Journey Through the Mist

This retired life of mine is simple and precious. I wake up, pull on my faded blue robe and fuzzy slippers, and quietly slip downstairs. After brewing a pot of coffee, I feed the cats and sit down to write my morning pages. This is a morning journal/meditation that jumpstarts my day. I write about anything that comes to mind and then I complete my dailies, which consist of a word of the day, a grammar lesson, and inspirational quotes. It is similar to what I had my freshmen do at the beginning of each class period, but instead of teaching adolescents, I am working on myself.

Drunk on Love in the Kitchen is the heart of my writing, but I am also interested in freelancing. I submitted an article to a local publication, and am now researching how to get more of my work out there. I have written a few chapters of a young adult novel that has been sloshing around in my head for years. I would love to say I write 1000 words a day, but my pants would immediately catch on fire. Some days the words flow, and others I just sit staring at a blank screen.

After I retired, I thought I would miss teacher life: the sound of the marching band practicing out on the football field in the fall, kids gossiping and flirting in the hallways between classes, hanging outside my room with colleagues, planning lessons for Romeo and Juliet, chatting with my yearbook staff about deadlines and life plans. I miss the kids the most. I have a certain tenderness for teenagers. I love their awkwardness and their bravado, their insecurity and their need for attention.

It was time for me to go, though. I needed space to develop my own writing voice after years of grading essays, speeches, and research papers. This is my life now. I either sit at my desk or the kitchen table every morning to pound out words that only a few may read. It doesn’t matter right now. I am writing for me, to see if I can live this life as a writer. I’m still developing a workable and realistic routine. Procrastination, self-doubt, and the internet are my demons.

Change is always difficult. We get used to the rhythm of our lives. When the beat changes, we have to get in step and alter our path, reset the GPS and stride with confidence into the unknown. Now I am traveling down that dimly lit street. Where will it lead? Who knows, but it doesn’t matter. It’s the journey through the mist where I will learn how to make my own way.

“The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.” - Maya Angelou