I finally did it. After almost six years — yes, six years — I took the opportunity to express my ideas to the world. I started a blog. My mom would be so proud. Okay, not really, but what may seem like such an easy decision to many has been a mountain to me. Actually, make that more like Mt. Everest. My life is a moment-by-moment mountain where self-doubt towers over me and tells me “there’s no way you can.”
Several post-graduate ventures on my part testify to my constant refusal to refuse to give up. I, the “major in what I love” not what is practical, graduated with a B.A. in English and almost as soon as my diploma was in my hand, had the startling, pull-into-reality question of “now what am I going to do with this degree” ground me into dust. Which direction would the wind take me? Notice, the wind would do something, not I. With a (minimal, kinda, sorta) interest in the legal field I would test the waters with a position as a legal secretary. However, I had no idea exactly how hot the water would be.
I struggled with my perfectionism and learning to put my soft heart aside. I struggled while trying to emulate the direct, no-holds-bar, extremely confident lawyer I had to impress with my skills. Who knew that although I felt that I floundered in this position, he would see skill? It worked, for awhile, but my crying when I felt I didn’t master the attempt at making my working-self a 180 degree of what I had grown up to be the past twenty-three years was constantly in the way. I thought – more like fraught – that there was no way for me to succeed in this field, so it was time to move forward.
After gaining employment at the law office, there was always this nagging in my idealistic heart that I wasn’t effectively using my degree and I should pursue, instead, the education of children in all things English. I had my bachelor’s already, so I set forth and completed a one year post-bacclaureate certification program at a local, albeit expensive, university. As you read this, you may think that I was surely undertaking productiveness versus hesitancy. On the contrary, most of my bachelor’s program was a swing between several majors: journalism, psychology, criminal justice, and finally English – education was far from my ambitions. All of my college hours were also “accomplished” at three separate colleges nonetheless. I had made my decision over several months of weighing pros and cons of pursuing education and then jumped off the cliff.
Four, tumultuous years later, I’ve taught English to 10th graders, 9th graders, and will possibly do so for 8th graders this coming fall (I’m still tipping the scales back and forth as expected). After finding out in March that I would be non-renewed due to my inept classroom management skills, I thought this is the end. I even applied to the law office I had worked at prior to teaching, hoping that I had done enough of a good job to be reconsidered. I joked with interviewers about my flightiness with careers, saying that I should have worked in high school education before embarking on any legal career. As it pans out, no such luck winning any lawyers over with this phrase. I could write lesson plans out the wazoo, implement them to some degree, but expect me to control other people who have very independent minds of their own and I lose.
Right now my indecision is based on uncertainty. My husband, who has recently graduated from an working-adult based program pursues a teaching position in the worst possible time — legislatively speaking. In order to make himself more marketable he has stated he would coach and decline the first year stipend. We also attempt to sell our house and downsize like millions of other families, raise an independent and stubborn four year old and a “terrible two’ year old, and expect our third child in November.
The question floating in my head since December 2005 has never ceased to tick across my brain. Another question that follows it is “why haven’t you written anything worthwhile since graduating with your beloved English B.A.” I feel like a stock broker monitering my constant influx of self-depreciation.
However, now I’ve done my research by subscribing to Allena Tapia’s articles on Freelance Writing at About.com, signed up with an account I’ve had for six months at Freelancer.com where I’ve bid, but fear has kept me from responding with samples. I decided I would begin creating samples by starting a blog to hopefully remedy this fear.
I did it. I created a blog. The questions that come now are: “will I keep up with it? What if no one cares? Will I humiliate myself and have nothing to add to the billions of blogs already out there? What if I fail at something once again?”
Today I took a step forward toward my writing future. I really hope it sticks.