While this isn’t exactly a tribute to Springsteen, I do love his new album . But really, I thought I’d try to articulate, for me and those of you who are new to my blog, a sense of more of my dream for the next phase of my life and where I am in it.
So a quick recap. In June, I have resigned my job as assistant professor of English at a small community college. I simply felt the need to get away from the politics of the job and the desire to get more fully into the life of an artist, specifically a creative nonfiction writer. I have lined up some freelance work (although I could always use more, so please clue me into opportunities if you see them), and I have taken some part-time teaching hours to help pay the bills. But now, I’m into the search for income that reaches me in ways that fulfill me more completely. Teaching, but not meetings; writing, but not minutes – etc.
The second part of this dream is that I’m actively trying to sell my house (my Open House on Sunday brought in an interested family, so I’m hoping for a bid now) so that I can begin to shop for land on which to build a small farmette in Lancaster County, PA. A place where I can grow lots of my own food, where I can have more animals (dogs, sheep, alpacas – the latest dream is angora rabbits), and where I can offer a space for other artists to get a bit of respite. I also see a barn where bands/singers can give concerts, in the same vein but a smaller scale than those at the Midnight Ramble up at Levon Helm’s place.
Last night, my friend Sharon and I were talking about how much we admire people who can piece together a living and make it work. I’m going to give that a go, and see what happens. I can see myself writing, teaching, sewing, selling strawberries, charging a little for concerts, baking . . . . anything that gives me joy and fulfills me.
I have a few rules for myself as I move forward in this dream.
1. I will only do that I feel God is calling me to do. I may not be able to always discern that fully, but I will not act on something that doesn’t seem to hearken to God’s voice.
2. I will do my very best to not be a burden to anyone else around me in terms of financial support, but I will rely on my friends and family for their emotional support (and building prowess).
3. I will try to take things slow (something that’s not in my nature) and enjoy every single minute of it.
4. If rules 1-3 are met, I will take every opportunity given to me as a way to learn and grow and meet new people.
So that’s where I am: 6 weeks out from the end of my full-time job, waiting for a sale on my house, and looking for writing work. It’s a tentative but glorious place to be. I just wish everyone could “work on their dreams” while I work on mine.
– “Amish Barn” by Mark Goresky