When we last left our heroine, she was about to start her dream job, and it seemed that finally, finally, everything was falling into place.
But, as in many stories, sometimes the dream is merely a device to keep the plot moving, and a weak one, at that. In the end, both protagonist and reader are left with, not much of anything, really. At best, a lesson learned; often one about appreciating what you have. Ironically, and supremely, dissatisfying.
That's where I find myself at the end of 2012. I have had my dream job for all of three months, and next month will probably be my last. I don't want to go too deeply into it, but suffice it to say that new management wants to bring in her own people and I am not one of them. I am a contractor and I had hoped to be asked to stay, but it will probably not happen. The dream is ending and I am struggling not to wake up.
I know all of this seems overly dramatic. It's just a job, after all. But if you were to look through years and years of my journals, they are mostly focused on the same thing - the need for a job that I love, for work that is meaningful and challenging. I have always believed in the notion of "life's work" but I have never found it. This is the closest I've ever come - something that I love pouring energy into, something that I am very, very good at, something I had hoped to do since finishing my Master's degree in 1999. It has taken over ten years for me to get this job, largely because I am not of academia. Few schools have so much as called me for an interview over the years. The one that did, over five years ago, offered me a job that I really wanted but couldn't take because the salary would not cover the cost of commuting and daycare.
All of that doesn't even take into account the friends I've made even in this short period of time. This hasn't happened to me at work in years. Had I been there longer a few of these friendships might be lifelong. With only four months together, it's not likely. That saddens me greatly. The small kindnesses of friends during all this uncertainty have brought me to tears at times. How could people be so good and the situation be so painful all at once?
So I go into 2013 with so much unknown. Will I get to keep this job? Will I find another one anything like it? Could I go back to corporate training now that I've finally gotten to do what I really wanted to? What's next for me?
I've spent much of this week looking for another job, and there are a few prospects. There will be more I'm not really worried about finding a job, recruiters have continued to contact me throughout my stint here. I'm worried about settling for a job. I've been doing what I do too damn long for that.
One other thing - my husband got me an iPad for Christmas. When I'm done with this post, I'm going to set it up. The first thing that I will download is some kind of GRE study guide. I'm not sure how I'm going to do it yet, but I am going to go back to school. I've wanted to for years and years. Four years shy of 50, I can't wait any longer for the right time.
Once upon a time 13 was my "lucky" number. For 2013, I"m going to need all the luck I can get.
Happy New Year, friends.
Thank you for everything!