I think I’ve finally put my finger on the source of this feeling of un-ease I’ve been having lately: it’s the fact that no one is telling me what to do anymore. And contrary to what you might think, that’s pretty scary. It hit me as I was going to bed the other night–in a bed in a condo 1,100 miles from my home. I realized that I just decided I was going to do this–and here I am. And really–who does that?
I’ve spent the last four days (and most of today) in the hot Florida sun, taking notes for what will eventually become a book. And while it is true that I found a publisher that is interested, I don’t have a contract (or an editor). And while it is true that I spent months working on the proposal for this book, the reality is that the finished product is going to be quite different from what I imagined back in Pennsylvania in February. And the scariest part of all is that I’m completely in charge of how it turns out. No one is giving me any direction.
I don’t think I realized until right now that I really have spent my whole life being told what to do. I went to school and my teachers told me to do work…and sometimes I did it. My parents told me I was going to college (because they really didn’t like my plan of going to Esalen to learn to be a massage therapist slash Reiki practitioner) so I went to college–and then my professors told me what to do. When I graduated and got a teaching job there were scores of people telling me what to do–school board members, administrators, parents, the state…even other colleagues. To keep my job (and keep peace within it) I did all of those things.
But now I’m completely and totally on my own.
How very, very scary…yet liberating. But mostly scary!