Sunday, July 15, 2018 marked my two-year quittiversary, or two years since I left my job in NYC. Last year, on July 15, I was leaving the VQR Writers’ Conference, feeling more assured of my writing and the amount of progress I’d made in my mental and emotional recovery. This year, on July 15, I was cheering for France to win the Men’s World Cup Final at an Irish pub the middle of a ski resort in California on the last day of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. I started to reflect on the year at the pub, but then got distracted by the win. (Allez le diaspora!)
This year went by much more quickly than the previous. I wonder how much of that is due to my lack of focusing on one specific project this year. By July 2017, I’d finished the first draft of my memoir and had sat in a pool of my own wretched memories for a full year. I took several weeks off to clean my apartment, then we moved into our condo, which I spent a while unpacking and getting settled.
By the fall, I was focusing on revising my memoir and publishing essays, mostly about my terrible work experience. I also interviewed for a job that wound up not working out for me. And then an agent reached out to me; I rammed out another revision of my memoir, sent it to readers, then managed to pull that together over the course of a few months. All the while, I was writing fiction again, getting my feet wet in the genre that made me fall in love with writing from the start.
I’ll admit—I don’t feel as confident as I did a year ago. Despite getting accepted to some really prestigious writing workshops and getting positive feedback on my writing (even getting my first fiction acceptance!), this year, I feel lost. I know where I want to go, or at least I think I do. I toss around in my head options about how I can work full-time and make time for writing, or how I can make money writing. But I haven’t been definitive about any of these things.
This time last year, I was more comfortable with saying, “I want to work full-time, but if I continue writing full-time, that’s okay, too.” I can’t say that anymore, but I don’t have anything to replace it with. And that bothers the rubbish out of me. My therapist recommended that I take some time to think about this—which I interpreted as “use a spreadsheet and a whiteboard to come to some sort of conclusion”—but I haven’t had the mental stamina to do it since Squaw Valley wiped me the eff out and I spent the past week sleeping.
So, I wanted this two-year resignerversary post to be a bit more triumphant, but I thought I should be honest with myself and you. I have no idea with the eff I’m doing. I’m praying for direction, but haven’t gotten it yet. This morning, my devotional included the second half of Romans 8, which I call the “Biblical Pep Rally Chapter.” After reading it, I felt a lot better, assured that God’s got something good for me coming soon. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t know what my part is in getting there. So I’ll keep listening, waiting for the answer.