Tuesday, October 28, 2008

road less traveled

October 28th, 2008

7:45 am

Thirty-five years old. At a point in my life where I have some long-term decisions to make. With writing not working out as far as an income is concerned, I need to reconsider my current path. Bills are mounting. The future is wide open. So the decisions I make today need to benefit my family in the long run. It is not the right thing to leave my family poor with only boxes of unpublished manuscripts to sift through. Words can only do so much. And the paper will be more useful for them for starting fires than for anything else. And so, we must let that notion pass. This family deserves more.

All these writing projects. The stories. Books. None of it going anywhere. Writing, for me, might be like gambling, drink, or drugs to others. An addiction. It's gotten me nowhere but deeper into the hole. Looking up. Praying for some great hand to retrieve me.

It's onward now. To the light. Open the blinds to another day. Forget this morning. One stuck between morning and night. Golden leaves rattling in wind gusts. Brown leaves covering the ground. Gray threatening everywhere.

Time to think about work. Real work. A real job. One that provides security. Stability. The necessary evil so that we can survive. But how do we get there? It's a long trip with an English degree. One filled with more potholes and hills than you can imagine. It might be the road less traveled by, but it is a bitch of a road no matter, and it is paved with hard lessons.

So, do we set ourselves to work at another degree? More education? Or do we put ourselves into a low-paying job with the hopes that one day—with hard work and dedication—it will get better. Provide enough of the green stuff so that kids can go to college, Mom and Dad don't have to work until their dead, and we have an egg hidden away just in case we wake one day more hungry than we've ever been?

It is not easy now. None of it. But that's what makes us stronger. This morning, wanting to sit down and get to work on the short story collection, but job searching instead. Applying. Sending resumes. Hoping that someone will see me in all of the words, dates, lines of experience, and give me a shot. Just one chance. To shine.

But that's asking too much. We get what we deserve. What we work for. What we aim at. And today, I need to realign the sights. Aim for another thing. One that is not lost when I sit down here. In this office. The gray threatening everywhere. But me. Moving slowly. Toward the light.

Open the blinds to another day. Forget this morning. This one stuck between morning and night. And it is onward now. Down the bitch of a road. More wasted pages. Piling up. To be left unpublished. For my family. With the hopes that somehow, one day, all of us will be warmed.

~ K.J.

(copyright © 2008 by K.J. Stevens)

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