Taking the Long Road to Writing

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From $75,000/year teacher salary to $10.50/hr - humbling.
The sacrifices we make for happiness - priceless!
Nothing is more gratifying than living your dream and fueling your passion with elbow grease and sweat. Money is important, but happiness will always trump wealth. Here's the long road I took to pursuing that which truly matters in life.

Submitted: September 21, 2016

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Submitted: September 21, 2016



I did something last year that some would say is foolish. I quit my job. A stable paycheck to paycheck, fully benefitted, admirable job. I was a teacher for twenty years. Two months out of college and straight away into the ‘Bittersweet Career’.


Straight away into hell. Straight away into oblivion.


I know it sounds cruel. Perhaps I should be spanked with a ruler, but I never liked teaching. I was a great teacher. Always professional. Team player. Rapport-building expert. I was everything that sounds good on resumes. But I never liked it. Over those twenty years, I learned to hate it.


It wasn’t the kids. Not towards the end anyway. The students became my salvation in the end. It wasn’t the politics and empty promises nor the passages of grand-sounding but ultimately ineffective programs lined with the green of tax payer dollars. Both would be reason enough to tempt a teacher out of the classroom, but not quite reason enough for me.


I could no longer stand being the heavy, the authority figure. I could no longer stand what felt to me like parading around an audience of harsh critics, big and small, six hours a day. I could no longer endure the heaves, gags, jolts of anxiety, and stomach cramps that erupted upon waking every morning to face my chosen career. The only way I’d cope was to curl up in my metaphorical shell whenever I could.


That shell being a pen and a notebook.


I wrote the pain away.


I began writing my first teacher journal in 2008. Just a chronicling of my thoughts as the school day progressed. By 2015, I have fourteen notebooks filled cover to cover with my observations, musings, rants & raves, stories, and poems. I found several more thousand words on my old-school laptop.


Funny thing here...


Once the hardest decision of my life was made, to leave the security of the classroom for good, to choose life over death, I had no idea what do. I considered pursuing a YouTube career promoting myself as a pop culture critic. I wrote over a dozen detailed skits and bought a Canon. I got another bright idea to try out being a motivational speaker. I wrote over a dozen speeches. It was four months before the idea to just try writing a book popped into my head.


I love writing. I wrote my first manifesto when I was seven years old. I concoct fantasy worlds in my head and wish to be able to write them. Why wish? Because despite the fact that I love writing, I never took it for more than just a hobby. A distraction. I can’t write for real. Real writing is for masterminds like Tolstoy and Rowling. I don’t have the 'special gift'. Who’d read a nobody like me? What would I write about?


Even as an English teacher, I was insecure with writing. Too afraid to be judged. But it’s like life to me. The only activity I could lose myself in for hours without thought of food, drink, sex, or sunshine.


This past February, I self-published my first memoir about teaching. I’m not burning up Amazon’s virtual shelves, but the nightmares stopped. I challenged myself to write another memoir, my love story. I worked tirelessly every day to correct the mistakes I made the first time around, but I did it. And once I closed my new laptop upon the last glorious word, my broken heart healed.


I don’t know if I’m any good, and everyone's a critic, but writing is the only thing I know. It’s the only thing I’ve ever loved. This world of self-publishing and social media marketing is complex and scary. I’m teaching myself and stumbling every which way, but I’d rather struggle doing something I love than wither away, heart and spirit, doing something unfulfilling and disheartening for a paltry paycheck.


Writing is my true salvation.


KimmytheGeek is the author of Teacher Top Twenty: 20 Practices all Teachers Must Know Before Entering or leaving the Classroom and Memoirs of a Fool in Love: The Misadventures of a Girl, her Heart, and her Pooncy. Available on Amazon

© Copyright 2018 KimmytheGeek. All rights reserved.

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