It's been over a month since my last blog entry because I've just been crazy busy. Finally got the family all moved in with me here in Washington State and settling in a little. Tonight is really the first time since the move that I've focused on getting caught up on shit and recorded an interview for the podcast.
Those of you who follow me on social media probably know that I left teaching and recently started with the USPS. The past three weeks have been all prep and training. I'm going through the Rural Academy this week to officially become an RCA (Rural Carrier Associate) and will have my on the job training next week. After that, it'll all be on me. And what a time to join the postal service - the holidays. People are just working insane hours and the volume of packages going out is just unbelievable. I guess the postal service is just another thing I took for granted and never really thought about how much work and effort actually goes into getting mail from Point A to Point B. And I learned a lot too. For instance, the only reason why the USPS is running in the red is because Congress is forcing them to pay retirement benefits 75 years in advance. You read that right - 75 years. No other company or government agency has to do that. In actuality, the postal service has a profit of over 3 billion dollars, but enough about that.
With everything going on, I haven't spent a whole lot of time writing recently and probably won't be able to until after the holidays when my schedule settles down. In a way though, being away from the work - away from writing - allows me some time to ruminate about the plot and where I really want to go with the story.
I've been flirting with the idea of putting out a collection of short stories - some new and some classics - and include the novella After America with a new ending. Although I originally intended After America to be a series, it's not going to happen. I've moved passed that and have no desire to go back.
Right now, I'm really at a crossroads and have some difficult decisions to make. I need to be able to focus on my writing if I intend to fulfill some nearly lifelong aspirations. And in doing so, I need to figure out the best way to set up my situation for the best chances of success while still keeping a roof over my family's head and food on the table. Right now, that looks like a return to teaching - a career field I'm good at and allows plenty of downtime to pursue outside interests, but I don't know what the USPS will be like once the smoke clears and the holidays are over. As such, it may work out right where I am.
I used to be able to leave on a whim and go wherever the wind took me. I remember heading out to California with only a skateboard in my hand and a pack on my back, but life isn't like that anymore. Now I've become the person I swore to never be - tied to society with obligations to others... And honestly, I miss having that level of freedom. Still as much as I miss those days, I'd miss girlfriend and daughter even more. And even if I tried, I could never go back. That kid is long gone.