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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

08-02-2012 By the roadside she stood...

So, Kayamkulam school; once again it’s nearly time to bid the kids and the teachers farewell. Everyone wants me to stay; even the principal and the other senior staff members (which took me very much by surprise). There’s talk (again) of getting me a more permanent visa. But I don’t know if it’s possible. And I don’t know if I want one.

Things have changed so much ever since I heard the news of my book getting published. My mind has been gearing itself up for such a different direction and for the past 4 weeks I don’t know HOW I’ve actually been able to keep my focus on the classes I’ve been teaching. And for this reason, I’ve felt like the bad teacher; not giving my 100% due to my mind being elsewhere. And, I also must admit, I’ve felt the strain quite a bit – of being here in body but elsewhere in mind… and partially in spirit.

I see how I’m pushing myself away from this job, either with or without willing to… How so? With every chance I’ll be getting and every moment of peace I’ll be having, I’ll be placing myself in my own little bubble of writing, analyzing and creating; so clarity will come… It’s become such a habit that I’ve started to become scared I’ll waste time and loose moments of writing in between classes or at break time. I’ll be scared that something amazing could’ve been written down, in moments when I’ve been sitting (or standing) and waiting for something to happen (which is a normal part of life in India… haha).

Just to give you a small example of how my days are starting to evolve: every morning when I’m waiting for the schoolbus to pick me up – so as to avoid wasting 5, 10 or sometimes 15 minutes of precious time - I’ll stand by the roadside, not impatiently looking in the direction from where the bus is supposed to arrive, but instead with my tiny notebook and pen in hand and I’ll be writing small notes… At times I think this looks bonkers. The same villagers who pass by day after day see me standing there at the same time, day after day, doing the same thing: putting something in that tiny pink little notebook… But what do I care what these villagers think of me – because the only thing that matters is that I don’t let those thoughts slip! And in their eyes, I’m a freak either way, because I’m different with or without my notebook that lets me escape into my own space.

It sounds very much like I’m off on another planet and to be honest I have been, and at the best of times I still am. It’s because of this shift that’s happening and I can’t go against it. Since hearing of getting published it’s like I’m coaxing myself away from teaching and encouraging myself to think bigger than before. All these precious notes I’ve been taking, as I’m standing on the side of these small village roads, are telling me that I have to stop being scared of failing. I have to stop torturing myself…

Continuously, for the past year, all I’ve wanted to do is write. I’ve written about it extensively for months and months, in my journal. Sometimes I’ve wondered just how much I could’ve created FOR OTHERS TO READ with all the energy I’ve put into my journaling… And this is not the first time it’s happened. Before I wrote my book, I went through the same thing: writing about writing... And I’m doing it again! Maybe I’ll always be writing about writing, whether I’m writing a book or not… because even when I finally did start writing my book, I was writing about what I was writing… Man oh man… I seem obsessed…

Anyhow… back to the point I’m trying to make (if there is one). I’ve been teaching for a year and what I’ve been wishing for, is to be writing. It’s increased since I heard my biggest news of course. Before that I was able to contain myself, I pushed it away. Especially because of being in India and for being ‘handed’ the teaching position; which was the main thing that brought me back here.

But now, the urge is rising again and I’m forcing myself to move onwards and to take another risk. I feel the teaching option is the safe route… I know I can have a job if I really want it. I know I could be ‘safe’. But if I were to head in that direction, at this stage in the game, I wouldn’t be happy. The reassuring thing about teaching is that I know I can make it happen, whenever I want and need it to. It’s one of the many things I learnt in China. And, if the time is right and the writing has been given preference, THEN I can let myself get absorbed in the teaching, without feeling as though I’m turning my back on something far more important. But at this moment in time, I’m not absorbed in the teaching even though I’m teaching. Other stuff is rising.

So, one last short note on choosing the ‘safe’ option: it can happen when writing has been done. Does this mean writing doesn’t feel safe? Sitting down to create doesn’t feel secure? It doesn’t when I take the economic climate into account or how the ‘world’ would say I’m mad for not choosing financial stability.

In regards to MYSELF, writing and creating feels like the closest I can get to being me… it feels the closest I can get to being real… it feels to be the best work I can do in this world and it feels to be the way I can give the most to others. So, within myself, I find extreme security if I’m working on a book. So why would I say it’s unsafe and unsure? Why would I fear it? Because it’s an unknown route and an unknown world within me that can be brought to life…

I have no clue how it will all turn out, but there’s not a doubt in my mind that I can’t do it.

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