I have no idea what side of my brain handles most of my information processing. I have always had an affinity for arts and literature. I become particularly balky when it comes to science and math, in fact I turned a corner in a school one day and encountered a giant poster with SAT math test questions on it. A little voice in my head said, “Run, don’t walk away.” I know this is not how educated adults behave. I often wonder what would happen if I tried another career, like medical billing and coding, one of my oldest friends has a very satisfying career in this field. I wonder if it would be like learning another language, and how hard it would be. For some unknown reason, I wouldn’t mind trying to learn Spanish or French, but my head feels the same about Aramaic and Mandarin as it does about math. I’m not entirely sure how it feels about Science, but I’m afraid to ask. I know better than to ask my brain to do anything it doesn’t want to do. There are whole days when my brain and I simply walk past each other and nod passively to each other, trying not to make a commitment to any particular thought or event. The last time I tried to push it where it didn’t want to go, it leaped on me when I wasn’t looking. I have to admit, my brain kicked my ass.
It is often quite exhausting being me. My days are even more unpredictable than they were when I was teaching. Now that I am writing, not for a living, because mercifully, I don’t have to live on what I’m getting paid, but I’m writing part time. The job that I working at most steadily is based in creative writing. I write original bits around a specific prompt. Some of the things I write sound like the rantings of a lunatic, which , I suppose they are. Here’s a sample :
“My dog didn’t know Anderson Cooper’s mother was Gloria Vanderbilt.” “What an odd thing to say.” I have heard many, many strange things whilst sitting on Steve’s couch, some things so strange that I question the wisdom of reclining on the furniture. Today’s comment was so unexpected I had to respond. “What did he say?” Steve looked at me as if I had gone insane and said, “He didn’t say anything, don’t be ridiculous.” I closed my eyes and counted to ten before I started shrieking. Steve went on, “I mentioned it the other day and he looked over at me in utter surprise.” Suddenly the news shifted to a commercial about career training. I scratched the dog’s ears and said, “Did you know that computer science is a rapidly growing career choice,rife with opportunity ?” The dog gave me an “Of course I did, but I don’t have thumbs” look then walked into the other room. This little anecdote is not something I pulled out of my head. This actually happened.
My twisted view of life is a blessing and a curse. I have what Homer Simpson would call a Crisi-tunity. Without The Kid and Steve I find myself without someone who I can look at while I talk to them every single day. I have been throwing myself into what bits and pieces of work I have found by free lance writing. It also keeps me from focusing on the fact that I have maybe twelve weeks to sell Steve’s house so I don’t have to pay another year’s house taxes on an empty place.
Wow, that was a buzz kill. Here’s a bit of the madness I’ve been writing on a regular basis
The x ray proved he was legendary
I didn’t know Mr. Van Winkle. He just appeared on the outskirts of town one day and Dr. Hayes brought him back here. Mr. Van Winkle was a nice man, a little eccentric, but nice. He spent a lot of time volunteering at the elementary school, teaching a crafts class. I am amazed at his knowledge of what I thought I were forgotten arts, like whittling. I know the students will never forget his history lectures. He spoke of those events as if he were actually there. The ladies will remember him for his kindly, courtly almost old-fashioned manners. He was a bit of a medical marvel. The tests performed at the hospital spoke of his unique bone structure; while he was clearly an older gentleman, his bones and muscles were in fantastic condition, almost as if he had had lots of rest. I hope you will all join us for a reception immediately following the service. Mr. Crane will be hosting.
I am starting to wonder how genuine the reality in Reality TV is. Is seeing actually believing? And am I just an incurable naïve fool for believing in the face value of anything?
I actually enjoy Dance Mom and it is teaching me a lot about the validity of perspective and clever editing. I find it less cringe inducing than Toddlers and Tiaras.
In spite of Dance Mom Christi’s vocal opinions to the contrary, I don’t think any of the girls are specifically being set up to fail, but an entirely different thing, the focus is on the dancers winning, but apparently the company can only highlight one dancer at a time. The psychological result is the same for Maddie and the other girls. The company is growing resentful, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Maddie’s sister, Mackenzie, has a psychotic episode involving a toe shoe being crammed down someone’s throat. It’s anybody’s guess who that’s going to be. I think there’s something very wrong with me that I have formed a judgment of a nine-year old I have never met. Watching so many teachers, judges and parents fawn over one performer to the exclusion of all others. It brings back some less than fond memories of my own experience of my own performance training.
When I was in high school, there was another student who was driven by the need to be the best. She played the violin in a local youth orchestra, and she was on the debate team, and she had a 4.0 GPA. I was no slacker. I was in the school band, and was on the speech portion of the debate team. I was very involved in our drama department. The girl, let’s call her Heidi, started getting leads in plays when she was a freshman and had the lead in the musical both her Junior and Senior years. I always felt second best and am still bitter and resentful that she got the performance experience that I wanted. I went on to have a fairly successful, albeit not lucrative, theatre career. I heard she had something akin to a nervous breakdown shortly after she graduated from college. I see a lot of potential for public embarrassment related to the way our kids are pushed to the breaking point should they excel.
And I wonder what’s going to happen to a child that always wins finally loses.
I have spent the last three years teaching Theater at a wonderful school. In May I faced the dual traumas of my core group of actors graduating and not getting my contract renewed. Not a shock that the Arts took major hit when the budget was cut.
I spent most of the summer keeping my fingers crossed that theatrical miracle would occur while trying to liquidate my best friends assets. (He died last year and I have been putting off going through and disposing of his things.)
The Kid was also wrapping things up to move to NYC.
I have been planning for a long time to get my act together and give freelance writing a try, so I applied for a few jobs through Odesk.
I was hired for my first job the day before The Kid left. I think meeting my first deadlines kept me from curling up in the fetal position whilst eating cheetos and watching Crime Drama.
I am finally to a point that I can gauge how long it will take me to meet deadlines, etc.
Right now I’m waiting for a the client to give me the newest assignment, so I have time to catch up a bit on other stuff. I have a few spots to fill in on the third draft of my novel. Hoping to get the whole thing edited and together for ebook at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, I’m alternating writing at the library and at Starbucks because it’s just too damn hot to write at home in the afternoon. It’s been over 100 degrees almost all summer. That, combined with the hurricanes, earthquakes and other madness just reinforces my feeling that the earth is trying to reject us like a bad cow heart.