26
Jul
08

and it all worked out


Funny, the way you can almost unintentionally find yourself anywhere but where you intended to be, and funnier still, how when you arrive at this unexpected place along your journey, that, unless you have wound up in a very bad place, the old intentions and your new reality are not marked by a feeling of abandonment. Well, I suppose some could wind up in a fine place and still look back as though they had failed by not accomplishing this or that, but that may be a personal problem.

A few months ago I gave up my Minneapolis job hunt, frustrated at the lack of good entry level jobs. I had been waiting to hear back from the only company I actually wanted to work for for what seemed to be dismally long. A split second before I gave up completely I spotted an ad for Americorps, an avenue I had not considered. I called the director of the Santa Barbara, CA Literacy Program and had a very pleasant chat in which he decided I was already pre-qualified (notable as the paid opportunities are very, very hard to get). So, I downloaded the extensive application and reference forms and plugged away. I told nothing but the truth, as their federal background check would reveal inconsistencies that I tend to let go on regular applications (such as having 13,000 different jobs, many not lasting more than a few months). I do hate to have anything ‘required’ of me, it goes against my artist nature. Anyway, I rallied my friends who provided stellar reference letters and wrote my own brilliant letter of interest. It was looking good, I thought I had a fighting chance.

I waited for two weeks for word after mailing it. Nothing.

Then, one fortuitous Wednesday afternoon I got a voice message from the Minneapolis based company that i had wanted to work for (good benefits/salary and non-profit environment) but did not return their call that day; I needed to sleep on it. A. and I had started to become very excited at the prospect of moving to California for a year and had bought city maps and looked at it through “google earth.” We had started looking for apartments and a job for her. We both had a lot riding on my acceptance to the program. I didn’t so much sleep on it as wrestled it, as though the right choice could only be found by changing position every five minutes. I awoke the next morning intending to accept their offer, and as I approached the three season porch, where reception was better, my pocket vibrated. I answered.

“This is imnotme” I said warily to the area code I didn’t recognize.

“Hello, this is Director of Americorps, Santa Barbara. “We have reviewed your application and would like to invite you to serve in our Literacy program.”

My stomach dropped.

Now I had been offered a very good job in my hometown and a very exciting opportunity in a beautiful coastal city in California. It was the most difficult decision I had ever been faced with. There were gains and losses on either side that seemed to be so equal that they canceled each other out. And after 24 grueling hours of back and forth with A. I regretfully declined Santa Barbara my service and accepted my new job. Two months later, yesterday, in fact, A. and I moved to an apartment in an excellent part of town, and are exceedingly happy with where we have wound up in it it all.

 

In a matter of one month our plans had gone from A. getting her own place while I worked to pay off some debt, to moving to Santa Barbara, to moving to Minneapolis, and none of these plans had been laid with anything but resolute purpose and intent. Se La Vid. Or, as my friend once quoted: “Life is what happens while you’re making plans.”

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