I conversed with a old friend today, and she told that after thirty years of teaching writing in a posh charter school up in New Jersey, she quit.

It’s literally all she’s ever done professionally. And she was good.

“So what’s the plan?” I asked.

“Some writing full-time, some editing, maybe tutor?”

Thing is, she can write her own ticket. She’s also written several books.

On the flipside, I’m disgusted by her admins. The woman was pushing herself over seventy hours a week with the course load they gave her, with no consideration to her life, her balance. Weekends gone. Evenings gone.

And she hung in there as long as she could. Until she couldn’t.

Just like that, they’ll hire someone younger, with little or no experience, and she’ll be replaced as though she were never there.

Her retirement is adequately secure now. But she has a thirteen year gap between now and then, and I hope she uses it for her.

I hope she travels. Discovers. Learns something new she’s never had time for. Grows her beloved herbs.

That’s the dream I have for her.

It’s doubtful to be, though. Her home life is as confining as her former job. I mentioned travel to her, and she said that wouldn’t be supported. Code but not code. I knew exactly what she meant.

The inside of an eggshell must appear bulletproof.

The fact that it’s paper-thin is what burns me inside.