I have a job.
This is a nice sentence to open with, and for fun I keep repeating it: I have a job. It is interesting because it is not like I have ever been without a job until quite recently and that circumstance came about from completely voluntary and intentional decisions. But still, after some time, being without a job was becoming… the opposite of relaxing. Not that I wanted to get down and dirty and work – I just wanted to be employed. [Conundrum.] And now, I have a job.
It goes a little something like this.
Amanda decides she is done living in Asia. Amanda quits her job in Asia. Amanda decides to take a few more trips in Asia without an income [Burma and India totally worth it in every way, however.] Amanda packs up all her shit and her kitteh and flies home. Amanda lands in San Francisco without an income, a boy cat, a job or a place to live. Amanda cares not. Amanda is either ever faithful or totally stupid.
Or maybe just really lucky.
On arrival, I was home. It was immediately apparent and took the edge off, if there was an edge. I had a ride, a girl cat, a place to stay, tacos and the cavalry. I did not have a job. This seemed – well, frankly not all that impressive in a state where 1 in 8 people do not have work and when you look at the statistics more closely it is even worse. Knowing I wanted to stay made it apparent that I was going to have to get out in the trenches and not take the easier road, which seemed to consistently lead back to Asia. Because nearly 23,000 teachers were laid off in California last March, despite the very obvious need for teachers, the job market was flooded with mostly really good people looking for work. Hm. Not auspicious.
Somehow I was not freaked out. Again, could be enlightenment or maturity or lunacy. I think those three are hard to discern sometimes.
Because of some people I know well and who seem to like me a little bit, I was able to get an interview for a job I was sure I could do but did not exactly have the credentials with which to necessarily demonstrate my awesomeness. But, hey! An interview! I was one of eighty or ninety applicants who wrangled one of the six spots (and I was the lead off hitter… a good thing? Quien sabe.) Sweet. Oh. Except for the part about not having had a legit job interview since 1996. Not that I haven’t changed jobs, but all my moves were handled more like trades, in some cases even along the lines of free agency, but never like waiting for a call-up to the bigs. It turns out interviews are mildly stress-inducing. Not to being thrown one of the most challenging pedagogical questions I have ever even heard in the last five minutes of the pow-wow. Clearly, I obsessed only over that question for the duration of the day, sure that I had just turned a potential job into “future interview experience.”
Aha. Not so fast.
I did some things right: I sent the follow-up email. I had lunch with cute boys. I continued to follow-up other employment leads [note: SFUSD, you might have missed a golden opportunity here, just sayin’.] I got a reply to the follow-up email requesting another follow-up email. I complied. I walked around the City a bit and went home. I did some things a little less productive: I continued to obsess over how I could have answered that damn question. I broke down every nuance I could remember from the interview. I realized how many places I could have done better. I decided experience has its merits as well. I went to bed.
I woke up and had some coffee on Thursday morning and got a phone call from the 510.
I got the job. Well, that will make even the grumpiest kid in morning smile.
It was a totally kick-ass way to start a regular old Thursday. I have to say, I did not do a whole lot else on Thursday that could have been classified as “productive” but I certainly had fun. Waking up on Friday and realizing that I did not need to look for work in any sort of capacity was, ummm… great. I decided to call the real estate agent I had randomly phoned the week before just to see if he had any good places to look at; now that I had scratched ‘jobless’ off my personal profile, I figured I would look at the ‘homeless’ part. (To be fair, I was legitimately unemployed for a minute, but I have never even been close to homeless. I am lucky to have the friends I have that made this possible. [No way to have done it without you, T & R.] Still, I have not had a permanent address in a while.) Out of the blue I had called an agent whose mother is a teacher, so already we were simpaticos, further it turned out that one of his high school teachers at SF Lincoln was the father of someone very special to me. When I asked the agent if he knew Mr. Baucom, there was silence. “You know Coach Baucom? Oh my god! Tell him I said hello, he will remember me for sure!”
I was in.
When I called back on Friday he said he had two places to show me that met my short but specific list of apartment criteria. They were both awesome and saved me the hassle of any legwork. I liked them both but told him we’d look at some more because, well… it seemed silly to rent the first place you see. Plus, I couldn’t really decide between the two. In the past when I have been faced by decisions that stymie me I usually do things like go to China or change jobs. Or cause such a drama that the decision is removed from my hands. [All complete shit strategies, btw.] This time I gave it some thought. I called in the experts to see what they thought. I slept on it. I woke up and realized that I should just do it. I called the agent back knowing that the one I had decided I really wanted was having an open house today. That meant lots of people. But you know what? Yeah, I got the place.
I have been home for exactly five weeks. I have a new job and a new place to live. To be more specific a job in EXACTLY the field I wanted and a place in the EXACT neighborhood I said I wanted to live more than a year ago. I suppose this is what it means to come home. Or perhaps it is what it means to make the right decisions… Things just roll. The layers of synchronicity and connectivity are hard to ignore. And that whole “universe providing” or “manifesting” what one wants seem a little flaky sometimes, so maybe it means it was meant to be or something.
Of course maybe it doesn’t mean any of that and it simply is what it is: a girl who was ready to make a change and did some things differently, like asking for help chilling the f*ck out, and then… getting it done.
[This is dedicated to you guys who know who you are but I’ll say it anyhow: Trace, Ron, mi familia en todo y extensivo, and, amazingly again: JB.]