Sunday, August 7, 2011

Living Will

I'm scared of growing up.

Of moving forward.
Of responsibility.
Of the unknown.
Of not having control.
Of a lot of things.

I start my last semester of college on Tuesday. This is it. I'll be done with school soon. This is my semester of student teaching where essentially I work 40 hours a week at a local high school teaching English and don't get paid squat for it.

What if I hate it?
What if my teachers think I'm an idiot?
What if the kids revolt against me?
What I wake up every morning and dread going to school?
What if I just spent thousands of dollars on a degree in English Education and I never use it ever again?

I'm not sure I want to be a teacher anymore. I spent one year in Cambodia teaching English. I connected with students. I enjoyed our interactions. And upon returning to college, that was the only thing that made sense to do. But what if I've changed my mind?

I'm not sure that I have. I don't know for sure that I never want to teach. I think what I'm really afraid of is sameness. Of waking up day after day doing the exact same thing, seeing the exact same people, going home, and doing it all over again. In being a student there is some flexibility, but in a job (particularly in teaching) you are expected to be there from 8-3 everyday and meeting a girlfriend for lunch or spending a day soaking up a good book in the sun is not an option. I don't want to be contained. I don't want to be mundane. I don't want to settle. I don't want to work for the next forty years just to get out of debt and then once I'm out of debt be so miserable, I'm not sure what to live for anyway.

I wrote a living will when I was 8 years-old. I had a whole box of diaries, last words, and instructions in the event that I suddenly died. I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't aware that life is short and death is inevitable. I wouldn't recommend this to 8 year-olds or 28 year-olds, but I think it's taught me to be aware of how I spend my days and not want to waste any.

I want to get paid to write.
I want to get paid to read.
I want to get paid to sing.
I want to get paid to play piano.
I want to get paid to color.
I want to get paid to bake.
I want to get paid (no, really paid) to teach Zumba.
I want to get paid to garden.
I want to get paid to listen to people.
I want to get paid to paint.

I'm afraid that the risk of doing the things I really want to do will overwhelm me and I'll never even try. I meet a lot of starving artists and poor writers. Who really "makes it big"? Or even makes it "medium"? I'd be satisfied with "medium". It just seems like the things I really want to do require being "discovered" somehow, attending Juliard, owning acres of land, or having money to start a business.

Basically, I want to have a fulfilling life. One where I feel useful. Used up. Happy. Full. Clear.

But the reality of making a steady income, having insurance, and surviving hits me hard and I tend to stop dreaming.

I've never met a 70 year-old person who said that life really drug on.


They all say, "Life went so fast. It feels like just yesterday we were graduating."


Emily Star said...

Oh my gooodness Heather, let's talk. :) I liked this blog so much. Em

Emily Star said...

Oh my gooodness Heather, let's talk. :) I liked this blog so much. Em