Friday, May 8, 2009

Leaving the Nest -- Writer's Poke #226

I crossed a psychological barrier turning 30. Age is just a number, right? Well, it sure didn't feel that way at the time.

When I was 29 I was still in school, and I couldn't imagine entering my 30s in that condition. To that point, I'd never made more than $20,000 in a year, and my life wasn't full of material stuff. I had sacrificed my 20s for knowledge, and I had no worldly possessions to show for it.

So while I didn't technically drop out of school, I did seek a real job for the first time. But even still, I wasn't happy about it. Yes, I was now making a living wage, and yes, I would now be able to accumulate stuff, but ironically I also felt like a sell out.

To a certain extent, I acknowledged to myself that I needed to sell out. I couldn't stay in college forever, could I? Not as a student, anyway. Truth be told, I was at the point in my life that I needed to leave the academic nest of graduate school.

But then what did I do for a career? I became a teacher, which allowed me to keep one foot in the nest.

What experience do you have leaving the nest? Were you able to make a clean break?

"Time is neither / young nor old, but simply new, always / counting, the only apocalypse." -- Wendell Berry

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