This and Then That and Then This

I lived in Seattle when I was in my mid-twenties, but my stay in that strange, glorious land was somewhat short. I lasted for three years before the clouds grew too heavy above my head, and I could no longer hold them. They kept me in bed on weekend mornings, threatening to leak into the spaces between door frames and windowsills. It was a bit dreary, you could say, at least to me.

The past few months in Maryland have been so similar. Many days of rain, wind, and clouds. Even on warm days, there is a crispness to the air as if spring is constantly in approach, hovering like an aircraft that is never cleared for landing.

This makes for a strange end to the school year. It’s May 8th, and I woke up to a 30-something degree morning and the heat clicking on. Then, I went and wrapped up the only class I am currently teaching for the summer. But instead of making beach plans, I want to hide under the covers and read.

I am taking a writing workshop online right now, which will keep me busy for the next couple of weeks and steer me in the right direction. When one is about to have more time on her hands, putting that time into creative expression can keep idle hands and an idle mind busy. And in my case, it can hopefully boost your career. My current goal is to put together a portfolio of essays so that I have a solid leg to stand on when asking or applying to teach advanced writing courses. I am slowly finding my way toward this goal and finally see it as something in reach.

It’s funny how some things seem out of grasp for so long, with seemingly no clear path to follow. Everything is totally overwhelming in those moments. Say, you move to a new town and want a job at the local college. If you were me, you might spend a good year or so writing in vain to the Writing Center Director or to anyone who might listen, after you’ve posted the seemingly pointless online application, the one that drowns into some cyber land abyss. And then, one day you meet a friend who works at said college, and she mentions your name to that same Director. You then spend months working in that very Writing Center envying the adjunct faculty members, drooling over their professorial status, wondering if your application will ever be pulled. And then, someone else mentions you to an English Department Head. The next thing you know, you’re scheduled to teach 3 courses in one semester for the second year in a row. And so it goes. On and on. One day at a time. One step after the other. The path you couldn’t see just gets clearer, the road ahead expanding even farther.

My writing seems to be evolving in such a way, too. I started with this tiny blog, which in truth, is still a tiny blog. But I started anyway because someone wanted to listen, and I had some things to say about motherhood. Eventually, a friend of mine got published out in the world of online magazines, and it dawned on me that I could possibly, maybe get published too. And slowly but surely, the publications are beginning to add up, and what I never thought possible is becoming fruit in my garden. The seeds do actually grow with the right amount of sun and rain.

The summer will come, too, I suppose. She’s just taking her sweet time, preparing us for her full glory.





Posted by

It took me a long while to consider the title for this blog. I wanted something that defined me both as a person and a writer. A name that would also perhaps speak to a particular audience. Why “The Astronaut Wife?” Since my early days of blogging, I have leaned toward more of a confessional style of writing, to some degree. I write as much truth as I can muster at each phase of life. In addition, I also come from a conservative Southern family, and I have grown very far from those roots. You could say I have rocketed to the moon in terms of my upbringing. I have rocketed away from debilitating family dynamics, from worldviews that held me beneath a rock. In my thirties, and now my early to mid-forties, I have learned to live more comfortably with both sides of the moon and write just as much about the raw, dark places as the light ones. Don’t quote me on that, though. It’s quite likely I will lean more heavily toward one or the other depending on which way the wind is blowing. Then, we get to the wife part, and quite frankly, this is where the feminist in me bucked and brayed. Identifying myself as “wife” has felt simply stymieing, particularly since becoming a mother six and a half years ago. But if the truth is going to be told, being a wife to my particular husband has altered my entire shape and has given voice to much of the inner deep. So in fact, becoming a wife was the singular most life-changing moment for me in my journey to the moon and back. Fellow travelers, you can feel safe and comfortable here. What matters more than what you might “get” about me is what you might take for yourself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s