Thursday, May 21, 2009

Screwing Up

Every time I screw up, I think that now I understand this particular pattern and will watch for it, prevent it from happening again. For example, I know that I've run away from things I really would want or enjoy a number of times out of fear. I almost turned down the workshop at the college for this very reason, and I've said no to jobs at Hollins and elsewhere that I wish I would have taken.
In fact, from the very beginning, this is the way things have been. I must have been 17 or 18 when I was told that I should be a teacher, but I didn't think I wanted to be--not that I knew. I'd never done it. Once I did it, I realized that was what I wanted. But I didn't take the first job I was offered, thinking I needed more education to be able to do it justice. And I turned down community college jobs when I first finished the PhD, only to learn that this is what I probably should be doing. I guess learning from experience is not generally as easy as it's supposed to be.


Robin said...

We all make decisions we regret later, but at the time they seem right, and the best we can do given the circumstances. I wouldn't be so hard on yourself. There really is no way of knowing how your life would have turned out, if you would have been better off, or if you would have met some of the same people you care about if you HAD taken these long-ago jobs. That's one of the things that make life so interesting. We CAN'T go back, and we shouldn't! We can only move forward

Robbi said...

That's all true Robin, but I'd like to have that job at Hollins about now. When else will I ever get offered a full time creative writing position? It is true I know much more about teaching now than I did then; I had never taught before. I was terrified! My mentor was offering to guide me, but I am way too anxious to allow that. I needed to learn to teach, and I have. And I learned plenty more about writing of all kinds than I knew at that time. I'm writing better too. So I guess it wasn't a waste. UCI's PhD program was no fun, but I learned everything I know, nearly, when I was there.