So I quit the poetry workshop, letting the instructor know by e-mail. I thanked her for everything, but explained that as much as I enjoy the classes, they cannot be my priority right now.
It’s been wonderful, but I can’t commit to those time slots any longer, or the gas money. I need to focus on more practical things. Especially saving money, and making more of it. That includes cutting back on driving to Chicago. This year has been hard because I used to go up there a lot– at least twice a month, sometimes more. Two of my best friends live up there, and I enjoyed getting out of the suburbs to see them. They made trips to J-town too, but let’s face it– the city is more exciting. This year I’ve mostly talked to those friends on the phone– but they make a point to call me too. We’ve adapted as good friendships do. I’ve made a lot of practical changes this year, and it’s been wonderful. It’s brought me simplicity, tranquility, and more stability. I’m on a roll with the “ility,” words!
And her reaction was wonderful. She couldn’t have been more professional. She invited me to any future workshops, and promised to let me know the dates in case I could make it. She offered to send me a copy of their chapbook publication, even though I had declined to submit this time. She said she really enjoyed my writing, and was glad that I had attended. Consummate professional. Any reasonable adult understands when work and budgeting comes first. It’s good to know she’s not holding my decision against me, and respects that the timing is not right at this time.
And maybe I can make an adjustment myself about going to Chicago this year. Maybe I can start taking the train more often instead. I’ve always avoided it except for a few times, preferring to not be limited about when I can arrive and leave. I also prefer parking hassles to having to switch trains and traverse around the city on foot, especially in the cold– alone. I’ve grown to be an excellent Chicago driver, and even parallel parking. I can maneuver into almost any spot now, like a local!
But maybe it’s time that I start learning to get around the city like a TRUE Chicagoan– on the “L.”