About this time last year, I was feeling a little disconnected and strange because, for the first time since kindergarten, I wasn't going back to school in some form or other in the fall. For the first time that I could remember, fall simply felt like the death of the old year, not the beginning of a new one.
This year, it is getting ready for back to school that feels just a little strange. Mostly, I'm excited. I am beyond lucky in so many ways: having a job. In academia. In my field. Where I get to teach the classes I want, with the support of the department, rather than filling in the gaps for people who are on sabbatical. At a place that's excited about the creative writing I do (at a recent faculty dinner, I was introduced as "the one with the story in Weird Tales.") Maybe this is just the way it is at a school where the mascot is a mythological creature. Maybe I'm just lucky.
But I also feel nervous. I think because there's so much new, so much transition. New place to live. My first really grown-up job. (Okay, yes. I taught as an adjunct at the law school I graduated from for a couple of years directly after graduation. I suppose if someone is calling you "professor," it qualifies as a grown-up job. But the circumstances didn't really feel like that was an accurate description.) The first time trying to balance having a full time day job with being a writer. I want to do everything right, and I'm not precisely sure what the definition of "right" is yet.
But this sort of strangeness is better than last year's. Because right now I get to feel transitional and uncertain and that's fine because it means things are happening. I'm not watching a bus go by through the window and wishing I was on it.