Back to Reality
May 14, 2012, 9:43 pm
Filed under: Mental Illness, Society

It’s been hard for me to write or think creatively lately. (It’s not the shot, since I’m not taking it anymore.) I think it’s because I’ve been indirectly telling myself that I’m unacceptable: I deleted a lot of old comments and links to my blog from my Facebook profile; I got a hair cut, even though I said I wouldn’t; my mom bought me some new clothes since I gave  away most of mine a year ago.

Restricting one’s self has to be the opposite of creativity. Creativity requires a person feel free to experiment and be different, to dare to be unacceptable.

So why would I restrict myself? Well, a year after I quit my job it seems I was wrong to have done so. The reason I say so is because I’m running out of money, including 401K money. I’m looking for a job again and that requires I change my rebel image and constant complaints against “working for a living.”

Of course, there is still a chance I was right for quitting. I was thinking today that maybe me quitting my job and trying to find another a year later is supposed to make me stronger. Maybe I quit my job because I needed to hit the reset button and change my life.

When I decided to quit a year ago, I was going nowhere in life. I decided I wasn’t going to apply for another job, even though I complained about the one I had. I even refused to apply for a newly created position at the place where I was working. I had no goals or plans for my future. I was crying some mornings, contemplating suicide on the drive to work, and yet I was doing nothing to change my life–except praying every night: “God please let me quit my job.”

The morning I decided not to go in to work, I heard a voice say, “You answered the call.” Then I heard another voice say, “You were called to choose to live or die.”

Before recently I thought I was choosing “life” by quitting my job and deciding to follow my dreams of becoming a writer. And I suppose I thought that for the past year. But then I wrote a post about how rappers accept the world that God brought them into, even though society looks down upon black men (or white men from similar low-income backgrounds as black rappers).

It made me realize that by quitting my job and writing my book (and refusing to look for another job when I was unhappily employed), I was rejecting reality, or the world that God had brought me into. By refusing to live in the reality where I had to somehow make money to live, I was also refusing to deal more directly with problems, such as inequality in education, that I’d described in my essays.

So here I am, back looking for a job. But the good news is I have goals for my life. I’ve always been drawn to kids, especially kids in inner-city schools. But I was afraid to teach the first time I stood in front of a classroom as a student teacher. I felt I spoke too softly and was too shy. I plan to ultimately face my fear and become a teacher. I also plan to finish my book–someday when I’m creative again.

(I wrote this Sunday, May 13.)


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