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.