I’m still pinching myself over the phone call I received on Friday. On Tuesday, I had the very promising in-person interview with the woman who would be my direct boss. On Wednesday, I had a phone interview with a woman who has the job I was applying for and a phone interview with someone in HR who told me I had to basically completely revamp my resume. Surprisingly, having this blog and my other blog on health and integrative medicine were considered very big pluses, and I was encouraged to promote those on my resume. However, I felt a bit discouraged by her inability to recognize my very relevant-to-the-job, direct experience. I just let go of control, polished my resume as best as possible, and waited as they presented my application to the board on Thursday morning.
I was encouraged when the woman at HR called me again late Wednesday to discuss where exactly I wanted to work–my hometown or Mr. E’s. She had talked to the regional editor I’d interviewed with, and sounded much more encouraging. “In [Mr. E’s town] there are two other candidates,” she told me. “In yours, there are less than that.” Which meant, I was competing against one person or no one. Let’s see: being an expert on the town I grew up in and now live again? That’s a no-brainer.
Thursday morning I was being presented to the board. But I still had work to do. A writing test if you will–a sample story that I might write on a complicated arson case. I spent a lot of time on it and really enjoyed it. Maybe, I thought, as I read over my final draft, I can actually do this.
Mid-afternoon on Friday, I got the call from HR. “We want to give you a couple updates,” she said to me in her neutral voice. “We’d like to offer you the position of…”
After I hung up the phone, I yelled to my mother in the next room and began my happy, funky dance. I proceeded to get my foot caught in the nearby hamper and fall chin-first into my cat’s water bowl. Totally classic, wish someone had filmed it. Why? Because it captured the spontaneous joy of an opportunity I haven’t been able to taste for over nine years since I left California.
The first person I called to share the news was, perhaps not surprisingly, not Mr. E. I called the V-Man, who was so enthusiastically happy for me. He sounded proud. He wanted to know all the details. He immediately jumped into how we wanted to work on the welcome video I need to produce to launch the site. I had asked him previously how much he got for freelancing as a videographer, but he kept sweeping it aside, as if he was happy to do these kinds of things for me for free.
After a conversation almost an hour long, I called Mr. E. Immediately he was Debbie Downer. “This is what I was afraid of. You talked about the level of commitment you reach when you are living with someone, engaged, etc. Now, with this job, there’s not even a chance we can reach that level of commitment in, at minimum, a year.” He did say he was proud of me. He did want to clarify my title so he could brag about it to his friends. But talking to him almost zapped the pleasure of sharing my great news with him out of me.
The weekend came, and I needed to get organized and focused. He ignored my pleas to let me just rest alone with my family on Friday night and showed up at the house. He made me feel guilty for needing to get errands run, organize my work space, and start finishing up my fiction writing assignments on Saturday, leaving no time for him.
When I finally saw him on Sunday, after a girls’ day, I was extremely wary. We’d been fighting all week about his jealousy over everything and everyone. Yet somehow we managed to come together and enjoy our hours together late into the night, despite today being a work day for him. I got a better understand of his apprehensions. I shared my own fears about how I will handle the job.
Yet today, as I sit down to work more on my fiction and as my brain is already churning out more ideas about news stories on my town, I am wondering just how we’ll manage to survive when life gets extremely busy for me. I know from experience that he only gets more needy, frantic, and frightened the more of a life I have going on that doesn’t have room to constantly coddle and reassure him. Yet I know this path is one I desperately need and want to take. Something will have to give. I just don’t know the shape and direction it will take.