When I first visited here 15 years ago, I had driven all day with a folded map by my side and a new suit in the back seat of my car. I found a hotel not too far from the location of my interview so I would have an uncomplicated drive the next morning. I had a general idea where I was but being a disoriented stranger, new to town, I was unsure of which direction I was facing.
After dinner, which I ate alone in my hotel room, I took a walk to the river— trying to relax and wondering if I would like living in this area. Alone. Away from family and friends.
I walked to this pier, looked across the water and saw the U.S. Capitol. On that unusually warm spring evening, sitting alone at the end of a dock, I knew I had found my home.
This word has been floating around in my head for a while as it’s been something I have been trying to do. Escape the routine. Escape boredom. Escape my own stubbornness to step away from the (very) comfortable and try something new.
The job I interviewed for last week was offered to me this week. It’s exciting, scary, new, tremendously challenging…everything I need in a new job. I would still be connected to students, I would oversee teachers, curricula writing, training, budgets (or lack thereof) / grant-writing and issues I cannot yet imagine. I would be able to fight for needed policy changes, offer support to teachers who have been standing alone for too long and continue to defend the public schools in which I so strongly believe. All of which could have a positive impact on students… and isn’t that the point of an education?
Today, I would rather be on that boat. In the middle of this quiet lake. Gently paddling along.
Instead I have a choice to make.
This time of year, after spending months cooped up at work or inside the house, I spend more time in my yard. This is the time to “wrestle” the weeds out and welcome the returning perennials back in. I always try to set up a few vegetables and hope for the best. My garden routines are similar each year and I look forward to the familiar pattern.
Today I completed my first face-to-face(-to-face) interview in 15 years. I have had a few informal “meetings” where a supervisor has already suggested I should be hired—and those absolutely.do.not.count. Today was a wear-a-new-suit-and-keep-re-trying-on-five-different-shirts-and-actually-do-something-with-your-wild-hair-and-why-is-my-stomach-churnning-and-leave-super-early-so-you-are-not-late-day.
I am surprised how comfortable and content I am. I am beyond relieved the interview is over and I am relieved that it went well. There were a few fumbles but the person I presented is really me (fumbles are common, so I was just being authentic). They now get to choose if I am a good fit or if someone else is a better fit. I sincerely hope they discover an applicant who is much more qualified on every level than I. The teachers and students desperately need that person. I would be honored if they chose me but I am undecided if I would even accept such a job. It is a position that would give me endless challenges—many of which I have not yet faced—which is tremendously scary.
Challenges are good though and many of them turn us in to better people…once we survive those tests.
Today’s interview leaves me feeling grateful for the following:
— I have the luxury to search for new opportunities. I have not lost my medical coverage, I still have a paycheck and do not have to worry about how I will pay my bills—many people around me are not so fortunate.
— Despite all its frustrations and the fact we may no longer be the perfect fit for one another, I am fortunate to have my current job.
— Despite the long distances between us I have access to technology which allows me catch up with my spouse at the end of a long day as if we were (almost) in the same room together. His big speech and subsequent meetings went well too.
— I will get a quiet, relaxed sleep tonight—the kind I have not had for a while.
At least until the next interview is scheduled…