Brave

Walking away from teaching is very much like walking away from a 20-year marriage. I say that as someone who has not ever been married...but who has sacrificed and has been loyal and has devoted my whole life (at the cost of my writing and any kind of a personal life) to teaching.

A lot of people are telling me I am "so brave" to walk away from my full-time teaching career to more fully pursue my author career.

To me, it's not about being brave, nor did it really require any kind of courage, per se. (Of course it is still very new and shiny, so maybe when it sinks in -- you know, in a couple of weeks when I don't get that teacher paycheck). I didn't do it to be brave; it was just something I felt like I had to do.

I have lived very deliberately to not have any regrets and with the possible exception of some guys I have dated- I can honestly say I have no regrets.  (Let's just call those fellas research, shall we?)

I have taught countless students (many of whom have become treasured friends). I have written curriculum and lesson plans to help challenge students and accomplish their goals. I have made friends at every school I have been at -- friends I cannot imagine my life without knowing.

My life has been shaped (for better or worse) by every class, every student I have taught. And I have given my all to that profession. And now, I am giving my all to my writing, which has been on the back burner for far too long. So to me, it's not about being brave at all. It's about doing what I had to, to be true to who I am now. Something I think we should all do. What makes you feel alive? Do that. Pursue that.