Actually, it’s more like I’m ticking off little check mark boxes.
I finally did it. I sent off a poem to a magazine for publication/consideration. I’m fully anticipating/expecting to be given a “thank you for applying” notice along with a very nice rejection letter. I’m completely stepping outside of my comfort zone and am trying something truly new.
I sent my work out for publication.
Or at least consideration.
I really am stretching for the stars with this one. A friend of mine reads The New Yorker cover to cover. I wrote a poem today about first-world problems, a piece that was intended to get my students to think. I wanted to give them something they would have never seen before. Therefore, when in doubt, just write it myself.
And I did. I constructed a villanelle about first-world problems and how they can become a bit all-consuming. And my friend and colleague who reads The New Yorker said that I should send my piece to the magazine.
This is actually the second colleague who has told me this. I didn’t believe the first one who told me this.
I’m just not good enough.
And I really don’t think that my second colleague is right as well.
But, what if she is?
I keep on dreaming about seeing my name in a publication. And I really didn’t intend for my first real attempt to be The New Yorker. I feel like such a charlatan, sending something to them. I just don’t feel good enough.
But, at the same time, when will I ever feel good enough?
I’m almost done with the application to take classes at a local university. Hopefully, this fall, I will enroll in a poetry writing class. Not because I don’t know how to write poetry but because I don’t know how to edit poetry.
I have been putting off the application process for months because I was afraid. I was so anxious about stepping outside my comfort zone that I was prepared to paralyze myself and stifle my dreams.
Over anxiety about doing something new.
That’s it. Just going to a new place and doing something new.
But writing poetry isn’t that new. And working in a workshop setting isn’t new.
But applying to take the class was and I was suddenly and completely and utterly terrified.
So I sat and did nothing but the deadline to register for the class is fast approaching.
And I was watching yet another dream leak out between the ridges of my fingers.
All that confidence I built a year ago has been steadily drifting away and I am about to stand on this molehill of my life and stare at the horizon that is receding.
But I won’t. I won’t. I won’t.
I won’t stand here on this fabulous molehill and watch my world fall into cracks of mediocrity and routine just because it’s comfortable. Instead, I am going to grab back onto the edges of my world and I’m going to move forward.
I sent out a poem to The New Yorker.
I am going to print, sign, and finish the paperwork to send off to the right people so that I might enroll in classes.
I am going to live. I am going to live. I am going to live.
In thirty-eight more school days, we will have graduation. I will have a week’s worth of time to finish cleaning up my classroom and packing up my school life and start grabbing onto the life that has I have nurtured but left in dormancy for the last nine months.
But in those thirty-eight school days, I don’t see why I can’t just start pushing forward. Writing more poetry. Finding more literary magazines.
And send out what I have written and wait for the rejection letters to arrive.
And then, one day, maybe an acceptance.
A yes please.