Facebook has a nasty habit of reminding you of things you haven’t done.
While it’s nice to see the occasional baby picture of your nephew or a reminder of your favorite college Spring Break trip where you and your buddies drove around Albuquerque setting off flares in alleyways, once in a while, something like this pops up:
This wasn’t the exact post I saw that made me want to write this. It was something else from a year or more ago, maybe around the same time. I couldn’t find it when I began writing, and the horror of thinking the post was from 2016 is even worse, but this is where I’m at. Too lazy to search through my social media history to learn from my mistakes.
In my head, Project: DEED is still new, fresh. Something I attempted to write but felt I wasn’t the right person to create, so I shelved it, thinking I could come back to it soon.
Instead, that was 2 years ago.
Do you know how many books have come out in that time? I know that’s a dangerous road to go down, that type of thinking, because I’m not a professional. It’s not my job to write books. I’m not being paid for my novel-istic efforts. My job is being a tutor.
…But, you know…?
I never feel like a fool in front of kids. Put me up at the head of a class and I’ll dance like a monkey to get them to pay attention (In fact, I’m almost positive I have danced like a monkey in front of my students.). To learn. Because, after all, that’s the most important thing, right? Nothing I do feels degrading. It’s all in the service of children’s education.
But looking at old Facebook posts…
Seeing me talk about books…
Talking about them like I was hopeful for what they become, could become, would become. Instead, a year later, two years later, Thor forbid three years later, I’m ashamed now. Embarrassed that I feel like I’m in the exact spot I was then. Hopefully talking about a writing thing I want to publish. Sell.
No book deal.
An argument could be made that I’m missing the forest for the trees. A quick peak around my life show progress in lots of critical ways: a wife, two boys on the way, a new home, a solid writing gig, a website (*waves) doing work. Strides of life in crucial directions, but not in the career direction I chose. I walked away from the classroom, from a passion, from a pension, from retirement, from health insurance, from steady work…
To write at 4am in the morning, just to loosen up my hand, shake the rattles off my head, so that my actual daily output is worth something months ahead of time. I could be asleep right now, but everything needs to be in service of the next thing. It’s like this little mobile game I’m half/full addicted to right now: Pokemon Masters. You’re always leveling on top of the previous thing. You play the game, to get level up items, to power up characters, to play the harder levels, to get more level up items, to play even harder levels, to get more.
All in the service of the next thing hopefully being good.
Not sure where to end this. Feels kind of bleak. Still, as Ellis literally just said this morning:
I’m alive. I can’t promise myself anymore than that right now, but I’m definitely alive. I have baby shower to go to later today. To prep for my boys.
Thanks for reading,