Yesterday my old job, the one I left when they downsized my position to 20 hours a week, called and said, "Hey! Turns out 20 hours a week doesn't actually work! Turns out we need someone full time! Turns out you were right last fall and we miss you and we love you and we want you to come back!"
Well. While I'm not a bit surprised -- in fact, if I were the sort of person to say, "I called it," "I told you so," or any other sort of expression that rubs my foresight in people's faces, I would have said all of them -- I'm also not entirely convinced I want to go back.
Perhaps I have mentioned the fact that I'm not a big fan of, you know, working. Temping's great because it allows me to support my Junior Mints habit without ever forcing me to make any sort of commitment, so I can tell myself that if I get really entrenched in this re-write and just need a few days of nothing but the manuscript, or if I want to run away to Iowa or New Orleans or Mexico for the weekend, I can, or if maybe I want to start subbing or freelance writing or selling my services on the street corner (and by "my services" I mean of course: reading a lot of books, making fun of people I see on the street, baking awesome peanut butter oatmeal cookies... what were you thinking, Dirtymind?)... all options are open.
Good things about my old job: some awesome people (as well as some people who made me want to stab letter openers through my eardrums just so I wouldn't have to hear their voices ever again), really nice part of town, giant windows and lots of light, plenty of time for reading and blogging, not too far from the zoo, casual dress code, um... near the New Mexican restaurant.... Oh, and: steady paycheck, health insurance, security.... That stuff.
Bad things about my old job: Really crappy schedule. Nine and a half hour days four days a week, plus five hours on Saturdays. Rotating days off so you can never plan too far in advance. I was always tired. Working Saturdays impinged on visits to family AND kept me from volunteering at New Leash on Life (and made me feel like I never got enough of a break). Longish commute on a slow bus. Relatively low pay for an often annoying & sometimes stressful job. Dealing with old people, crabby people, and crazy people. Inconvenient part of town. No flexibility in scheduling (plans to go to Jazz Fest in New Orleans and Reunion in Grinnell and wedding in Barbados will all have to be revisited & possibly cancelled). Did I mention always tired? Feeling of suffocation & claustrophobia in own life, never enough time to write.
This year I've prided myself on following my passion, on stepping off the "sensible" path and onto the uncertain road of my intuition. It's scary as hell. There's a reason people feel trapped in their unfulfilling but secure jobs: lacking security, going without a steady paycheck, playing the old shell game every time you pay bills... it's stressful and scary and unfun. But. At this point in my life, that stress might be worth it if it means I have the time and space and freedom to write, to re-write, to pursue this passion and continue to move toward the life I've always seen in my dreams.
Thoughts? Opinions? Should we put this to a vote? Where should I go from here, folks?