My husband is trying to get into the Foreign Service. (...gasp...) That is our Plan A. He left the limping newspaper industry and is now working in a soul-sucking public school district as the PR dude. Did I just say that, soul-sucking? More like soul-anesthetizing. Tail-chasing, inefficient, soul-shrinking, anesthetizing...anyway...
I read a great blog post about how I need to move the FS into a "Plan B" position and just keep on living my life. In order to stay sane. That is good advice. Except for one small problem. Okay, two small problems.
One: Who said I am sane to start out with?
And two: I don't have plans, or letters for that matter. I mean of my own.
I don't have much going on in my life right now. With or without the FS. Well, I have plenty going on: Husband, three kids, dog who eats goose poop, cat who bites ankles, gymnastics practice, cub scouts, soccer, tennis, chess camp, computer camp, summer rec, swim lessons, German lessons, endless birthday season (x 4), family reunion in missouri, house, cars, yard, laundry, bills, housework, trying to stay in shape.
Let me clarify. I need a purpose. Maybe a job or a career. A thing that makes me go Wow! I need to leap out of bed and look in the mirror and say, "Okay, good morning, Crazy lady, today is the day! Let's get this party started!"
I spent my first year of college in architecture school. Then I was really practical, and got a Bachelors of Fine Arts in... oh, you'll just love this... uh, huh... ceramics. My grandfather said I was "playing in the mud." He was right. I also like painting with oils ('cause that stuff is safe to smell). I planned to get my MFA (which is the "terminal" degree in fine arts) and work on my own work and eventually teach at the college level. I pictured myself working in my studio, my dog lazing nearby, windows letting light stream in, then teaching partially disinterested underclassmen a few days a week at some university, while an agent represented me to galleries and found public art contests for me to enter, and win! (This is my fantasy, after all.) But I only applied to two MFA programs and got rejected to both. Nobody said, "Wait a year and try again," or "Keep working on your portfolio," or "Try other programs." So I worked for a year and applied to a masters program to teach art. I got in to a great art school, the best art school, some might say. But I was in the art education program. Even though I got to take some "real" studio classes on the side (which I loved), I was teaching art K-12. Not making art full time. Then I graduated and had to start paying off the loans. So I taught for 6 years. When my husband and I had kids and we decided I wanted to stay home with the kids, I wasn't sad about leaving teaching. And I have loved raising my kids.
So that brings us to now. Plan A or B or whatever. Umm. Before this summer my kids were 5, 7 and 9 years old. By August they will be 6, 8 and 10. (No longer an "odd" year, I'm back to even.) I've been home with them for 10 years. (Ten?!) All three kids will be in school full days starting in September. What is my Plan? We thought we'd be getting "the call" by now.
I could try to go back to teaching again in the fall. Although with budgets what they are in NY, art is getting cut everywhere. But teaching isn't what makes me happy, it isn't what makes me feel alive and at my best. Making art is. At least it was, back in the "Olden Days," as my kids say, "Back in the 1900's." Hopefully if the FS plan works out, I'll have a chance to work on Plan Art, maybe for now I should just tow the line and work on Plan $.