I went to work as a substitute teacher with a couple of thoughts in mind.
Neither of them were love or death.
First, I need a whole month free to live in Honduras this summer. Most jobs I could apply for right now would turn me down when I mention being out of the country for all of July. No students in summer means no subbing in summer. So I’m good.
Second, I have been reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and she is adamant I can’t rely on my art to pay bills. It puts too much pressure on my art. I’m torn here. For years, my husband’s job has paid our bills, so I haven’t expected my writing to do so, but I have said, “If I could just sell a book,” more times than I can count. Any financial stress has me wishing I could get a book contract. So I am, in a sense, placing pressure on my creativity. My energy is minimal after spending all day teaching, and there are still dishes to wash and floors to vacuum and worship services to help build by Sunday. I’m not sure how working to pay bills will affect my creativity.
Regardless, here I am, a brand new substitute teacher. New in this town at least. I did this job a decade ago in another town. Back then I mostly subbed for high school. I was requested often for Advanced English and Theatre classes. Rather than draining me, that work energized me. I have high hopes of finding a similar niche in this district. Only time will tell.
I arrived for my first day as a substitute teacher in fifth grade math, and neither love nor death were part of my reasoning for being there. But, that morning as I dressed for work, I heard the news that Alan Rickman had passed away. So maybe I was a little sad. Maybe my brain snagged a little on the mournful side of normal.