August 5, 2008

What if?

There are times in life when everything clicks into place. Sequences of events like the third act of a suspenseful movie, when you realize that all the throwaway details from earlier in the film were placed there for a specific and satisfying reason. Situations that are new yet feel comfortable, because you're sure you've been there in a daydream. Moments when the light hits you just so, and you realize "This is exactly where I belong. Things are exactly as they should be."

I'm hoping that someday, I'll be describing this week in those terms.

Tomorrow morning, I board a flight - well, three of them, actually - to Minneapolis. On Thursday, I have a job interview. On Friday and Saturday, I'm looking at suburban housing developments.

This won't be my first trip to Minneapolis for a follow-up to a successful phone interview. In March, I was in the same position. I was excited. I was ready. I was thinking about relocation benefits and decorating my new cubicle and summer weekends at the lake. I really thought it was going happen.

It didn't.

I probably retold the story two dozen times. The interview went well. They hired someone internal. It happens a lot, I think. It wasn't meant to be. The company wasn't really my style, anyway.

In my mind, I played through every word I said, every possible faux pas. I was too confident. I didn't ask enough questions at the end of the interview. I revealed too much on the personality assessment. I didn't send thank you cards to the right people.

After that experience, it took me months to muster up the confidence to even apply for another job. I applied. And applied. And applied. I submitted between 30 and 50 applications to various companies, crossing my fingers each time as my resume sunk into a black hole. Two companies called me back. The first gave me a phone interview with a recruiter who may well have been a robot. The second, well....

If there was ever a job description written with me in mind, I imagine it might look like this one. My highly specialized job focus - described to a tee. My randomly acquired skills that I never thought I'd use again - in demand. My fun little side projects that I'd do even if nobody paid me - part of the job.

There's a part of me that's scared to post this. I'm scared to get hurt again, to build my hopes up and watch them crumble into a "I'm sorry, we've gone with another candidate."

But there's another voice, one that says "What if?" What if this is the point where all of my past experiences and efforts and random moments come together into the job that I'm supposed to have, the place that I'm supposed to be at this point in my life? Right now, at this moment, I'm allowing myself to believe in destiny and signs and Hollywood endings where plot points converge into something that, ultimately, makes perfect sense.

It rained today. Whenever it rains in the desert, I tell myself that Minnesota is calling for me.

I'd like to take the call.

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