Wow. How many years have passed since I posted last? The time goes by so quickly. Guess the job just took it out of me, but I'm getting ready to fly again. This year I've joined multiple writing groups and as is my habit, way too many to keep up with. I have that writers insecurity and haven't really begun to work on anything new, mostly just short prompt writing and fooling around with things I began a few years ago. So the many groups just added less writing time to my newly uncluttered life. But a few weeks ago, I bid farewell to some of my new starts, and am focusing on writing and learning about structure, and the business of writing. It's time to move on, as of today August 31, 2015.
The beginning of my recent reinvention:
Back in 1999 I took the CBEST (California Basic Education Skills Test). Passing the test is a minimum requirement for teachers in my state, and I took it "just in case." Last year, before my job of a decade and a half ended, I got rid of my old car and bought a 2015 model that is extremely gas efficient after my years with the Mitsubishi Montero Sport. As I season, I also had decided that I was lifting and hauling too much stuff around, so I bought a smaller sedan this time, and bought it brand new.
The last time I bought a brand new car was in 1968 when I was 18. It was a Volkswagen Van blue with a white top, a powdery kind of blue. My dad turned the middle seat and the back part into a convertible bed so I could go camping at the beach in San Diego County. And I did. Smoking cigarettes, learning how to play the guitar, drinking Spanada, getting sunburned, making out with total strangers and surfers, and the smell of the Ocean in the morning. But I am getting off track here. My youthful camping adventures are stories in themselves.
So back to the CBEST. I submitted my application to the State Credentialing agency back in March. I had a small hiccup, putting an x in the wrong box apparently, but I know it wasn't just me. I had the staff at the Career Center take a look, and also asked friends who were teachers and none of them could figure it out. Regardless, by mid May I had my 30 day emergency substitute teacher permit for grades K-12 and a few weeks later a 30 day emergency career technical education permit. I wanted that second one to be for marketing but once I received it the only thing it mentioned was "major" which was fine arts, so I have to try to get clarification for that. I sent my job description to prove my expertise in marketing and advertising, but since I checked the wrong box perhaps that got lost in the mix.
The second thing I did before losing my job was to completely redo my yard from the dirt to the fences and gate and blew a hole through my master bedroom, and added a door shutting the master bed/bath off from the rest of the house. I also installed a gate, dividing my entry courtyard from the rest of the yard and the house just for me. I rented it out on airbnb and had many teachers from all over and a musician (female) with a local gig. In January of this year I rented the room full time to a guy who had a family just north of LA, and a new job in my neighborhood. That worked out great until June, when he moved his family up to Oregon to work out of headquarters. So , back to airbnb and listing on Craig's list, local community colleges and airbnb. The decision to divide the space meant that if I had a high maintenance guest, the gate stays locked. Low maintenance, allow some access.
Within a week of my long term tenant departing I had a college engineering student from Texas doing a lab at a local company for 15 days, a US Marine and his fiancée from Georgia stay for a week over the 4th of July, a woman who makes sacred jewelry and sells it at the Chopra Center for 2 weeks, a 60 something woman from New York attending a conference on enneagram (look it up) for a week, the talented jewelry/fresco artist for another week, then. A French fitness and meditation expert who works for a spa in Aspen Colorado, is also a photographer, leads tours/treks in Tibet. Nepal, Bhutan and Africa and a Chopra Devotee booked for a couple of weeks while receiving a Good Health teaching certificate from that organization, and now a really nice guy who retired after 30 years from a job in Oceanside, who sold his house, and moved to St. Martin for 4 months- starting life as a vagabond, but just before he headed for the Caribbean met a lovely lady, so he's back in town, tired of staying in hotels, getting to know the lady, and seeing his adult kids (now in college), friends and he booked for an entire month. Maybe more. Who knows.
On top of all that, I am eligible for Medicare as of October 1st! Free at last, reasonable payments and co-payments and I've applied for SSA benefits as of October also, which will bring in almost two grand! Oh, and I replaced my stove and refrigerator too, so they should be good to go for a while.
And today I worked for 1/2 day at an elementary school in Encinitas. My first substitute teaching job. It was terrifying and wonderful and I enjoyed it. Hard to read the teacher, but I actually did what he asked, then went to help a second teacher for the last half hour and she asked for my card! Good sign. I am going back to this school on Thursday, so I hope everyone will be happy with me.
Of course there is so much more going on in my life, but for now I'm feeling exhilarated and happy to be back to work, part-time that is. I was letting myself get lazy, not moving enough, watching multiple seasons of shows on Netflix, wasting whole days if I had one appointment, and now I have a purpose and a reason to get up to walk the dogs at 5am again. And I am recommitting myself to writing andf am going to try to keep this up- if not every day, every other. We'll see how that goes. But right now I'm sitting in the yard, a nice breeze, under an umbrella- and revitalizing my blog that I've neglected for way too long. I feelo peaceful and hopeful for this next chapter of my life, and determined to let all the petty frustrations bred over the last few years go. And start again, as a kinder, gentler, positive spirit I used to be. To return to myself.
Here's to me and a new life. I welcome it with open arms.