Last week, I received some really exciting news. I held off on sharing, though, in case 1) it just turned out to be a dream brought on by wishful thinking; 2) talking about it jinxed it; or 3) I dunno, something happened and people changed their minds. Now that my first day of training for my new job is tomorrow, it’s probably safe to share the news: I got a new job! Best of all, it makes use of my degree and experience.
A friend asked for my résumé a couple of weeks ago and passed it along to her boss. Right after I sent the email, I honestly forgot I’d done it. I applied vigorously to several jobs right away in February. As the rejections and silences-full-of-implied-rejection piled up, my enthusiasm waned. Getting the job at the French bakery was a huge relief. I could almost break even on my bills, and I found an endless supply of crepes, bread, and espresso.
It left little time for writing, though, or anything else. I mostly just talked about my writing if I could, pestering the same people with endless questions that usually started with, “Do you think this part would be better or make more sense if I…?” I submitted a few pieces for publication, received a few more rejections, and chuffed along.
When I got a phone call a couple of weeks ago, asking if I could come in for an interview, I was driving home from the bakery. I cried.
I love the little bakery family, and I’m going to miss seeing them six days a week. But I’m ready to have the impressive adult job again. I’m ready to be on a regular schedule that includes weekends. Cheesy as it may sound, it feels like someone hit the reset button on my life. I’m a little anxious about tomorrow because it feels like I have no idea what I’m about to start doing.
The last two years feel a little like a bizarre dream. Now that I have some distance from it, I can understand how my situation was atypical. Enough people told me that over the last couple years, but it takes a positive experience after the fact to reach understanding. In the moment, it didn’t matter whether my experience was unusual. I had a bad situation to make the best of. I wish I could have done better.
Funny enough, I’ve also been able to make some peace with what happened by reading a book I found by chance. Philip Zimbardo’s The Lucifer Effect seemed like it might offer some useful research for writing. What I didn’t expect, however, was the insight I could apply to my own experience. Zimbardo’s expert articulation of how “situational forces and group dynamics can work in concert to make monsters out of decent men and women” (as described on the book’s back cover) is both disturbing and enlightening. Of all the lost books I’ve adopted over the years, this one could leave the strongest impression on my life.
Now it’s time to look ahead and take advantage of the opportunity that tomorrow brings. I’m thrilled to start a new chapter of my life as a content specialist!