When I was a young lass, a freshman in college, my acting teacher (who, you may recall, despised me), told me, as we were beginning an exercise, to "Take a risk, for once!" Being my 18 year-old, terrified, desperate-to-please self, I nodded. Problem was, I had NO idea what she meant.
My life up to and including that point (and for a few more years to come) was all about NOT standing out. Not making mistakes, not disagreeing with anyone, not making waves.
Kinda funny that I chose to be on stage, but I think there was a part of me that was already rebelling against the Good Girl.
The exercise, a silly game I can't really remember, went on, and my teacher was, as usual, disappointed in me. I soldiered on, managed to get my degree (and even get cast in a few shows along the way), and eventually made my way to the Shakespeare company in Massachusetts where I learned what it meant to take a risk, among so many other things.
There's a lot of risk-taking advice going around these days. Some of it has to do with finances ("DO NOT RISK ANYTHING!!!!!!" seems to be the order of the day), while sometimes it's about Life. The latter is where we hear about taking risks, doing things that scare us, stepping (man, I'm sick of this phrase) "outside the box."
Well, many, MANY years after that freshman year (wow, a WHOLE lotta years!), I'm taking one. I dropped one Pilates class, as I mentioned, and just told my boss that I want to drop my long-running evening class. Part of me hates to do it: I've been teaching that class for 4 1/2 years, I love the students, and I'm a little worried about the lighter paycheck, but I REALLY need to take a step in the direction I've been wanting to go in, and that means teaching more acting and less Pilates.
Plus, it'll mean I won't have to teach 3 hours in San Jose, race up the freeway in rush hour traffic and then teach another hour. I'll be a lot less exhausted, lol!
What's funny is that it din't even occur to me to drop the class until a couple of days ago. But as soon as I thought of it, I knew it was the right thing to do. Hubby & I discussed it (sort of; I mentioned it to him & he said "If you think it's the right thing, it's the right thing. Go for it." How much do I love that man?!?!?!) and I made the decision. And immediately felt a weight lifted from my shoulders. So I knew it was the right decision.
But it still feels scary. All the what-ifs have been racing around my brain: What if I hate the job? What if THEY hate me? What if I don't get more work in the future? Will I be able to make my student loan payments? And the other side: What if it goes well and they offer me more work? Can I do that AND be here for the kids? Will we need to hire someone to help take care of them? Will we be able to afford THAT?
I keep reminding myself that the kids are older, more independent, and can probably handle mom working more hours. In fact, that's a goal for them, to be less reliant on me and more on themselves. They may never be fully independent, but that's certainly the hope. Is it possible I'm holding them back, even a little bit, by being home so much?
Is it possible to have more mom guilt? I don't think it is! :)
Anyway, I'm waiting to hear from my boss. I was hoping to do this is person, but LG is home sick today, so I had to tell her by email. Ugh. Easier on me, maybe, but still not the way I wanted to handle it.
I'm also reminding myself of another old adage, everything happens for a reason. so, I'll try to keep the faith, look on the bright side, and stop speaking in cliches.
And I'll let you know how it all works out.