I’ve been thinking lately of talking to my husband about living a different kind of life. Right now, we live with my parents and the baby in a suburb. It’s a nice life, but it’s not precisely what I want, and I don’t think it’s what he envisioned for himself either. I’ve been harboring a secret dream of going part-time, 20 hours a week, and asking my husband if he’d be interested in applying for hospital jobs further out in the country. That way we can rent a small cottage or old farmhouse and live somewhere more rural, but in proximity to a decent-sized town. Very cliche, I know: I want a beautiful natural setting, but I don’t want to be too far from an independent, small-town coffee shop.
Over the years, I’ve been intermittently working on a number of short-stories. Over the last few months, I’ve developed a clearer vision of this project: 10 or 12 interconnected short stories with a deeply entrenched sense of place; stories where the landscape itself serves as character. I have about five stories in advanced draft form, and I think I’ve figured out how I can connect all of them. I’d never seriously considered going part-time before this. Aside from a vague desire to write, I had very little vision of how I would go about bringing this idea to fruition. But I have more clarity now, and I feel like I need a bit of quiet time to put this vision into action.
This is the first time I’ve even written these thoughts down. It’s the first time they’ve left the confines of my own head. My intent was to talk to my husband about this during our one-week vacation in upstate New York, but now the vacation is almost over, and I still haven’t brought it up. I’m not sure what I’m worried about. I think he would support this idea, and I think that even my parents, who have always wanted me to write, would too.
Clarity of vision is difficult for me. I think I settle too quickly and too easily for alternatives to what I actually want. While adaptability is not necessarily a bad thing, I think I might be happier and more productive person if I stopped chasing things I don’t particularly want, like a full-time job in human services and a busy life in the suburbs.