Friday, April 9, 2010

Blog To The Future

So Im back to the blog, to blog to the future. Title reference! Since my last entry, I have gone through a change that actually involved deleting a number of blogs due to the place I was in when I wrote them. Now this is a miniscule aspect of the change and as a writer, I realize that the place one writes from is integral to the writing and not really a reason to eliminate the work. But one does have a right to edit one's life in a sense and once I unlocked the key to closing a chapter that needed closing, I did whatever the new chapter called for. I didn't mean to stop writing in this space all together but at least one major new development happened in the meantime. The notion of surrounding myself with creative people, especially writers, has been one that plenty have done their best to get through to me. Yet, the young and dumb punk in me always misconstrued the notion as elitist so I was too good for that. I know. Gag. But perhaps I shed an ounce of ignorance during this change and realized that writing never should have been the Plan B that I made it. The fact that the failure of Plan A would be the catalyst of the change I have undergone could very well have something to do with that.

As for the change itself, you could say that the final bubble of my twenties has finally burst. Gone is the pipe dream of making a difference as a teacher and established is the very directive the King himself hung around his neck: TCB. That's right, Taking Care of Business. Work is work. The dream is the dream. Whether or not they get to occupy the same space is not my focus anymore. Does this not mean I don't want to teach writing while writing myself any longer? No. But I am certainly not holding out for it. I can't afford to. This fella needs to get moving big time. So, I started to see that notion of surrounding myself with like-minded folk not as elitist but as absolutely vital to my plan of taking my talent to the next level. I applied to Fairleigh Dickinson's MFA program in Creative Writing. Not only was I accepted but I was given the Director's Award for Fiction, a distinction and monetary reward reserved for one writer showing significant promise in fiction writing. That's that.

What of employment? It turns out that the whole of my teaching experience in ALL schools I have taught in boils down to one immutable fact. My conscience is my undoing. I have known this since the time in 7th grade when all the boys snuck into the school kitchen, stole cans of soda and were able to return to the open to enjoy their drinks while yours truly immediately hid in a bathroom, gulped half the can with shaky mitts and threw out the rest. Now, saying that my conscience is my undoing may make me sound high and mighty. However, the flipside is that a certain school of thought would have me believe that I am flawed, somehow inept or disabled in my inability to eat it and grin. But it is this understanding of the "real world" that I have been told I lack that allows me to see how insidious that which thwarts us all remains and shall always be. There are no heroes and villains. It is what it is. And what it is can be everything to everyone. It will not compromise but you and I will. An old friend showed me the model of establishing the career and family while working at what you love remained separate. Whether or not that included eventual success, however measured, in the work that you love was a separate matter. Still, I had to have it all. In those twenties I mentioned, that bubble I dwelled in allowed me to judge a simple 8 hour a day, 40 hour a week paycheck and place on a pedestal the notion of holding out for the so-called "dream job" where I could make a difference for a living. Well, here's the deal. Like I said, that bubble is burst and I remain a caring person who strives to make a difference in the lives of those he loves and those who gift him with friendship and kindess. And THAT guy needs to start making a living. THAT guy doesn't need to find himself in helpless scenarios, feeling utterly futile while events, big and small, fly in the face of what he cant help but call his conscience, his principles, his standards, etc. THAT guy has learned compromise to the point where it is no longer compromise but a deliberate suppression of perception. THAT guy has finally learned to take care of himself. THAT guy has finally learned to take care of business. Thanks, King.