Today's post is late. Today's post was supposed to be yesterday's post. Yesterday's post was supposed to be about the year I had in 2009, about all the wonderful things I achieved and the ways in which I did them and what I learned from the doing.
I couldn't write that post yesterday.
I couldn't write that post today.
Instead, let me tell you about what I learned today.
I'm tired, you see. Bone-deep weary, exhausted by life. I'm at the end of a six-year stint at university, and I'm longing to crawl into a hole and hibernate until I feel like a normal human being again. Only I can't, because come January 25, I will officially be a teacher.
I'm teaching at school I've never been to before (except the front office for the interview), teaching books I've never read before, to people I've never met before, with colleagues I don't know at present from a bar of human-shaped soap.
I am, quite frankly, terrified.
I'm stressed and tired and terrified.
And I haven't been writing.
Oh sure, I picked up a pen a couple of times in December and - incredibly - hand wrote a bunch of stuff, but I'm not writing; I'm just... fiddling.
And a little, tiny, persistent part of me is wondering why I want to write. If I want to write. Because, donchano, this writing business is a hard thing, and it's stressful, and this voice insists that the only reason I want to write is for the supplementary income and hey buddy, if you're looking for income, there are easier ways to do it.
In short, I feel like giving up. I can't be bothered with anything much at the moment, let alone trying to ford a path across the raging torrent of the publishing industry.
I feel different, the days I write. It does something to me, deep inside, that I can't explain. It makes me a better, happier person.
I need to write.
I don't want to write; I need to write.
Here's a theory: We give up because we're scared to fail. If we give up now, on our own terms, then we're the ones making the decision. We're the ones in control. It's us, all us - and so it isn't failure.
I'm scared about the new job. I'm scared about how I'll cope with it all - the workload, the culture, the staff. I'm scared mostly because it's all an unknown. If I knew what the workload would be, I could say confidently whether I would cope or not. I could make Plans. I could see where my free time might lie and know how much I could reasonably attempt to fit it.
I know nothing, except the limited experience I had on prac.
What if I commit to wanting to be a writer, and the necessary day job gets in the way, and there just isn't time? Time that I can make without dying of stress, that is, because technically, there is always time.
What if I decide this is what I want to do - and I can't?
What if I try - and fail?
So maybe, just maybe, this isn't me hating writing. Maybe this isn't about how tired I am, or how overwhelmed I feel. Maybe this is about me being afraid of commitment, not to a person, but to a goal.
I don't need goals I can't keep; I don't need more reasons to beat myself up.
BUT making no goals isn't the answer. Making Really Simple Easy Goals (TM) isn't the answer either. We're not in life to cruise; at least, I'm not. I'm here to become a better person, to learn more about myself and the world.
Maybe, just maybe, this is about me being scared to try, in case I fail.
And that, dear Readers, doesn't cut it.
So next week, I'll be back with my goals for 2010. I'm going to take some time to really think about them, to make sure that I achieve a balance between pushing myself forward and stretching myself to breaking point. And I'm going to commit.
Because, in the words of Natalie Whipple, there's no Game Over unless you put down the controller.