Sometime in early 1967, Brian Wilson gave up on what could’ve been one of the greatest albums of all time, SMiLE. Up until then, Brian had been flying high with The Beach Boys recording pop masterpiece after pop masterpiece. The musical press called him a “musical genius”. He released wrote and produced Pet Sounds in 1966 when he was just 24. Brian did more between 1962-early 1967 than people do in their lifetime. In early 1967, he got tired of the game, tired of fighting battles, tired of the pressure put on him to come up with something. He didn’t stop everything. Instead he stepped back and found his own groove.
When I started working at the Clarion Free Library in 2007, I was pretty gung ho about every event that I put together for teens. I looked forward to Wednesdays at the library, where me and anywhere from one to twenty teens would hang out, chat, and do something. I didn’t have a lot of money to put on programs, but I did what I could and I was excited about it. As time went on and I worked at different libraries, I found myself still enjoying the work and coming up with more creative ideas, but at the same time finding myself looking for ways to scale back a bit due to other professional interests I had taken on. This year, early 2011, I had my SMiLE moment. I can’t keep up the pace I’m running at. Much like Brian Wilson, I’m stepping back and finding my own groove.
It’s not that I want to quit what I’m doing. I love being a librarian and everything that comes with it. Most importantly, I love nothing more than bringing excitement to the library and the teens I serve. They deserve 100% and I haven’t been giving that to them. In order to do what I want to do I need to take a step back and recharge. To get there, I’ve got to make a lot of cuts to the professional lifestyle I currently lead. So, I’m stepping back from library life for a bit to think about what I want to do and how to get there. I won’t bore you with a list of things I’m gonna do and not gonna do (sorry, no more dance parties or tattoos!). Instead, over the the next few whatever (days, months, years, I won’t know until I get there) I’ll try to lead through experience and examples.