August 31, 2008

And so it ends

On Wednesday, I landed in Minneapolis and gave the best training presentation I could, interviewed with a group of friendly, fun people, and left Maybe Future Office with an overwhelming feeling of joy and self-satisfaction.

On Thursday, I drove to the housing development I'd visited two weeks prior and peeked in the windows of a house that had everything I wanted, in the perfect colors and layout and location. As I stood on the front porch, contemplating the "Available" sign on the lawn, I imagined flower pots on the porch and Evie's future tricycle cruising down the driveway. I watched the children playing down the street and pictured them as Evie's friends and future babysitters.

On Friday, I found out that I didn't get the job.

There's a feeling of numbness that arrives the moment that your dream is destroyed. It's only after a few minutes or hours, when you realize that it's not just one dream, but an entire tapestry, a frail bird's nest of dreams messily interwoven and coming apart - that's the realization that actually breaks one's heart.

The last time I wrote, I was unabashedly unapologetic about my optimism. I based my entire mindset around the idea that I would be taking this job and leaving in mid-September. I cashed out all of my stock and options. I used all of my hoarded gift certificates to local stores. I neglected to schedule dentist appointments or haircuts, assuming that I would take care of those things when I got to Minnesota. I stopped looking for other jobs.

It's time to start anew, but unfortunately that means starting with the old. I have to muster up the energy - from somewhere - to pick up the work projects that I had handed off, to seek comfort in the house I've grown to resent, and to look for another job with bruises on my ego and a gaping wound in my psyche.

Well-meaning friends are comforting me with well-intended words. It wasn't meant to be. When it's right, it will happen. When it's right, you will know it. I desperately want to believe them, although I find it hard to imagine a job and move feeling as right as it did on Wednesday or Thursday. I scan my rearview, searching for red flags and warning signs, searching for faults and problems, searching for something I could point to and say "I'm glad I didn't get it. Sour grapes." Nothing.

Searching for jobs is the single most frustrating, humiliating, emotionally draining experience I have been through. Any illusions I had about being smart and well-educated and employable have been thrown out like so many unsolicited resumes. I can't bear the thought of starting all over again, and yet I am even more terrified by the idea of getting stuck in Reno for a minute longer than necessary.

Someone else is starting at that job in the next couple of weeks. Someone else will buy that house and play in that driveway and plant a maple tree in that yard. It was a beautiful dream when it lasted. I wish that I had another one to take its place.

1 comment:

Jack's Mama said...

I am so sorry. You know they lost a great asset in you. I am sure your train off presentation was wonderful. I would have hired you hands down. You are awesome and don'e ever forget it!!
Much love to you!