Sometimes in the course of our lives, as we're just chugging along, dealing with our day-to-day obligations and such, we suddenly experience a moment of...self-enlightenment. It can strike out of the blue, but when it does, it may offer us an invaluable snippet of understanding about who we are, where we're headed, and what we want out of life. Or...it might be 100% crystal-freakin'-clear that this nugget of wisdom stems from...an aching...posterior, and an undeniable need to get the heck on up out of an increasingly-uncomfortable chair. Hmm...perhaps I should explain...
It all began when my recent foray into freelance editing started me thinking: "You know, I've never really had what you'd call a 'desk job'." I'm not saying I've been leading safaris or climbing mountains for a living, but there's always been some level of movement inherent to my livelihood--even if it's just strolling from one classroom to another or traveling between buildings. The important thing to remember here, for the purposes of our discussion, is that it involves standing up, stretching one's body, and going somewhere.
So now let's contrast my current gig...in which I'm sitting, staring intently at a computer screen, adding necessary commas, fixing awkward word choices, clarifying vague pronoun references, mercilessly chopping run-on sentences, enforcing parallel structure rules, relocating misplaced modifiers, reconciling subject/verb disagreements, brutally hacking out passages that seem not even to have been written in English and therefore Just. Make. No. Sense. WHATSOEVER. (Oh dear. Somewhere along the line I've gone from somewhat-benevolent Grammar Officer to...Totalitarian Syntax Dictator, haven't I? Sigh...) Where was I? Oh, yeah...I find that...how should I phrase this...I D-E-T-E-S-T being stuck in a seated position. It makes me feel antsy, then grouchy, then...compelled to get off my butt and walk somewhere--anywhere--else. So yeah, I'm not seeing this becoming a new career, unless it's very, very part-time.
Another thing I've discovered on my journey into deep, meaningful insight into my own character...or whatever...is that I miss the social aspects of my employment. You know what I'm talking about: "co-workers". People to chat with, collaborate with, mull over professional issues with...eat lunch with... Unless I start up an Editor's Society...in my tiny little work nook (because I don't actually have such lofty accessories as an "office"...or a "desk"...these are dreams for the new house...) this kind of environment is not gonna happen. So, to sum up: I need a more active means of making a living--preferably one with real fellow human beings involved.
So, I started pondering the age-old question...what do I like? Well, the outdoors, obviously. And physical endeavors. That's as far as I got in the whole "figure out the next step in life" process before I decided to share my thoughts one morning. (I blame the caffeine...) I was sort of hoping to "think out loud" for the purpose of bouncing ideas off an audience and brainstorming with some additional problem-solvers (those of my beloved family, in case you were wondering). Here's how that went:
Me: (after providing the background, in much more abbreviated form) "I've been wondering if I could maybe do something with parks..." (at that point I trailed off--ha! sorry--because I actually hadn't gotten any further in developing the possibility in my own mind...)
Husband: (helpfully) "You need a Parks and Recreation degree for that...and a brown uniform!" (I should have known this was headed nowhere good, but did I grab my java and back away? Sadly, no...) I didn't even have time to formulate an appropriate--or pithy--response to this gem, before his eyes lit up and he exclaimed, with all the misguided enthusiasm of a Career Counselor gone totally off the rails, "I know! You can be an OUTDOOR...YOGA INSTRUCTOR (pausing to deliver his grand finale with a flourish)...for the DEAF! Oh. Good. Grief. I found it impossible to even begin to address that the flaws in that brilliant plan--like "how would you sign...in Downward Dog?" Or "can you fingerspell the names of the poses in Sanskrit? 'Cuz I certainly can not."
Suffice it to say, this brought the whole "find Johna a new path in life" conversation to a screeching halt. (At least I escaped with my huge honkin' mug of joe...) However, I am a firm believer in the credo that "something will turn up." So for now I'll just have to practice patience. (Hahahahahaha! Whew, that was a good one...) What I meant to say was, I'll make an attempt to be serene and wait for the universe to reveal what's next for me. In the meantime, there are some English messes calling my name, so I'm going to excuse myself to go make the world safe for the written word...one cleaned-up sentence at a time.