Letting Go of the Old and Embracing the New

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1

When I wrote my previous post on new directions, I had no idea how quickly my life would change. I became an adjunct instructor for Butler Community College in 1998. I enjoyed my time at Butler, but extensive changes in the department description of the course I was teaching meant I would need to make major changes to my course. Rather than make those changes, I decided it was time to let go of the security of the known and embrace new opportunities and challenges.

Such a big change feels like working without a net, but in times of doubt, I remind myself that I’ve done this sort of thing before. In 1983, when I was thirty-nine, I packed everything I thought I would need into my 1980 Ford Fairmont and left Kansas for Denver, Colorado. I had a few hundred dollars, no job prospects, and nowhere to live. I did not know anyone in Colorado. But I had been there on vacation and the beauty of the mountains drew me. My children were grown and my marriage over. It was time for a new start. After a few part-time retail jobs, I finally settled in Boulder as a store manager for General Nutrition Centers. I found friends and writing groups and had wonderful times hiking in the nearby mountains.

Thirteen years later (1996), I was drawn back to Kansas and my family here. I returned to my home state with about the same amount of money I had left with but about ten times the belongings. It took a van and my car to haul my stuff to Wichita. Soon, I found a job in retail, a writing group, and friends. Two years later, I began teaching for Butler. In October, 2013, I moved to Emporia to be closer to family. This time, I didn’t change jobs; as an online instructor, I could live anywhere. Within weeks, I found a local writing group. So I am no stranger to change, and there is little question about what I want to do next: write full time. However, my novels aren’t exactly selling like hotcakes–or even kale–and since “starving” is not the word I want to put in front of “writer” when describing myself, I clearly need to do more than make up stories.

One friend suggested I might “resort to something outrageous in the literary sense” in order to get read. That reminded me of a book I had once owned that told how to get famous in twenty-eight days. I immediately started looking for it, but finally concluded it was probably one of the hundreds I had given away when I moved to Emporia, another example of how getting rid of something will make it be the very thing you need.

Another friend, who described herself as having “pugnacious persistence” when it comes to nudging me down a path to fame and fortune, suggested I turn my Write to Fit  e-book series into a workbook, a course, and a game (anyone for “Fun with Infinitives”?). Except for the game, this last suggestion looks like my best option. To that end, I have been working on the second book, Basic Sentence Add-Ons: Phrases, and creating a website based on the series. In my heart, I am still a teacher, and I see my audience as college students and other beginning writers. My first blogs are aimed at helping new online students be successful in their classes. After that, I will focus on helping writers determine the best word, sentence, or writing strategy to fit their projects. Come visit my other site at http://hazelhart.com/.

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3 Responses to Letting Go of the Old and Embracing the New

  1. Rovine says:

    That’s a fascinating story! I just subscribed to hazelhart.com. May I ask what would you intend to do with this blog?

    • Hazel says:

      Blog posts here will be about doing those things I always wanted to do but didn’t have time for while I was working fulltime and encouraging others to follow their aspirations. I will also include a fair amount of personal opinions on current events.

      • Rovine says:

        My current situation relates exactly to that I’m working a stressful job in a busy city that’s threatening to tear my sanity apart. Currently working on getting out by next year.

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