I started a post with this subject earlier this evening, and decided not to write it for a couple of different reasons. Then another situation arose that fit the topic and I realized that the same outside influence that prods me to write when I don’t have anything in particular to say keeps me from writing when I can convince myself that I’m reaching, and that I need to — not stop hearing that influence, but stop giving it the power it currently holds. I will not *write*, or *not write*, because of something outside of me. That’s my goal, at least.
So, serendipity. A few weeks ago, I had a talk with my manager at work. I adore her: she is genuine and transparent and I trust her, plus she’s damned good at her job. A week or so after that talk, she met with me to follow up, and part of what she wanted to talk to me about was an opening within the organization that hadn’t yet been posted, but that she’d heard about and thought I might be interested in pursuing. She knows that my current position is not my lifelong career goal, and she recognizes my skills and wants to help me find a place where they can be utilized to the benefit of the company and also where I am happy. I watched the internal job postings avidly, but the minute this job went live last Thursday, she emailed me to let me know. A couple of hours later, I’d submitted my resume and cover letter. Less than half an hour later, I ran into the man I’d be reporting to at the water cooler (total cliche, I know; this made me giggle because I’d actually thought, “What if I happen to run into him later today?”). He said something conversational, and I responded, then said, “You know, I think I emailed you not too long ago…” He raised his eyebrows, said that word travels fast, and we had a little laugh and he said he’d find me to talk about the position soon.
On Monday, I arrived to work and saw an email from the recruiter; she said she’d neglected to mention that a writing sample was required for the position, and would I go to my profile and upload one? I did so immediately, using the newsletter I’d recently written for the USM VRC e-blast. I waited all last week, feeling mildly awkward every time the hiring manager and I passed in a hall or I walked by his office. The last time I applied for an internal position, I was contacted within days for a first interview, so by Friday, I was beginning to feel certain that I’d been culled from the pool of applicants. Then, toward the end of the workday, he came over to my desk. It turns out he’d lived in San Bruno, just a bit south of San Francisco, and his then-girlfriend, now wife, had lived in the neighborhood over from me in the city. We bandied about a few landmarks and street intersections and had a good little bonding moment, and he let me know he’d get an interview set up soon. It was a great end to the week, and I felt more confident about having applied for the position despite my misgivings with regard to my incomplete education.
Then, as I was driving from my al-anon meeting to Willard Scoops to meet a friend for dinner (yes, I had Coffee Oreo ice cream for dinner; stop judging me), I drove past a man I was certain must be that very manager. I parked and, while waiting for my companion, walked to the corner and saw that it was indeed, and we had a fun little chat about sunburns and children and enjoying the beautiful evening. He proceeded to walk and when we passed him on his return trip, he checked in to make sure I wasn’t planning to walk from SMCC to downtown Portland and didn’t need a ride.
There are some kinds of personal interactions that are maybe not great to have with your potential boss, but as far as they go, these were kind of awesome.
Later this evening, I was perfectly happy to be home and relaxing and was about to dive into a book when I got a text message from a new friend. Light conversation turned into a soul-baring discussion that lasted into the wee hours, and I reflected on the fact that, while I could have done any number of things tonight, I had deliberately gone home and settled in, and I knew that this was why. And I was very glad of it.
Sometimes things happen just as they are supposed to. And once in a great while, we’re allowed to know why. I think maybe it’s to make up for the zillions of times we have no freaking idea, and have to just accept that there’s a greater purpose. But that’s just me.
Goodnight, my darlings. May this long weekend be full of things for which you are grateful.