Thursday, July 26, 2007

suspension of disbelief.

It's late. I got home from work, ate a quick supper, ran errands for a couple hours, quickly cleaned parts of the house and *WALLAH!* It's already after 11pm. What happened? Well, no matter. I'm here now, writing words, and that's all that really counts. I've brewed a fresh pot of coffee (decaf, of course), Louis has just konked out at my feet, my little cat has fallen asleep on the very tip-top back of my chair, and my other cat is meowing loudly for my attention. All of this love and sleepiness and simply being home feels good.

It has been hot enough at the garden shop to make my brain cells boil. Today, as I sat as still as possible in an attempt to keep my attention focused on the hot breeze coming from the fan, I found myself fantasizing about walking in the woods on a cool fall day. It's been weeks since I've taken any long walks. It's just too hot, too buggy, too ugh... Sometimes, in the evening, we make it as far as the lake, then follow the shady trails of the creek back home. But those days have been coming fewer and farther in between. This heat and the drought that has accompanied it is wearing me thin. Winter. Sweet winter. Where are you?

But enough about the weather.

I've been thinking a lot about my last post and feeling the need to fill in some of the blanks. Actually, I considered deleting the post was so damn optimistic and I feared that my lack of explanations were also misleading. Then I thought better of it and decided to leave it up because, hell...what's wrong with being optimistic?

So here it is...

New House:
We want one, but we can't afford one. Nope, nadda. Not even a crack house in the bad part of town. BUT... I am not willing to give up, which leads to...

New Job:
Here's the deal. I love it at the garden shop and the bookstore (yes, I'm still at the bookstore), but I think it is safe to say that both places have served their purpose in my life. They were the temporary "dream jobs" that I wanted in order to decompress from grad school. Well, I think it's safe to say that I have hereby decompressed (thank god!)...and now it is time to move on. I have absolutely loved it there and have gotten to know a lot of really great people in the process. But now...I don't know. I'm starting to feel the dead-end-ness of it. And I don't like that feeling. I also feel a lot of stress over the fact that the place could sell any day and that, if that happened, I would more than likely either get my hours cut or lose my job. Financially, that would swamp our boat in a very serious way. But what it comes down to is that I am ready to challenge myself again. Being the happy garden shop girl is great in theory, but...

Anyway, meeting with a mortgage broker last week snapped me sharply back to reality. Not that I wasn't realistic about everything before, but let's just say that seeing the actual breakdown of numbers subtracted from both our student loan payments subtracted from both car payments subtracted from the day to day cost of living...well, it was a major kick in the ass to get motivated and start looking for a new job. This, however, is the part where I am earnestly trying to maintain optimism. Hey, why not?

In my nonexistent spare time (and at the expense of sleep) I've been scouring the internet for possibilities while simultaneously updating my resume, writing cover letters, and filling out online applications. Oh joy! Well, not exactly...but I am trying my best to not only maintain optimism, but enthusiasm as well. I won't go into this further lest I tip my fragile balancing act in the wrong direction.

Anyway, wanna know what a new job spells? N.E.W. H.O.U.S.E. Now wouldn't that be grand?! All I can say is THANK GOD that our problems have a matter how far-fetched these solutions some days feel.

Finished Thesis:
Did I get ahead of myself here? Unless you read carefully, you may have missed my meaning. I am not done yet. Nope. But I'm getting there. I've been writing 2-5 pages a week since May. Did I mention that I started over? Yes, it's true. And I've written more in the past 3 months than I have in the past 2 years. Granted, 2-5 pages as week is not much, but I am happy with my progress. You see, there is an accumulative effect that works to my advantage. I am solidly half way finished and progress continues. That alone is reason to celebrate.

Monday is my day to write and I treat that day with absolute sacredness. I allow myself no other obligations other than writing. And, best of all, I no longer allow myself to feel bad for not getting things done sooner or faster or better or whatever. I'm done being the anxiety ridden grad student. Now it is time to write. Simple as that. I write because I love it. Not for any other reason.

After high school, it took me 7 years before I made it to college. I always knew that I'd get there eventually, but I also deeply believed that there were more ways to learn than from school alone. I spent those years traveling around the world. I hopped freight trains, traveled the States like a real life Dharma bum, slept on mountain tops, lived in the desert and deep in the woods...I did a lot of things and went a lot of places. I lived fearlessly. And I did things that I never would have done had I gone the direction I was expected to. I don't mean to get all nostalgic here, but those years were, on a very deep level, some of the best of my life. I've reached a new era in my life, but why should I expect myself to be any different than I've always been? I've never been the type that moves directly from Point A to Point B.

