Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Journey

This past week and a half, I took a trip to South Bend, IN to visit my grandmother. We actually stayed with my Great Aunt Mercedes in Coloma, MI, and drove back and forth. That gave us several trips through rural west Michigan, including a day trip to St. Joseph/Benton Harbor to see Lake Michigan. The downtown area of Benton Harbor is very rough-looking, but the lake shore of both cities is being developed with museums and other arts venues to attract visitors. Another day several us went to Shipshewana to visit Amish country to eat and shop.

My great aunt lives in a farm house with 19 acres left of what was once a pretty big farm where they used to raise apples and cherries and raised various vegetables. She still raises some vegetables, and she has a small strawberry patch the children picked. Melina, Daniel, and Dylan all had a great time, and they all said they would love to live out there.

Among visiting with family and friends I haven't seen in a while and being out in the country and seeing Shipshewana, where we saw a store for sale for less than our house is worth, and the lake front of St. Joseph/Benton Harbor, I came to realize something that has been simmering under the surface for a while now: I'm absolutely miserable living in Richardson. What I find miserable is this suburban pseudo-existence of just barely getting by doing nothing I want to do, always busy and getting nothing done. I'm neither relaxed nor accomplished. In the country one can relax; in the city, you are surrounded by action. But the suburbs have the absolute worst of both worlds. It's neither relaxing nor is it close to anything at all, meaning you have to get in your car to do anything.

Add to this the fact that I'm getting ready to get alternative certification to teach elementary education special ed in Dallas ISD. This is certainly something I can do, but it's not what I'm supposed to be doing.

And that's what I've come to realize this past week. What it is I'm supposed to be doing. It's not teaching, that's to be sure. No, what I'm supposed to be doing is running a theater so that I can perform my plays. I would love to do it in a small town like St. Joseph or Benton Harbor, which attracts just enough people from places like Chicago and South Bend that it could be successful and get a reputation. And the towns are the right size to have things to do and have shopping close by and still have some easy living.

So that's the goal. I'll have to teach for a little while, but the goal is to own and run a theater somewhere. I need to write plays and direct my plays and provide myself with a real purpose. I appreciate the attempts people have made at helping me do just that with scholarly work on economics and higher education. I've learned a lot doing those things. But they are not what I'm meant to be doing. I'm a writer. I'm a play writer. It's time I took my life into my own hands and made that reality into something.
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