In case you are wondering why / how I can commit to writing 5 hours each day, on February 2 my boss told me that he wanted all his “key people” in the office and working full time–that my last day would be February 18.
I guess I should feel honored that he considered me “key” but still, it was a shock. I had a bit of a freak out. Instead of working on my dissertation, I spent the next couple of weeks finishing up work stuff (I wanted to make sure I exited with grace, dignity and professionalism), and scrambling to figure out what’s next.
I applied for a job at the LGBTQ Resource Center on campus. Which of course entailed updating my resume, and putting out an emergency call to a few people to write me letters of recommendation (and Julie, Ralph, and Greg all came through with flying colors! thank you!!).
Then I noticed an opportunity for a scholarship through the UNM Alumni Association– for women, for “non traditional” (that’s code for older) students, and those changing careers. (I figured my age, and gender, and recent job loss qualified me quite nicely). Another quick turnaround on the application and this time Jade from the Childrens Grief Center, Greg again (my dissertation chair) and professor/ friend Sharon Warner also came through last minute with letters of recommendation. Thanks again!
So, it’s been a tough month. Change. It is unsettling. And I’m trying really hard to see it as a gift– a gift of TIME.
The job at the LGBTQ Resource Center did not pan out.
But the good news is that several local friends– and friends of friends– have offered other opportunities. And while none has seemed to be a good fit, I am thankful for the friends and the community I have created here in Albuquerque. Last month, if you’d asked me how I like living in Albuquerque and I’d have been likely to say, “It’s O.K.” I’d have said that I don’t love it, I don’t hate it; my heart is not here. So now, while maybe I don’t love it, it’s more than O.K. But I don’t know a word for that. “Like” seems so banal.
I may continue to look for job opportunities, or freelance writing gigs, my focus right now is going to be on finishing my dissertation. I’m going to focus on the writing. And it’s scary.
Now I have to be the thing I said I was, a writer.