I went to school to become a writing teacher--and I have great faith that someday it will happen. But it's not a race. Becoming a teacher is about more than simply earning a degree--or maybe I should specify by saying that becoming a good teacher requires more than a degree. I've never been much of a hoop jumper. My desire to live from the heart is much too insistent. I'll admit that my commitment to living a genuine life has some serious drawbacks, but it has its rewards, too. School aside (where did that tangent come from?)...
These days, I'm writing out of the sheer love of language--and that is making all the difference in the world.

Anyway...does that explain things better? My last post sounded so optimistic that I feared it was enough to make anyone reading it gag. Well, none of it is quite so easy as I made it sound. But I am doing my best to hold on to the sense of possibility that I felt last week. I am going to continue to swim on the surface of that feeling until I start noticing some results. I mean, really, I have nothing to lose.

I'm going to live from the very center of my heart--and, from that place, I'm going to move forward. There's a name for this, you know. It's called Magical Realism--it's a literary style that requires a willing suspension of disbelief. I was thinking that it might be worth trying out in life as well.

What do you think? Wanna try it?


deirdre said...

I did not gag on the optimism of your last post, instead I wanted to know more - because I believe in the momentary gifts of magical realism in real life, because it's time for you to have those wonderful things happen, because optimism is good and contagious.

bella said...

I'm sitting here, bursting with happiness for you. I believe in optimism and the power of positive thinking. You think and live so genuinely and it's so inspiring. I hope that everything you are hoping for comes to you ten fold.

Maddie said...

I see you in your new house
painting and writing and
chasing your dogs out into the

I see me visiting your lovely new
house and bringing you a plant.

And i see this happening soon -
in the next few months.

so there.

Anonymous said...

sounds like a great way to live life, if you ask me. i went straight through school (although it took more years for my BA and MA than it "should" have -- seems like i'm in a pattern here, huh), but quite honestly, i have regretted not taking a few years off in my 20s to just travel and see the world and learn new things. hopefully, that's what my 30s are for, once i finish this da** phd. i'm happy for you, jessie. things will fall into place for you soon enough. :)

Melba said...

You sound like you are coming from a true honest place, from your higher self. You are listening to you...I can tell. Doesn't it feel good?
Ask the universe for the house. Hold the image in your mind. Then release the wanting. It is not your job to figure out all the details of the How, your job is to receive. I know it is easier said than done, but I do believe it works.

Love you my friend!!!


Olivia said...


I was touched by both of your last two posts. I think you are more self-critical of your writing than others are; as a regular reader of your blog, I didn't notice the "unbridled optimism" being excessive. We are all moody as women, and our moods change from moment to moment, but your posts are always moving and never provoke me to do anything close to "gagging"! I find it exciting and encouraging to see that other women are just like me and vacillate between highs and lows :)

Love and blessings, Olivia

megg said...

Oh Jessie - I haven't been for awhile, and I just wrote a post, then I came here and you made me cry! You DID! It was this bit:

I'm going to live from the very center of my heart--and, from that place, I'm going to move forward.

You answered the question I asked without even knowing it. I want to join you - from the bottom of my heart. I too want a new job, new house, and finished piece of writing. To get there while living this way would be a dream come true - how do you ALWAYS KNOW??!??!

I missed you!

Tammy said...

I'm thrilled you filled in the gaps and optimism is a good thing. Woohoo to life! XXOO

The Dream said...

Hi Jessie- ah, optimisim and reality ... it's cool when they can collide!

Two Faces Have I:
1. detailed-oriented, reach the goal, get things accomplished
2. dreamer ... it could happen, searching

I know how much you have enjoyed those jobs. Good stuff is right around the corner. Dreams DO come true (with cooperation and work on our end).

Believe ...

megg said...

Hiya! I just wanted you to know I've tagged you - xo

Anonymous said...

hi sweetie.

i remember way back in january when michelle asked everybody to name their theme, that you picked magic...and magical you ARE.

i'm glad the thesis is coming along.

i'll join in on suspending disbelief, sure.


Maddie said...


I nominated you for an award -

come see!