I refuse to accept that I can’t take two classes and write a blog without killing myself in the process.
The quote above is from a recent article I posted. Regular readers know I’ve been struggling with time management and generally feeling overwhelmed. I’ve been trying to balance college classes, blog writing, some volunteer work I do at church, and most recently I’ve added to the list career/freelance writing. It wasn’t working out. I was failing on all fronts. My grades at school were plummeting, I had to cut back on the number of blog posts I do each week, and I reduced the number of hours I’ve been volunteering. None of that mattered. Despite making changes to all the above, everything was going sour. I needed relief.
Within the past week I had an appointment with my pdoc and my therapist and talked extensively about the matter. At both appointments I discussed the same subject and both appointments we came to the same conclusion. On Wednesday I withdrew from school. It was a difficult decision to make.
My goal has been to get a Masters of Divinity degree so I could be a chaplain at a hospital or hospice. Typically, that would entail six or more years of school if you are going full time. I have been going part time…really part time. And by part time I mean only one or two classes a semester part time. Being fifty years old means I’d be lucky to graduate by my late sixties.
Wasn’t being a chaplain a dream of mine? Absolutely. But, sometimes you have to change or modify your dreams. Sometimes you want to change your dreams. I had to and wanted to at the same time. First, I had to. Given the amount of time it was going to take, it was somewhat unreasonable. Some of you may be thinking, “Who cares how long it takes and how old you’ll be? If that’s your dream, you should continue.” True, but I wanted to change my dream as well. If there’s one thing this blog has taught me it’s that I have a passion for writing. More passion than I had for being a chaplain. More passion than all the other dreams I’ve had in my life. This is one passion I’ve had for as long as I can remember, but never felt I was good enough. I realize now that isn’t necessarily true. Hell, even if I never sell another short story, or a novel, or a magazine article. Even if I can’t even give any of that away – I’ll always have this blog. And that’s my new job.
As my therapist pointed out a couple of weeks ago, writing brings out the best in me. He pointed out that when I’ve taken semesters off in the past, I made blogging my job. I structured my time and got the job done and felt a great amount of satisfaction doing so. Since I can’t work in the “real world,” this job is perfect for me and provides me the structure I need.
I still don’t plan to post more than three times a week. That number works for me. Hell, I don’t know how I’m going to structure my time. Maybe post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday? We’ll see. Posting three times a week allows me the freedom for more creative writing and that’s very important to me.
On Wednesday, when I went to discuss this with my school advisor, I was trembling. It was such a huge decision to make, but the minute I made the final decision, and filled out the paperwork, it was like a refreshing wave washing over me. That wave was Relief.
So, now I have started on a new path and I feel no fear or hesitation. I’m buckled in and ready to enjoy the ride. I hope you’ll come along.