Three things happened today:
1. I got the letter in the mail that confirms that I will be unemployed as of January 1, 2017. (Even though I did the quitting and wasn't kicked out, it's still a strange, strange feeling.)
2. When I contacted the manager of the hospital I got hired on to set up an orientation shift, she told me that right now, they actually have no available shifts whatsoever, but she hopes that she will have some at an indeterminate date in the future.
3. I reached 10,100 words in my book.
When I first read that email telling me that there is no work in the immediate future, and then, just an hour later, the letter confirming my resignation, I sat very still and listened. Listened inside of me for any signs of panic, anxiety, or fear. I was expecting to find at least one of them, so I leaned back in my comfy new chair, looked out onto the snowy, breathtakingly gorgeous landscape, and waited.
But neither fear, nor anxiety, nor panic made an appearance. Instead, I felt calm and peaceful. Not only that, but a smile was tugging at the corners of my mouth, and I couldn't help but wonder: Was this supposed to happen?
2016 has been a year full of surprises. It didn't at all turn out as expected, but was full of twists and turns. Sitting on my new little desk, gazing out at a landscape that's already so dear, yet still unfamiliar enough to catch me off guard, amazes me daily. I simultaneously can't believe that I'm here, while also sensing deep down in my gut that of course, this was supposed to happen.
After a year of being restless, unbalanced, and slightly dissatisfied, I have arrived at a crossroads. Well, I actually passed the crossroads and started on the road already. This new road is unfamiliar (as new roads tend to be), exciting, and unsettling. But the scenery is lovely, and far off in the distance, I can spot a destination I've been wanting to get to for years: My book.
The book that I have talked on and off about for a couple of years now.
It's been inside of me for a long time, scratching on my insides, reminding me every so often that it wants to come out. I've tried to ignore it, because writing it is so incredibly uncomfortable: It's so much work, it scares the shit out of me, it may reveal that I'm nothing but a fraud.
I have danced around it, switching from wanting to write it to ignoring it for weeks, alternating between hoping the desire will leave to wishing the desire will be stronger; strong enough for me to do it.
Well, the scales have tipped to one side, and the side is this: I'm writing it. Not going to write it, but actually doing it already. For the past two weeks, I've sat down in front of my computer every single day, and wrote several hundred words each day. Like I said, the story is already inside me, wanting to come out; it's not so much that I chose the story, but that the story chose me.
It's about a girl who is convinced that she has been dropped into the wrong life. Nothing about her life feels right: her friends, her job, the town she lives in, even her family, they all seem like they don't really fit her. She is the outsider, the odd one out, the one who never feels 100% comfortable.
She wants to find her place in the world, but the big question is: How?
She has no fucking idea.
She aimlessly drifts around for a few years, halfheartedly doing what is expected of her, all the while trying to figure out where her place in the world is.
I've tried several times to write more than blog posts or articles. It was always an insurmountable chore, so painful that I gave up after a short while.
This time, it's different. It's still hard, really hard, but it's also fun. Yesterday I had such a great writing day, I walked on clouds all day! It's an inexplicable feeling of accomplishment.
I'm taking this unexpected extra time as a gift. There is no doubt in my mind that I will work again, sooner or later. I will do anything in my power to find a job again! But in the meantime, this is my chance to write this damn book that won't leave me alone.
I have the time, I have a quiet place to work, I don't have any immediate money worries.
I ran out of excuses.
2017 will be the year of the book!