on taking the plunge to do the one job you love, rather than two.

Christina Farley said...

So so cool! But yeah, it's hard. I kind of know what you're feeling like right now, but in different ways.

Hugs!

Melissa said...

Writing is hard, it's work. Thank you for the healthy dose of realism mixed with a liberal amount of inspiration. It's exactly what I needed this week.

Kristi Helvig said...

I've loved reading your journey--thanks! Also, you are giving birth right now--it's just a different kind! :)

lotusgirl said...

It's exciting and scary to follow your dream. I'm so proud of you for making it happen, and I feel lucky that I've been here through the last couple years of it.

Elana Johnson said...

I love this post because it reeks of honesty and fear and joy and happiness and YOU.

<3

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Wow, I loved this post. Inspiration, fear, apprehension and hope.:)

Jodi Meadows said...

My smile is thiiiiiiiiiis big. :D

(wordver: frywar)

Karen Lange said...

If I bring some brownies to go with the ice cream, can I come and visit you at your mansion? :) Yay! You're a writer. You'll do just fine.

Demon Hunter said...

Congratulations. :-D I know the students will miss you. Cannot wait to read your book! Yay.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

It's hard to say good-bye to what you've known and reach across the universe, but, oh, what an adventure you're embarking upon. I have absolutely loved and been so moved by this series of posts. Thanks for letting us share this.
(and, excuse me? the principal didn't even know you write? sigh)

Melissa said...

I know how hard it must have been to leave teaching - you obviously cared a great deal for your students. But I'm glad you're able to write full-time now. That is a dream come true!

Carolyn V. said...

I have goosebumps Beth. This is excellent! =) I can't wait to read more!

Trisha Pearson said...

Wow - it's so exciting. You ARE a writer!

L Parker said...

Your friend was trying to show how happy she was and still is for you. I cried like a baby later and I'll probably cry on Friday. You are awesome and will do great, but you will be deeply missed.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

u ARE a writer girl and i love yah! :)

One Womans Thoughts said...

Congratulations! Put on your adventure gear . . . go bravely into the place of hope and aspirations. As in "The Wizard of Oz", what you're hoping to achieve is already inside you.
Hugs and best wishes. I'll be following your post and hope you have endless wonderful experiences to share.

Corey Schwartz said...

Wow, I knew it was your dream to be able to write full time, but didn't realize you were at that point already! HURRAY! (SF trilogies must be worth a lot more than PBs! :)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

holy crap - I wondered if you were going to take the plunge! WOW! Congratulations on your leap of faith!

Theresa Milstein said...

Yay! Like Jade, I'm inspired too.

I figure if/when I get an agent/first book deal, it's going to be meager. I'll still toil away at my job. But I hope to get to the place you are now.

prashant said...

Congratulations and good luck in your new job :)
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