Posted by: Natalie | March 12, 2010

Spoiled Rotten

I have a dilemma. One that is only created because I have been allowed to do what I please. And now I have had a taste of this spoiled-madam-life I am struggling to realise how I can possibly let it go.

The idea was that come September I would need a full time job again, both through necessity of the financial kind but also because I would have had enough time to vanquish the demons and return to a profession I love. The problem now is that I love writing so much that even though I haven’t got a publishing deal yet, I am beginning to loath the idea of teaching full time again. I have ruined myself!

I would never have thought of taking a year out like this had it not been presented to me. I think Steve was probably a little fed up of me spending our ‘quality’ time together either asleep or in floods of tears. It was he who suggested I had a year out. This had never entered my head before as its jut not what you do; no, you go to school/college/university/postgrad and get fully qualified. You then get a job, a vocation something that lasts you your life. You get married, have kids and work in your chosen employ, waiting for the time to retire – regardless of whether the choice and path was correct for you. This was the original plan, its what you did.

But I got cocky. I figured there was more for me, something beyond this mundane existence. It took me six years of teaching to realise I didn’t actually want to live to work, I wanted to work to live. But teaching is not a profession in which you can do that. Teaching eats into EVERY last morsel of your world until there is nothing left. I can’t do it. I can’t go back. I feel like I am standing in front of a huge black gaping hole, one foot dangling dangerously over the edge. I flood with panic and fear and tears every time I think about September. I deviated from the path and now feel like I am being dragged back towards it kicking and screaming.

I have dreams, they are fairly simple. I want to have a big kitchen, I want to get married and have kids, I want to be happy – this last being the most important. My long term ambition is to see my name in print on a shelf in Waterstones. The simple dreams are easily achievable, particularly if I go back into full time teaching as I will be financially secure working within the profession I am trained for. The long term ambition however flickers slightly. If I return it is horribly likely that I will cease to have REAL time and energy to dedicate to my projects. Trying to do both is obviously an option but right now I can’t see any possible way of making the later part quality. I’m scared. I think that’s what is blinding me. I can’t work out what to do because of this huge elephant in the room I have been trying desperately to ignore.

Had I never taken this time I would never know such joy of working to my own agenda, I would have never known such peace and calm. I would have just continued down my path unknowing and without any real decision to make. I wouldn’t be feeling like this now. By giving myself this chance I have made it a million times harder to return to the rat-race. But had I not, I would regret it eternally and that to me is the worse of two evils.

So I guess I am just going to have to ‘man up’ and deal with it. I am spoiled rotten now, so few people have this kind of opportunity and I am glad to say that so far I don’t think I have wasted it. But it can’t go on forever. Somehow I have to make the two work, without allowing myself to spiral out of control with anxiety. I could potentially look for jobs in the writing industry or at the very least outside teaching. But I am qualified for nothing else and I would have to start from the bottom rung regardless of what I choose, meaning less money etc etc. and I know money isn’t everything, happiness is the most important.

But unfortunately, now that I am ruined, I want my cake AND I want to eat it. I want ALL my dreams to come true. I want that kitchen, that family, that happiness, that book written. But it looks like I might have to choose which path is more important. I’m not sure I can have both, but the thought of letting one go is ripping me apart.

The clouds are back and the rain is falling.



  1. well said – thanks

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