Yesterday, I spent hours and hours sitting in long, tedious faculty meetings, and then standing in a 2-hour line to get my updated ID and parking sticker. (Fun!)
Well, while I was standing there with a group of other (English) teachers, we made general teacher chit-chat: new policies we didn't like, questions about tomorrow's meeting, expectations for the semester, changes in the new textbooks, etc. I participated with as much fervor as I could muster (ehh...which wasn't much).
Then, it happened. One of the teachers who knows how much I like to write asked me the question: "Did you get to do some writing this summer?" Little did she know that she'd opened the floodgates.
I swear, my face changed. Finally, something interesting to talk about! Something close to my heart. Something I'm passionate about. I told her all about my recent agent "bites" and their feedback, about the new book I'd started, about the book I'd revised twice. Thankfully, the other teachers didn't seem to mind my ramblings - in fact, they seemed quite fascinated and ended up asking lots of follow-up questions. The minutes rushed by, instead of dragged, for the first time all day...
And on the way to my car afterward, it occurred to me - teaching has its place, its value in my life. But writing? It feels like so much more. Maybe because it's "all mine." Or because it's so personal, so emotional to me - those characters, my own creations. Whatever the reason, it was obvious to anyone in that little circle of teachers what I love the most. Writing.
And if at all possible, I'm going to KEEP writing, squeezing moments out of a busy semester the best I can. It's not easy, having an all-consuming, full-time job and making room to write. But there's no reason I should put my passion on hold while my "real" job takes over. I do believe it's possible to have BOTH in my life. And I'm sure as heck going to try!