>OK, so I've been sitting around thinking about things and pondering why on earth I feel the need to squander what is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a sabbatical for a year by wringing my hands constantly and worrying about what it turns into. I know it's due to guilt that I feel about it. Guilt that I am living off the good will of another person, and worse, guilt that I have this amazing chance to take time off and write that few others do. Guilt is one of those things that is always tripping me up. The other one is naked ambition. It's never enough for me to just do something. I feel compelled to do it best, to have some sort of tangible success in whatever I undertake. If it doesn't work out, then I feel like I wasted my time. Combine that with guilt, and oy vey.
While sitting around pondering this, looking for interesting jobs that I'll never get for a variety of reasons, and not getting dressed like I should to go over to Bugaboo, I realized how far I strayed from my original goals for my time off. When I quit my job in October, burned out at the ripe old age of 30 from my near decade-long attempt to improve the early childhood care and education system for low income kids, I planned to write a book about fun and weird things to do in New York City and also maybe some sort of funny memoir about growing up. What I did was get distracted. I started trying to write all sorts of little articles for freelancing so that I could earn at least a little bit of money and not feel guilty about leading a privileged life. To be fair, I also thought that having my name out there at least a little bit would help with selling a book, so it makes at least some sense. That led to me realizing that I needed more writing clips, so I got a ridiculous writing internship, which has led to me having many articles published, but not necessarily ones that I would want to share with people because I found the topics embarrassing. The whole time, I've been worrying about what next?
This is all stupid. Granted, my book about fun and weird places to visit in New York City has been rejected left and right. On the other hand, I did generate some very good interest at two publishers and came sort of close to a contract at one of them. I should be proud of that. In the time I've been writing, my skills have improved immensely. I even had an epiphany about dialogue, which has made a huge difference in how I approach material I already wrote for the memoir. I submitted part of a chapter to the Memoirists Collective on MySpace, and people liked it. I also received some very useful feedback on how to improve it.
The point is, I need to get back to my original plan. I should finish writing the damn books. If a nice little idea for a freelance article comes up while I work on my goals, cool. But all the hustling and fretting and crying and stressing is not getting me any closer to feeling like I accomplished something, which is important to my sanity and emotional well-being. Pity party over. (For now, anyway…)