It’s the end of another long, three day stretch. Mondays are ridiculous, with work, teaching, then band. Tuesdays are pretty long, as I stay late at work to make up for leaving early to teach on Mondays and Wednesdays. Wednesdays, I work, teach, then go off to Starbucks to try and work on my book with Michael. Wednesday evening, before bed, I’m wiped out. I was so tired this evening, that I almost didn’t come out to the garage to put up this blog post.
Today, I’ve been thinking a bit more about what I want to do, and what I’m doing. On Facebook, someone had linked a video I’d seen before, in which a man is talking to students. He asks them, if money was no object, what would they be doing? The point of the video is that whatever our answer to that question is, that’s what we should be doing. It’s better to have a short life full of love and peaceful satisfaction, than a long one in which you are continually doing things you do not enjoy, just so that you can keep on living, doing those things that do not satisfy you. I agreed with that sentiment the first time, and I agreed again today.
So what am I doing? Am I satisfied? Am I doing what I’m supposed to?
When I’m wrestling with my muse, trying to get the words out, feeling the strain of the work that’s involved in writing, I have some doubts. I wonder if I’m wasting my time, scribbling down words that no one will read. I wonder if I am so arrogant as to think that people should spend their time reading my stories, listening to my voice.
These days, I’m pushing through the doubts. I know that whatever it is I do, there will be times when it feels like work. Whatever my vocation, there will be moments where I wonder if I’m doing the right thing, or doubt my ability.
Today was a tough day. I got to the kids’ school and set up for Computer Club. When I was teaching, I made some mistakes. I’m having a hard time keeping the kids interested, and I hate having to repeat myself so much. I put concepts out to them that seem like they should be simple to them at this point, but half of them seem more interested in surfing the web and playing games. I know that I’m doing a good thing, and that in the long run, some of these kids are getting some good exposure to programming that might even serve them later in life. I’ll keep teaching and doing my best, but I know that I’m not supposed to be a teacher. At this point in my life, it’s something I can do twice a week, voluntarily. If it was my full time job, I’d hate it.
On the heels of the rough computer club, I went to go write. I’d made it to the other side of the scene I’d struggled with for so long, but I still didn’t know what I was going to say in the next part. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to figure it out. I wasn’t sure I had the strength to make decisions for the story. I’d been making decisions all day, and I was feeling mentally tired.
Michael and I visited for a little bit. He told me about some of the stresses he’s feeling at home, and how he’s struggling to keep his dream of being a writer alive. While it saddened me to hear about his struggles, I welcomed the distraction, keeping me from having to face my keyboard and the hungry, blinking cursor.
Then it was time to write, and I wrote. I strained to find a place to start at first, but then I had an idea, and I pursued it. Once we got going, time flew, and the words formed easily. Michael and I had written in silence for about an hour and a half, each adding more than a thousand words to our books. It felt good. It felt like victory.
I’m not supposed to be a teacher, but I think I’m supposed to be a writer. Maybe I’ll never have readers. Maybe I’ll never make a living doing this thing that I love. It doesn’t matter. As long as I keep doing what I love, I won’t find myself at the end of my life full of regrets, wishing that I’d tried something else.