"One of these mornings...you'll look for me and I'll be gone."
- Patti Labelle & Moby (2006)
It's 3:30 a.m. and I'm still hard at work, correcting term papers. Luckily blessedly, on nights/days such as these I'm able to sleep in, have time to get my Diva-self together; and muster enough vitalite to teach the next (the same?) day, then come come home and be a mommy as well as carve out a sliver of time to work on my art (thank you mom!) As I began marking yet another paper, a Patti Labelle/Moby song sprung into my head; became a litney in my mind, heart and soul: "One of these mornings, won't be very long..." It's a times like these that I wonder what in the heavens I'm doing.
Conservatively estimated, I put 5 hours a day (including weekends, and not taking into account my 'off hours' tutoring) into my teaching-craft at a private, well funded prosperous university. When I do the math, I barely earn $6.50 an hour, per semester (not including summers, when I earn nothing - zero) with no benefits, and no office - other than my ever revolving assigned classroom(s)]. And might I add, I've got an M.A., a Ph.D., am published (in my field), have always had excellent reviews (peers and student) and have been working at said university for 7 years - with no promotion and none forthcoming. To add insult injury, a superior recently told me that my advancement opportunities, at said university, are non-existant - but that it's not personal, or a reflection on me, it's just business.
So here I am, sun getting ready to rise on the horizen, grit in my eyes, still going at it. Why, you ask? Because...I love it. I love teaching, I love my students, and (in spite of the no-Love my university shows to me) I love where I teach. I look forward to every class lecture/discussion and term paper, to every time I see an 'ahh-hahhh' moment in a student's eyes.
But I'm getting tired and discouraged. It's at times like these, when I just want to go to bed and...sleep, then wake up, grab my camera and venture out into the world (embrace my artist). At times like these, I wonder why I don't just focus on my family and my art, save myself and my pride, and start a new life. And I know I'm not the only one; I'm not alone. I've met so many Ladies and Gentlemen who have been in my shoes and decided to follow their muse instead. And the thought of living my life, triumphant or failure on my own terms, is tempting indeed.
So, 'tho I so love my academic career, I think that it's just about time for me to take my future into my own hands; to step out onto the ledge; to take a leap of faith...in myself. And, as I'm mulling over my desicion, as my current career gaze grows ever dimmer, Patti's soulful voice keeps sweetly singing in my inner ear, calling to my soul: "...and I'll be gone!"
Vivre! Rire! Aimer!