I had this realization a couple weeks ago that I wasn’t going to get a teaching job I wanted for this fall, I am so barely qualified and there is such intense competition in the applicant pool. I was aiming for something that would be a gamble during a good economy, but is probably statistically equal right now to winning the lottery. (Maybe I shouldn’t have just read that news story about unemployment statistics just now, but too late.) When I resigned myself to the particular failure of my campaign, I was disappointed but no self-loathing about it. Last night I had a bout of feeling quite foolish for even making the attempt, it was unpleasant. Given the federal stimulus package, I should be getting unemployment benefits until January, and then who knows. Prior to that who knows. But I’ve decided that until then, I will write like hell. Perhaps this is what I finally need to turn some mental blocks around, I mostly have lived the soft life of writing merely for pleasure or art or whim, and maybe what I need is some time writing as if my life (and my rent and food source) depend on it. Journalists are bred and shaped this way, it makes them hearty and quick; creative writers, maybe we are accidentally coddling ourselves. We didn’t even have the academic challenge of the giant thesis exactly, though I did turn in 100 pages of creative work in exchange for my degree, so I shouldn’t sell myself short completely. Anyway, the point of all this is right now in my life, I don’t really feel like I have anything to ground and stabilize and identify myself except for my writing, and I am going to take this as a sign, universe, before you start stripping me of more things. Then again, let’s look at it from the other side that’s more empowering: maybe I am equally stripping and releasing things as others are being taken.