Casting Out

Ok. I am officially taking a chill pill.

I freaked out for a few days and now realize why: It is incredibly hard to live in the present while simultaneously looking for jobs, grants, fellowships, and residencies that all pertain to the future.

Applying for such things requires writing highly persuasive essays as to why I ought to be able to live/teach/write at said University/State College/Residency/Foundation. The power of those persuasive essays started to work its fearful magic on me. Before I knew it, I couldn’t stand the thought of staying here and felt instantly guilty for not being able to appreciate the amazing opportunities I have been given here.

Furthermore, the notion of “meeting someone” seems inherently tied to moving, hence the downward spiral.

Recently, I have applied for 1 residency, 3 fellowships, and a teaching job. I have applications for 3 more teaching positions on my desk, just waiting for the finishing touches. I’m slated to apply for 2 more residencies over the next few weeks, in addition to any more teaching jobs I can find.

Ironic, since I taught for 5 years already and learned that just because I am good at it, I do not have to do it. In other words, I taught myself sick and vowed never to cross that line again. Ironic, still, that all through grad school I told myself I wouldn’t teach because I couldn’t fathom how teaching a full course load at the undergraduate level and writing on a regular basis were synonymous.

The fact remains that I want to earn enough money to have more freedom—freedom to travel, freedom to afford the little things like high speed Internet or better medical treatment if I need it. That’s not happening for me at $8/hour. Am I a fool to start casting away this privacy and solitude, this simple life—for a faster, more expensive, more stimulating one?

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