I Jumped

June 1, 2021

This post is going to be a little bit of a mess. I started writing it and then deleted what I wrote because my brain feels like a pile of mismatched puzzle pieces. But I knew that what I had to say couldn’t just live in the pages of my journal.

I resigned from my job today. It wasn’t easy to send the email. I’ve been there for thirteen years, my entire adult life. So much of my history and identity are wrapped up in teaching that it’s hard to walk away.

Not to mention I am made of nostalgia, so as I went to hit send, all these memories bubbled up of my first year. 2009. I was 24 years old. I had just transferred from a particularly hellish situation that I’m still dealing with the effects of all these years later. But East Side was home immediately. I loved the kids. I loved my coworkers. I loved my schedule and my classroom. I loved Independence Park and the bakeries on every street corner. The smell of barbecue from Pulaski in the summer time. Friday afternoons spent singing and playing guitar in my boss’s office. A small slice of heaven conveniently located in the Ironbound.

But recently, my heart and my head have been elsewhere. My love for this place and all the people that run its halls are as strong as they’ve ever been. But I’ve been feeling the call of this other life I’ve been cultivating for longer than I wanted to be a teacher. It was only at the beginning of quarantine that I finally had space for it. Writing. I finally had time to write a novel. I started ghost writing for other people. I got a job doing marketing and writing for an educational company. I am a writer. It’s official. But I have to admit my heart hurts a little today, even though I’m excited about what’s next.

Change is hard, even when you’re the one doing the changing. Staying is hard though, too, sometimes. Today I did the thing I never thought I’d do. I don’t know what the map looks like beyond right now. I have an idea. And a plan. I guess we’ll just have to see. I’ll let you know how it goes. : )

Published by Robyn Neilsen

I am a writer and educator based out of New Jersey. My creative nonfiction essays and flash fiction stories have been published by Thought Catalog, Vocal Media, and On Mogul. As a lifelong learner, I enjoy honing my craft through writing workshops with LA Writers Group, Gotham Writers, and The Moth. I am currently querying my first novel and am actively working on my second.

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