So, I’ve been slacking on writing this blog for about a month. It’s been an interesting and enlightening month. After our trip to Punta Cana, both of us have been doing a lot of introspection and discussion as to what we want to do and where we want to be. Things at work have become more poisonous (if possible). I’ve discovered things about people that I would have been happier not knowing. Although, if I didn’t know, I’d probably get caught in the crossfire. Along with the national issues within higher education, the local poison has driven me away from academia. Hubby is looking for another job somewhere closer to northern California where both of our families live. However, we will go wherever he finds a job that he wants.
Along those lines, I’ve been reading a lot about vocations, jobs, living your best life and all that. When I started writing I had the idea that I would pivot to writing full time and then eventually create a non-profit for teaching literacy to adults. I still want to do something like that. But, now I’m thinking I’ll start by volunteering for a literacy program first (baby steps, ya know). But, then I read about just going for it. Fear be damned. It’s already scary thinking about going with only one salary. But, we’ve done it before when I first started teaching. Lots of pivots in this journey.
Pivots are what it’s all about. I just finished reading “The Art of Work” by Jeff Goins (I don’t know him and I’m not paid by him or his publishing company, I just read his book). He uses the term pivot (from basketball), and I like it. It describes perfectly what you do when you are or feel you are, pinned in one place. You can always pivot and face a different direction which opens up different options for you.
People will tell me I’m crazy to give up a tenured position. Who in their right mind gives up a job you can’t get fired from? Only lunatics, right? Well, no. I now understand what my father meant when he asked me if I really wanted to have a tenured job. He was worried. I laughed. I could quit any time, I told him. Tenure worked totally in my favor. What he was worried about is what I realized in the last year or so. Tenure is a two-way trap. Yes, I can leave, but that means giving up a guaranteed job. THAT is a very scary proposition. But staying means playing by rules that are bent, broken, and completely manipulated by those who would control others. Tenure means feeling trapped and thus becoming willing or resigned to, sucking up all kinds of abuse and futile gestures. That becomes not only demoralizing, but soul-killing.
So, unable to keep moving forward in the current direction, I will pivot. It’s scary, fun, exciting, unknown. Let’s do this!