the circular runner

The Commitment: A Late-Bloomer’s Manifesto & Promise

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Take heart, we are many...

Last week, I quit working for the college I’ve been writing about these past few months. I’m not sure how the idea to quit first came to me. In the past when I’ve quit a job, I could usually name the reasons that led me to that decision. And those reasons were usually limited to the following two: I had a better offer or I was moving. Regarding this job, I can’t really name any specific reasons, or maybe, it’s just that there are too many to count. I don’t have a better paying job. In fact, until I get a second job (which I will need to do) my new income level is half what I used to make. But today is Sunday, and I had wonderful afternoon with my wife, and all’s well with the world. Tomorrow, I will get up and write, and then I’ll walk to work–a twenty minute walk compared to an hour and twenty minute car ride. (Commute is obviously one reason why I quit.)

But quitting anything, because it represents change, is not easy for me. It actually can be quite painful. And I think as I get older, I feel that pain more acutely because I am feeling the need to put down roots, to build community professionally, to feel like I am on a path. In one sense, my pain comes out of comparison. I look around and see other people who are working steadily at something, and then I think, why not me? It’s like the thirty-something who sees all his friends getting married while he is unable to even get a date. I don’t worry. I was that thirty-something until I met my wife. Career will follow. And I am writing, which is a professional commitment–even though I don’t get paid for it. I didn’t think much about that until I spoke with a friend yesterday. He made me see that commitment. He also made me see that I am committed to my wife and to building our lives together. So, I guess I can’t say I’m commitment-disabled.

So why did I leave my job? I left my job because though I see myself writing and teaching at the college level, this college did not value learning, my boss was impossible, AND I barely had time to write. (Did I mention my horrible commute?) I left because I want to make a new commitment, not because I am fearful of making one. And this is it: it’s July 18 and by the end of the year, I will have a manuscript done. It will be a collection of short stories and a novella. I don’t know if it’ll sell, but if it gets me an agent, it’ll be a good first step. After that, a simplified version of the crazy novel I’ve been writing on and off since 2003 will follow. That’s the plan. From time to time, among my other musings, I will send out the occasional progress report. So keep in touch.

PS. if any of you late-bloomers are out there, send word. I’d love to hear about your goals, too.

  1. late bloomers are hard working people,very resilient,focus,organized in their thinkink, and keep doing your things. and you will reap wonderful results

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