At some point, perhaps last semester when my wife and I found out that we were going to have to move, it occurred to me that I wasn't going to finish my thesis. Some might say that I picked the wrong topic--although, I don't think that is the case. I believe that I am just at a stage in my life where I am ready to be finished with school. Thankfully, I have enough credits and have met the requirements so that I can still graduate in August without finishing my thesis.
This certainly limits my future possibilities, but, in a way, I am thankful for that. After a certain point, the more degrees you have, the more it limits you--and there just aren't that many tenured teaching positions out there. The institution of higher education is rapidly changing for the worse, and I don't want to be around when it implodes in on itself, which is going to happen sooner or later.
Maybe I am just burned out or frustrated with the educational system, but, when it comes down to it, I think I have learned what I set out to learn and am ready to start the next stage of my life. I believe I have enough education and world experience that I can get the kind of job that will allow me to do all that fun stuff that eventually comes about for most people to do. I want to be able to enjoy it while it is happening, and not worry about studying and writing papers and grading and all that crap.
That doesn't mean that I won't continue to read and learn and attempt to understand life and the world around me as much as I am able. In fact, I believe I will have more freedom to do so. After all, I have shelves filled with books that I am anxious to read and study--and when you are in school and barely have enough time to get your work done and lesson plan and grade, you don't have time to read or do much else. Not to mention the fact that there is no better teacher than experience. I will continue to learn and grow throughout my life.
Many of the writers who have influenced me the most worked full-time jobs and wrote in their free time. If I don't need to rely on writing to make a living, and I can continue to self-publish my work, I will have greater artistic freedom to explore life through fiction and write stories about whatever I see fit in whatever fashion I see fit. I am not a writer because I am successful or make a living at it, or whatever, I am a writer because I write, and will always write.
This is not the end, but a beginning, and, while I close the door on some possibilities, I am opening the door on many others.