The Important Thing Is…

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a rambling blog post here. You know, the ones that go on and on about something fairly irrelevant to anything important? I know you’ve missed those posts. Admit it. You’ve missed them. Alright then, here you go.

I got nearly 10 inches cut off my hair the other day. And then I colored it a color I haven’t worn since the 90s. After that? Well, after that I painted my nails electric blue and bought a new shade of lipstick: red.

Yeah. Something’s up.

And I think I know just exactly what it is. For the first time in more than a decade, I don’t give a good #@$%! what people think about my appearance. I don’t have students or colleagues or a department chair to be seen by every day. I don’t have to look respectable and responsible. If I want to have a bright blue streak down the middle of my head, I can (I don’t, mind you. But the point is: I could). I’ve been taking steps in this direction since I left teaching full-time. Last September I got my nose pierced. Last week I gave all my “work” clothes to Goodwill and I’ve started caring more about my writing than the online classes I’m teaching.

Yes, I know I’m turning 40 this year and not acting my age (whatever that means) and many people will chalk this up to a mid-life crisis. And many others will say I’m being irresponsible or that I’m a bad teacher because I’m, quite frankly, neglecting my students. That’s the other great thing about where I am. I don’t give a (insert expletive here). I’m doing my job. My job is to write. To write frequently and to write well. To write words that will have an impact on my readers. And, truth be told, I think that’s the best lesson I could ever give my students. Sure, I could devote all my time to teaching them the difference between your and you’re – but let’s face it: what’s more important? That they learn the difference or that they learn to follow their passion? This could be complete malarkey – and I’m willing to consider that position. But tonight – right now – I don’t care if they learn the difference. If they never learn the difference and become amazing writers – well, then they’ll have amazing editors who will correct their mistakes. If they go on to become amazing accountants or engineers or musicians, who really cares if they know the difference? As long as they’re amazing. That’s what’s important.

And yes, I know that even I, as I write this, don’t fully believe what I’m saying. And students: don’t listen! It IS important to know the difference between your and you’re. I’m just trying to make a point here. Give me a break.

What’s the point? The point is – be who you want to be. Be that person now. Be that person always. Don’t give in to what’s expected of you. Don’t ever, not frakking ever, make a choice because you think it’s what you “should” do. Life’s short. Make the most of it.

And that, dear readers, is my two cents.

14 thoughts on “The Important Thing Is…

  1. I love it!!!! I am getting my hair cut next week and by gosh I am going to do my nails purple!!!!! Thanks Gabriel

  2. Love this post. I find myself participating in my own private rebellions every day to get myself a little closer to ME. Usually they involve purple or navy nail polish. Yesterday it was a t-shirt and blazer with jeans–not a huge step, but I just couldn’t handle conservative teacher-dress one more day. And when my students–who are required by the writing program to turn in major writing assignments in red folders–choose to use pink, I cheer them on.

    • Ooooohhhh…the blue streak. I “almost” did it the other day. Still feeling it out. Who knows? I may just do a rainbow in my hair!

  3. Ok, so I didn’t do the purple, almost did the blue but went with hot pink. But I am working on it. Appt Thurs to get my hair cut into something sassy, then we’ll see about what color. You are such a inspiration!

  4. Malarkey! HAHAHAHAHA!!!! I can’t believe you used that word, I haven’t heard that in forever!!
    Must be something in the air because I’ve kind of been feeling the same way lately. Of course I’m not painting my nails or getting all my hair chopped off, all half an inch of hair that I have that is. But for several months I have thought about selling my 69 Firebird, thinking that it was too much money to work on it, or I didn’t have the time, or whatever I could come up with to convince myslef to sell the car of my dreams. Then just recently I snapped out of it and thought to myself, what in the heck am I thinking?! Cars have always been my passion and to sell one of my all time favorite cars would have been a huge mistake. So I am focused on getting back into automotive work. I volunteered to change spark plugs and plug wires for a memeber of my lifegroup at church for free. Why? Because I love working on cars. There’s satisfaction in it for me. Now I am volunteering at the church to do automotive work for people that can’t afford to pay for the work. The money isn’t important it’s the passion I have for cars that drives me to do this. You are absolutely right, follow your dreams and passions because we only have one shot at this. Love you little sister!

    • Wow! What a great comment! I love that you’re following your passion – don’t ever stop and don’t ever let the “responsible” thing get in your way. You have a gift with mechanics, and you love it too – that’s a combination that rarely comes along. I love you too, big brother. And that’s no malarkey! 😉

  5. No one asked the obvious question: what color is your hair now? I’m dying to know. (I can’t believe I just put a pun that bad in type.

    Thanks. I know I read it a few days late, but I really really needed this.

    And I’ll happily admit that I love your (allegedly) “irrelevant” rants. I do.

    • Check out my fb page for a pic of the new hair 😉 So glad it came to you at a good time. How’re things on the other side of the world? I haven’t seen a post by you lately. xx.

  6. Love the haircut. And, well, if you want to rainbow it up — you just go right ahead.

    Love this! I hear you, girl!

    I want my nose ring back. So what if I’m two years away from 50 (jeez, really?!). I want to cut off this mass of curls, get a bob, and dye my hair red — or maybe, just more auburn than brunette ((hubby is not in agreement, but he’ll love me anyway).

    And, as much as I care about being a good teacher, I care a lot more about my writing. I agree with your points on teaching writing one hundred percent! I don’t want to be a bad teacher, but I have given it my all the past thirteen years, and my writing life has suffered.

    You, my dear friend, have been such an inspiration — your attention to your own writing and your dedication to your blog (which I enjoy so much) has reminded me of why I moved to Plum Point — and that there are many platforms for my writing.

    Rant away. I love your rants!
    xx,oo

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