Today has been a day of disappointment, coupled with light anxiety, paired with gentle excitement.
A week ago today, I was approached with a new job possibility. It would have required relocating back to California. Los Angeles, to be exact. The position was with a company I’ve been trying to get employed by for a number of years. The job was in the operations end of engineering and construction management and would have put me on the career path that seems most appropriate if I’m going to stay in this industry (THAT remains a question!).
I had two phone interviews. Both went exceptionally well. Gary and I discussed the possibility. My girl friends were informed. I mentioned it to my hairdresser. Against my better judgment and contrary to every thought to STOP, I began to imagine the move. Where might I live? How often would I get to see my little niece and nephew who live in LA? Wouldn’t it be exciting to rent a place near the beach, maybe Santa Monica? I’d meet new people, make new friends, and go back to my roots. I’d close the loop I’d opened when I moved to Texas in 1992. I would have come full circle. I spent several days going Dunkin’ Donuts on this prospect.
I jinxed it.
I received notice today that, while they really liked me and thought I’d be a good fit, my salary requirements exceeded the range for the position. The almighty dollar strikes again!
I’m happy to know I make good money. I wouldn’t accept a pay cut anyway, so it’s not like there was room to negotiate. But I’m still bummed. This particular position would have been a challenge. And I’m coming to believe that the “passion” that I am trying so hard to define and then pursue is NOT a particular career path, but rather that I be challenged and fully occupied during my work day.
After receiving that bit of disappointing news, I decided I needed something to perk up my day and provide me with that challenge. So I signed up for NaNoWriMo. I’d been considering this for the last month or so, but hadn’t actually committed myself to the idea. I took that step today, but what the hell am I thinking?!?!?! Ten days into the contest! It was going to be tough enough to write a novel of 50,000 words in a full 30 days. Instead, I make it more difficult and cut myself down to 20 days. Glutton for punishment…that’s me.
Hence the light anxiety paired with gentle excitement. I don’t know what I’ll write. I don’t know that it will make sense, but then, that isn’t the point of the contest. The point is to write 50,000 words that resemble a novel. It’s a draft. A first draft. No one expects it to be good, except maybe me, and that’s really why I’m doing this. The time has come for me to learn that everything I do doesn’t have to be great straight out of the box. It’s okay to leave the editing aside. It’s okay to write the free-form thoughts that drift through my mind and leave cohesiveness to come later. It’s okay to TRY.
So for the next 20 days, I have something fun to focus on. I’m hoping that helps me get past the biggest disappointment of today:
I’m going to have to suck it up and stay in this shitty job until that right fit comes along.
© Hilary Clark and “Pining for Poetry & Prose: Pursuing My Passion”