Photo: Ursa Minor’s class visited the Boston Children’s Museum today, where they have a beautiful real Japanese house gifted to the city of Boston by Kyoto, Japan (they are sister cities). This is my second time visiting the exhibit, which really is quite a marvel. In a separate classroom, the students were able to create suminagashi paintings. Minor really enjoyed the process. I’d love to get my hands on some of the ink so we can do it at home!
On Monday afternoon, I got an email from my freelance boss. “Update” is all it said. Simple enough. Inside was non-awesome news: my gig has dried up. He decided to be bought out. I really don’t blame him.
I’m so grateful that mine isn’t our main income. The money I made from freelancing was the money for kiddo entertainment: the guitar lessons, the summer camps, the trips to places and stuff, etc. I admit that it was my yarn money and my “I’m going to go get Indian food and not feel bad about it” money. It’s income we need, and now it’s gone and that really sucks.
I’m not totally without contribution: I still have classes that I teach here in town (though no one signed up for my last one) and I’m teaching 3 weeks of summer camp with an option for a 4th. The void, though, is still there. Currently, it’s filled with questions and possibilities. That’s wonderful and horrible at the same time.
I wish I could say that I’ve seized every waking moment since that bad news and this moment writing fiction with conviction and ferocity. This is my best chance at actually writing for me and getting somewhere. Between self-publishing, submitting short stories, and querying larger projects, surely I can eek out something. Even if I can’t replace all of that income, I might be able to get some of it back if I simply applied myself. Right? Right. Except:
Monday was a snow day. Tuesday I did Rector Search stuff all day. Today was a field trip that was all day. Tomorrow is a half day for school. Friday, my writing group meets midday.
In other words: fuck. I want to scream and throw things.
Next week is another week. I’ve got time now and I have discipline. I think part of me is really worried that all of this hard work and time I’ve put into this craft over the past few years simply won’t be enough. Somehow, I won’t float.
I must float, y’all. I must.
I am usually delighted by these moments of endless possibilities. I would not describe myself as a pure optimist. I think my writer’s brain and my whimsical heart simply loves the unknowing and the many, many things that could happen. I think that in this case, I’m feeling deep doubt because I know how much more I’m going to have to give if I want to rise to a successful place. I have a voice, I have skills, I know the way I have to go… do I have the stamina to endure the hike? Do I have time? Patience?
I don’t know. I have to find out. I want to tell myself that I’m not afraid.
I will say that I have used this as an opportunity to tune back into mothering and the boys. It was nice to be out with Minor today and not be thinking about a deadline. I drove Minor to the museum instead of taking the bus (because why take the bus full of screaming kids when you don’t have to?). When the program was over, instead of going into the cafeteria, I said goodbye to the teacher and took Minor out for sushi. We’d just been in a real Japanese house! How could I settle for a ham sammich?
Major has a performance in tomorrow’s assembly, so I get to be there tomorrow without too much guilt, too. I feel like this is a call to reexamine and rearrange. I need to make room for weeks when I have to be a mom. I need to be more disciplined and productive than ever during the times when it’s just me and my work. The only person who is going to make my hopes and dreams happen is me. The best way to do this while also raising two wonderful boys is to breathe and forgive and plan and stay focused. I keep writing that I’m “here for the work.” Well, the work changed on me. I’m still here for it anyway. I just means that I’ve got to change, too.
Quiet Thoughts? Lordy, I’m just glad I got these thoughts out. I’m sure something will come between now and then. So, I’ll see you Friday with something to say.
In the meantime, enjoy some art. Go out and make some of your own before the week is out. I’m going to pick up my knitting needles and calm down.