Friday, September 27, 2013

The Waters Parted and I Came Up for Air

It happened again.

Just as we seemed somewhat secure with our finances for the autumn season, one of my part time jobs suddenly dissolved.  That’s the sort of thing that happens in this economy.  It thrust me back in the job hunt with renewed intensity, and the knowledge that I had a month to get a job, any job, before the bottom fell out of our precarious little boat.  It also meant the possibility of leaving my job at the gallery, which I loved.

As readily as we found ourselves in financial distress repeatedly over the last two years, the waters parted, and a job found me.  My resume was discovered on Monster, although I don’t remember leaving it there, and I received a call and an invitation to interview.  In contrast to the many interviews that were awkward or a bad fit, this one went exceedingly well.  I was perfect for the job, down to earth, had the right skill set and knowledge … all the right things. 

I got hired.

Yesterday, I walked through San Francisco, the third day on the job, and it felt as though I’d never left.  Traffic is worse than it was two years ago, and there are just as many people on the street in the city.   I’m 140 pounds lighter than I was two years ago and more confident, and considerably lighter in spirit; yet it feels odd.  I'm certain San Francisco’s young and beautiful patronized that oyster bar at the Ferry Building whether I was working or not. 

No matter. 

I am astonished by the magic that kept us afloat, and the angels that gave us critical gifts.  I'm surprised I don't regret having to let go of some of my plans, like my tap class. All things in good time, I guess.  I am still hounded by things left undone, things I must finish, and by other things I've committed to do.  But I find myself with less time than ever. This is the trade off for financial security, I guess.  Even if it is only as secure as the current job allows. I haven't felt this tired in, well ... two and a half years.  What's more, I find myself truly missing that little gallery and the people there.  Maybe it’s because it was there for me when I needed a job.  Maybe it’s because the people I worked with are undoubtedly human and helped me get back to myself by replacing the little pieces of professional and personal confidence slowly picked away by the last full-time position I had.  

The gallery was a safe haven.

Like personal tragedy, unemployment is a dark hole that you don’t appreciate and couldn't possibly understand unless you are thrust down it.  Even under the most encouraging circumstances it does subtle and not-so-subtle things to your head. 

When it’s done, once the waters have parted, it’s like coming up for air.

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