This past year has been one of many changes, big changes--endings and beginnings of relationships, deepening of some, letting go of others. It's been an intense, fun, amazing and life-changing year. And I think it's just now starting to settle in for me, I'm finally feeling the gravity and the significance of these changes, now that I've stopped working at my full-time job and have time to sit, reflect, write and just be.
I'm sitting here writing this in a cafe, because my house is just too messy to write in and not get distracted right now, and I just finished working on one of my short stories--which I'm planning to submit to VONA on Tuesday for Junot Diaz and / or ZZ Packer's workshops--for about an hour. That may not seem like a long time to you but that is a long frickin' time to write for me. I haven't spent that much time working on a piece in the middle of the day, on a weekday, in YEARS.
And you know what? It feels good. Damn good. And all the preparation for my transition out of CFJ, all the planning and calculating how much consulting work I'd have to line up to make as much money as I was making before on less hours of work (not as much work as I thought I'd have to do, actually), all the worrying about how to deal with my health insurance and paying taxes quarterly, after all that, I'm finally realizing that what it all comes down to is having the TIME to do what I want to do, and not be beholden to numerous other people's needs and agendas, anxieties and problems.
I am feeling very blessed right now, as there are lots of people out there who need work and can't find it, and here I am choosing to work less and do something as silly and pointless as creative writing so that I can be happy. Believe me, I've set myself up pretty well (so far) work-wise. I'm not dumb and I'm not the kind of person that is happy not knowing where my next paycheck is, so I've done lots of planning. But I still feel fortunate that the stars have aligned and that there are enough people out there who have been supportive (including, ironically, my old job!) and helpful that I can do this and feel totally good about it.
Yesterday was my first day off from work, so today, then, is the second day of the rest of my life. And so far, I'm liking it.