The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.– Mark Twain
Y’all, I’m still here. Blogging has admittedly fallen by the wayside for the last few months, and I’m sorry for that, but there’s been a lot going on that has distracted me from putting finger to keyboard. So here’s a life update.
The big news is that I quit my job. Yes, after nearly 11 years, I joined the great resignation for all the reasons cited in this Pew Research article and more. Sometimes you just reach a point in your life when enough is enough and you just have to say goodbye. It happened in my first marriage. And it happened in my last job.
Both times I tried to make things work. I tried to dumb myself down and “go along to get along.” I held out hope to the bitter end that things would change, the situation would get better, that I’d be valued. And both times the day came when I made my mind up, when I refused to endure anymore humiliation, where I decided to be true to myself and do what was best for me and mine.
So I said goodbye.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow, especially for optimistic people like me, but you have to look out for yourself because no one else will. And big institutions have no loyalty to you, no matter how hard you’ve worked or how much you’ve sacrificed, so there’s no need to reciprocate. They’re inanimate – without feeling or conscience. And you’re a real, live human – not just a cog in the wheel.
As Andy Dufresne said in The Shawshank Redmemption, “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”
I choose to live!
And I realize it’s a privilege to be able to say bye-bye – a privilege I’m grateful to have. But as it turns out, I can make the same money (and often more!) doing less work as a freelance writer, creative writing teacher, and professional writing coach.
So if you’re in a situation that is toxic, where work stress flows over into your homelife, where you’re overworked and undervalued, where you’re held back, held down, and silenced, I encourage you to make a change if you can. And if I am able to help you or support you, give me a holla. You’ll always have a champion with me. It’s just not worth it to stay where your talents and true value are not seen and not nurtured.
That’s why, going forward, I’m not doing a damn thing that doesn’t bring me joy. Which brings us to all the fun stuff that does just that – brings me immeasurable joy!
I’m teaching a creative writing workshop that is about the best thing ever. A couple of times a week, I meet with a group of the most talented writers and storytellers you could ever hope to meet. We laugh together. We cry together. And we work on writing stories that will knock your dang socks off.
You say you want more Southern humor writing? You’re in luck! I’ve been freelancing for It’s a Southern Thing, al.com/Red Clay Media’s humor brand. In just the last month, I wrote about all kinds of interesting things – mosquito bite prevention and remedies, things every Southerner can cook even if they can’t cook, the good ice, Southern world games, and how to beat the Summer heat during the dawg days.
I’m also freelancing for Mobile Bay Magazine which has been printing excerpts from my book, They Call Me Orange Juice, for a couple of years now. Stay tuned for some new interviews I’ve done for them that will be coming out in the next few months. So far, I’ve gotten to interview an artist and an author. And I’ve enjoyed flexing my “reporter” muscles and doing a different kind of writing.
Last, but certainly not least, I’ve also gotten to work with some great organizations like Episcopal Place, and help with grant writing and other projects, as well as doing some one-on-one coaching with people who had specific needs – company blog posts, resumes and cover letters, social media plans.
And for the love of everything that eats grits and says “y’all.” I’m going to do my level best to be right back here on the blog sharing the fun, funny and occasionally thoughtful things that fly through my mind.
Here’s to new beginnings. I’m so happy y’all are along for the ride!