The next number of posts, all titled Conversations on… come from email communications between a dear friend and me. With her permission, I am publishing excerpts from them because I feel they pertain to everything we’ve been discussing on the blog. Kate has been in the process of trying to figure out how to be a writer and still maintain her teaching job. She has very recently decided she must leave her job and fully embrace a “writing life”. At her request I’ve changed her name and am using initials for people she brings up. Those of you who have not read any of the earlier Conversation pieces, may want to go back to have a better understanding of Kate’s progress. It’d be great if you all would join our conversation…
I’m having a difficult time, just dealing with the day-to-day business. On Friday my voice collapsed at the end of the day, and it happened right in front of my boss. I kind of lost it and got emotional about it, exhausted as I was. It’s a good thing for him to see the reality of what I’m dealing with. But he still doesn’t get it. The day before I went in and told the Chair of my department that he shouldn’t expect me back. I told him that I had tried to tell my boss but he was unable to hear me. The Chair said oh yes he did, that they had even discussed it. So I thought I was in the clear, and then a few minutes later he was talking matter of factly about when I come back next year! I see now that nobody is getting my message and that it won’t be heard until I actually say the words “I resign.” BK says they didn’t hear me because my intent wasn’t strong enough for the words to form properly around it. I know he’s right.
It’s very difficult living through the last weeks of school this way. You’ll be proud of me though for dropping one of my search committees at the last minute. I know that’s not enough to settle the matter, but at least I’ll be off the hook on an otherwise very big responsibility for the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait to be gone from there, and I almost hate myself for hating being there so much right now. I am just very ready to leave.
The universe works in such a beautiful and perfect way, although sometimes it doesn’t feel very good. I liken your situation in needing to be very clear, with words, in telling your boss and Chair and others (yourself included) that you are resigning, to the universe making me fight to live once I’d decided I wanted to. I’ve come to really appreciate the reason behind that: I can never take my life for granted again, because I fought so hard for it. Do you have a sense of what the universe is accomplishing in making you say out loud, “I resign”?
I am VERY proud of you for dropping the search committee. Is there anything else you can drop? I get the sense from your collapse on Friday that your health may be worsening? Please remember that if you are compromising yourself too much, you’ll quit early.
Today marks the one-week-left stage for teaching. While I will still have exams and other things to do, next Wednesday is the last day I’ll have to talk in a classroom setting. It’s agonizing being in this purgatory-like situation. Directly following the last week of classes (right in the middle of exams, in fact) I have to go to NY for three days to see the acupuncturist, a neurologist, and undergo some other tests. Whether or not I wait until after that to submit my letter will depend on if anyone approaches me about my contract. If they do, I’ll have to say something. If they don’t, I’ll most likely wait until I come back—that is unless I get a sudden wave of super-human inspiration and courage, in which case I’ll just march in and do it once and for all, saying the words to them and myself that I need to say. I understand that this is more about me still feeling, on some level, ashamed of relinquishing my commitment to them, not unlike having to tell someone I no longer love him.
Wow! The one-week mark! Congratulations! I know it brings with it mixed emotions, but you’re nearing completion of this phase, which I think will be good.
To be continued…
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Love to you all,