Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Kafka and me.
Evil Iago nefariously warned Othello to beware the green-eyed monster. This tragic flaw, of course, leads many folks to depression and doom, for jealousy sweeps us off the path of productivity, from the sense of satiety, to the world of why. Why me? Why not me? Why someone else?
Well, the green-eyed monster tapped on my shoulder and has been breathing hotly down my neck for the past 12 hours. It appeared out of nowhere when a friend of mine, a published author, informed me that she would most likely be resigning from a job that pays the bills for a career that fills the soul: full-time independent writer.
Welcome aboard, jealousy. Welcome board, indeed.
To write full-time again would satisfy my needs greatly, for I remain all-too-familiar with the subconscious pressure of mentally sorting and stacking ideas that consistently flow through my mind--but they are ideas that have not been given the respect or opportunity to see life. So when she broke the news, I had to manually use my hand to close my agape mouth. I apologized to her because my conflicted feelings clouded my happiness for her. I stammered through most of the conversation. Why not me?
This is not to say that I don't love my own job, for I do. Teaching affords me the chance to share my philology with budding writers, eager learners, lovers of linguistics and turns-of-phrase. However, it has been a long road, and to improve as an educator, I need to continue growing as a writer. Thus, hearing of my friend's decision made me rather reflective, rather envious of someone who will soon be able to write for eight hours a day, not 30 minutes a week.
It seems that I spend so much time thinking about what is going on around me, and that I need to somehow share it, tell it. The handsome elementary-school teacher who died today of leukemia, only eight weeks after I spoke with him in a class. The elderly one-armed man grocery shopping today, so intent on pushing a filled cart to his rusted Toyota and waiting Huskie. The girl who broke down tonight at my kitchen table, weeping because anxiety trumped arithmetic homework. The woman who finally decided to go against the tide of common sense and follow her dreams...
Yes, yes. I am jealous. Yes, it is not a healthy habit. But somehow, I will find a way. For, as Kafka says, "Writing is a sweet, wonderful reward..." And I deserve the reward. I do; truly, I do.