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Yesterday I met a family about babysitting. They live in the next town over in a nice house on a hill – three kids, a dog, pretty much what you’d imagine. The mom was really nice: energetic, happy, easy to talk to. The youngest, a daughter, sat at the table with us the whole time, not saying a word. Her cropped blonde head just went back and forth between us, watching.

And as much as I tried to avoid it, the question, “So, what do you hope to do?” came up, and I was obliged to give some sort of answer. At first I was going to talk about publishing. Because it’s easy. Because it’s something people can wrap their minds around. But I can’t keep lying to everyone. Too much alone time. Too much paperwork. So I was honest.

“I’m not sure,” I said. “I love writing, but I don’t think I want that to be my main source of income. I’ve been thinking about getting certified to teach English as a foreign language.”

This was true. I’ve been doing research online about potential programs, different places to study, different job possibilities once I’m done.

“Oh, that sounds interesting!” she said.

Good. I came up with the right answer. But the thing is, that’s just what I’m thinking about this week. This week I emailed a friend in New York, one of my best friends, asking to let me stay with her while I studied my own language. To paraphrase Anne of Green Gables, I soared up on the wings of anticipation – fast-paced days in the big city, meeting people from all over the world, eating out at little hole-in-the-wall diners tourists never find, writing in a nook in the public library – and then thudded right back down when my friend said that wouldn’t work.

Who knows what my answer will be next week?!

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