I started a fulltime job last week. Just something to pay the rent, pay the bills, I said. Just something to fill up the daytime, get me to nighttime, which is the time when I write.
So I spent last week picking matching outfits, packing lunches in tupperware, arranging supplies in my cubicle. When I came home in the evenings, some 11, 12 hours after I'd left in the mornings, my body thrummed from a day spent sitting at my desk and at meetings, thinking, and walking in ladies' footwear. Each night I sat at this screen, dizzy, and tried to "buckle down" and "get to work" and write. After all, the day job was just the means, right? This book was the ends, the thing I was really invested in. And here I was, spending 12 hours a day on the road and less than an hour at the destination.
And yet, there is a subtle change in my state of mind. I feel self-reliant, and therefore self confident. I feel motivated and capable. For the majority of all those months I spent unemployed, working fulltime on the book, I had all the time in the world. But I was worried about my future, my rapidly depleting savings, my lack of health insurance. I obsessed about the choices I made. I spent entire days in my room, rereading the same articles, unable to write a word.
Our society values employment. Without employment, it's difficult to have a sense of forward motion, a sense of purpose. Without a sense of purpose, it's difficult to feel useful. When you don't feel useful, you can't feel motivated. And to write a book, more than time, you need motivation and unfailing self confidence.
So, in the end, my day job may give me more than a paycheck. It may give me the feeling that I'm finally getting my life together. And that may be worth more than all the time in the world.
Less than three months till delivery....