My Dream Workplace

The kids got two days off this week.  We got one.  Although, if you count a day with no students in which you get to wear jeans and a sweatshirt and don’t have to spend the day explaining why shrugging is not really an answer or why we don’t hit ourselves, I guess we got two.  Today was waiver day, where the kiddos sleep in and we drag ourselves to meetings.  At our intro session this morning, sitting on hard gymnasium bleachers, finishing our muffins and not-quite-good-but-I’ve-had-worse coffee and waiting for the presenters to fix their technological issues (where are the techies when you need them?), we were challenged with this question: “If you could get up every morning and go to your dream workplace, what would it look like?”

My immediate thought was “my kitchen table with my laptop, or a coffee shop with a laptop, or a bookstore with my laptop.”  In reality, the “where” doesn’t matter, because my dream job location is in my own mind.  I love my students.  I love interacting with them (mostly) and I love when I get to see them succeed, even in the smallest way.  But my dream job has existed within me since I was eight and first put pen to paper and let just a little of that dream transfer out into the world.  I read articles like :A Day in the Life of a Writer” by WriteOnCon contributing author Gretchen McNeil and I think, “I could do that!  I would love that!”

Writing is a large part of who I am; it’s not just a hobby, a fun thing to do.  It’s at my core, a part of me.  I wouldn’t be the same person without it.  But frequently making a living, everyday demands of life, force that part of me to take a backseat.  It’s never gone, though.  Even when I go days, weeks, without accessing my files or getting a chance to type even a couple sentences, I never stop writing.  I relish my trips to the bathroom during the day; those couple of minutes walking down the hall are a time I retreat into my other world, into whatever story I choose (or chooses me) at the moment.  Taking a shower, walking to my car, the few minutes between when my head hits the pillow and my subconscious takes completely over: these are the moments I cherish, when I immerse myself with my characters.  The background on my laptop shows a man walking, hands in pockets, looking at a bird; the shadows on the wall behind depict a man with a sword preparing to fight a dragon.  The words “My life is so much more interesting inside my head” scrolls across the page.

I know life as a full-time writer would not be all roses and chocolate, champagne and sunshine.  And very few get rich by it.  But Maya Angelou says: “Don’t make money your goal.  Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”  That’s the kind of job I want!

I stayed up until 1:30 the other night (morning) finishing a short story.  When I finished it and closed my laptop, I was more than just satisfied.  I was fulfilled, elated, warm.  And it struck me, as I wandered down the hallway to brush my teeth and go to bed, “I’m happiest when I’m writing.”  This isn’t to say there aren’t other parts of my life that give me the same level of happiness or joy: my family and friends.  But it’s a different kind of happy.  There is a certain frame of mind, a certain degree or kind of happiness I can only achieve through my writing.  It was true when I was eight; it’s truer today.  I may not ever make it as a fulltime author, but I will always be a writer: in my head, on paper, on the computer, in the stories I tell.  That’s my dream workplace.


~ S.D. Bullard


~ by sdbullard on October 17, 2013.

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