Monday, January 23, 2006

Update - Waiting for a Sign

After my appointment at the Wellness Community was postponed by the director last Monday, I spent several days waiting and wishing for a sign to tell me whether I should keep the appointment we'd rescheduled for today.

I checked out the Wellness Community's online newsletter, which included photos of many staff and board members as well as clients, hoping something would click. It looked like a nice group of people and the programs and events sounded excellent, even inspiring. But I couldn't quite see myself in the picture.

I gazed out my window across Biscayne Bay toward the high rises of Kendall, where the Wellness Community is located, hoping a single ray of sunlight would break through the clouds above Kendall, signaling a divine intention that I volunteer for this organization. But nothing out of the ordinary appeared.

Eventually, despairing that a Deus ex machina would materialize to solve my dilemma, I took a long walk with Eric, during which I tried to get him to tell me what I should do. Actually, I hoped he would tell me what I wanted to do, since I couldn't figure it out for myself. After all, we've been married for over thirty years. Shouldn't he know my wishes better than I do? He didn't fall for that one, though, and wouldn't even reveal his own view about whether I should pursue the position. In fact, he claimed he didn't have an opinion.

So I was on my own. And just when I had stopped expecting it, a sign of sorts came along to help me decipher my mixed-up feelings. I received an email from a writer friend who wanted to hear more about an idea I'd mentioned to her casually over dinner a few weeks earlier--starting a small press. During dinner we'd also talked about an anthology she was working on and I'd secretly envisioned publishing it as my first book.

As I read her email, I felt calm, centered, happy. Here was a woman who, like me, understood the joy (and pain) of sitting alone in a room in front of a blank page. This was how I wanted to spend my time, involved in the writing life. No matter that I haven't published much other than some poetry and a local newspaper column. I'm still a writer. It's how I define myself. Before committing to volunteer work which would take me away from writing, I wanted to explore the possibilities of a small press, maybe look into putting together my own anthology, keep writing this blog.

Not that writing and volunteering need be mutually exclusive. But for a one-track perfectionist like myself, it seemed best to pick a single focus for the time being. Armed with my new self-understanding, I called the Wellness Community and cancelled my appointment.

5 comments:

reggie kriss said...

BRAVO BARBARA! You have found the perfect title for yourself. YOU ARE INDEED A WRITER AND CAN SPEND THE NEXT HALF CENTURY PROVING IT.

Alex said...

Time spent for time's own sake will never be satisfying. Writing, however, has gripped you; it has assimilated with your movements, biochemistry; it is part of you, and as a concept is infused with meaning in your eyes. So a writer you will remain.

Hate to say "I told you so."

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