Being a Writer (41)

The other night when I was walking it came to me I really am a teacher first. All these years, I’ve kept trying to reverse the sequence. I put “writer, teacher, artist” in my profile. But I put teaching first. How can I not? Right now I’m in the middle of the second week of a two-week intensive online training I am leading with one of my favorite colleagues. Today I am proud of myself because I manage to get my “morning” chores done only two or three hours later than usual. This is the first time in ten days. I lay the walnuts in the glass pan, put them in the toaster oven. I wash the strawberries, have them drying on a kitchen towel by the window. But I don’t make time to eat. When I finish making my third or forth set of rounds, answering questions online, I plummet. I feel sad and discouraged for no reason. I have the sense to eat my breakfast. It is almost 2pm. I realize I feel trapped inside my obsessive online checking in. I get afraid for going forward. How will I ever be able to be a writer if I let my teaching work gobble all my time? I remind myself in the past I was able to carve out more time for my writing. I tell myself I can do this again. I can. I am. I refuse to believe teaching and writing have to be mutually exclusive. But a voice hisses. “Are you sure?” They are such different modes. Writing asks us to surrender. But I won’t give up my dream. Being a writer is who I am. I’m a writer who’s teaching. Maybe one day I’ll be a writer who teaches less.

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