I’m surprised so many of you showed alarm at how cute my puppy was as a baby. Did I not PLY you people with photos while she was growing up? I had a system. Every week I took enough pictures to overload any normal person’s email account, resized the best two or three of them to be email friendly, and sent them out. It was a newsletter, only it was all Ursa news, all the time. Once she got bigger, I stopped doing it. The “news” was that she was changing so fast. Now she looks the same day after day: so cute it’s worth weeping.
I’m a little on the exhausted side, even though I’ve done very little today. All I did was give the dog a bath and negotiate a job contract. Nothing much, right?
Yes, a job. I will not be writing about it in any appreciable way here. I’m not an idiot. I plan to love the job and the place, though, so I suppose I could gush when gushing is appropriate. But we’ll just be really skimpy on the details. All you need to know here is that I got a new job, I start August 31 (looky that: just like I planned), and the institution that I will be working for will from henceforth be referred to as Major U. If any referring needs to be done. Those of you who know, please kindly refrain from naming the place in the comments. It’s not like I’m going to blather on here if I have complaints about the place. I just don’t want people looking for actual information about sending their darling children to Major U to find this site instead of Major U’s very own site, where actual information can be had.
I’m looking forward to starting at Major U. This might surprise some of you. I’ve had it pretty good for three years. Writing, more writing, bending the Roosevelt University MFA program to my will. (I can use that name because I’m an alumna. I represent that university in a different way. And I’m not fiscally attached to RU in any way anymore. Until they ask me to donate.) I had a job the last two years, but it was half-time and then quarter-time for a semester. It was, well, easy. And fun. And stuff I probably would have done for free. I’m still advising people from that program like I’m still involved there, and that’s OK. As long as I’m sure I can help and not give outdated information, I’m fine with that. And I’m writing, of course. But it’s time to return to the working world.
There’s a security in knowing you can help provide for your family in these crazy times. I know people who’ve lost their jobs and aren’t sure how to find a new one. My neighbors, a couple, both lost their jobs. Not sure how they’re making it work. My husband has a good job, but he’s in a market that would love love love to lay him off if they could just figure out how.
And I want to do good work, too. I like to DO. I like to solve problems and help people, I really do. I like to put plans together and watch them unfold. Conferences? Love them. Events, readings, all of it. Meetings, not as much. But you do what you have to do.
I’m hoping that the new gig at Major U works the same part of my brain that being a graduate assistant did, because it fired me up. It didn’t use all my writing muscles so that I couldn’t get stories written. That’s still important to me, even if my priority, starting very soon, is going to be somewhere else.
So: tired, but happy. I did what I planned to do three years ago, when my patience with how my life was going gave out. I left one job, found a way to get back into writing without throwing my household into debt, and got back into the workforce. When I start the new job, it will one day shy of the day I walked out of my old office (two weeks notice, hello, but I eventually walked out), when I wondered if I was making the right decision. I didn’t have that worry for long, because it was obvious to me that I needed to leave. But being in this place—looking forward to an interesting job at a secure place among fascinating people—makes it even easier to look back and ask myself what the hell I was so worried about.
Observant readers will see that I haven’t done my thousand yet. I’m going to try, despite being fried.