Friday, February 20, 2009

The Sunny Side of the Street

This isn't so bad really. Not at all actually. I miss my job, but moreso I miss my co-workers, who I never really thought of as co-workers. They were friends. The good news is, friends are portable. They can still be my friends even if I don't share an office with them anymore. I'll probably see if some want to do lunch or something next week.

I have been gratifyingly popular so far in the open job market. I had two interviews yesterday. One only had an entry level opening, but is trying to work out creating a position for me in their organization and asked me not to accept anything else without calling them first. The other called me back four hours after my interview to see if I can interview again today or early next week. That one was with an executive headhunter who is recommending me for direct hire and wants me to meet the company she is representing. Its a position I could get very excited about, a kind of patient advocate at a bariatric surgery center...a position in which I could feel like I am doing some good in the world, affecting a subject that has touched my own life (obesity). Both of the clinics I interviewed at are growing and thriving, which is just a relief to see on so many levels. The news is so full of woe that it actually feels either delusional or disloyal to feel any kind of hope or optimism. Seeing firsthand that there are places looking for employees and that are doing things like renovating their office and opening new branches is heartening. Of course, this is the medical field and as such, somewhat insulated. But the Cooper Clinic is medical as well. I think it all just depends what genre you are working within. Cooper is in service to executives and the wealthy. There are fewer executive privileges these days and those who are still wealthy are being cautious and hanging onto their wealth. I fully expect Cooper to bounce back when the economy shows some signs of turning around.

In any case, it was an ego boost if nothing else to have two separate companies getting excited that I myself was sitting across the table from them wanting immediate employment. Having one of them be a position I could get pretty excited about helps me to feel a litle less grief-stricken over losing my position with Cooper Clinic. I will always be grateful for my experience there and always proud to have been a person chosen to work there. As I get honest about all of this, I am utilizing this opportunity to shop for jobs that put me back in front of people instead of stuck in front of a computer screen typing. It was such an energy rush for me yesterday to go interview just to be out and smiling at, conversing with new people and learning about what they do. I like people. I like helping patients. It elevates me to interact and be social. So I will use this chance to hopefully drift away from transcription and let my experience carry me into something that will help me grow. Its amazing what a difference it has made to have my Associate's Degree now. This is the first time I have shopped for jobs since getting it. I admit, I was almost embarassed to have gotten it, both by how long it took me (let's not go there) but also by the fact that I always was kind of given the impression that it was a "nothing" degree and would not mean anything in the eyes of an employer. That doesn't seem to be ringing true. Its not going to get me rich, but it says I finish things that I start and it gives me a leg up. There's a modicum of respect there that was not there before. I am glad I did it. I should have celebrated it more instead of sweeping it quietly under the rug as if I were ashamed.

The night I got laid off, I had a dream about Joseph and it has lingered with me continuously since, almost like a scent in the air or a flavor that I still taste after a meal is long done. He was in a hospital bed and his face was blurry. He was holding what looked like a hand mirror, but it was just see-through glass, and when he held it up in front of him, I could see his face clearly. I came over and embraced him and he hugged me so tight. I sat on the side of his bed and he held my hand and kept hugging me, smiling....he was vibrant, almost glowing. He said "Hi Mom!" with so much energy and joy. He told me in a rush that he loved me, that he missed me, that he missed my hugs...and he looked at me through the little looking glass and told me that I am so beautiful. We hugged tightly and I woke up. I felt him so so near to me. I tried so hard to go back to sleep, to slip back into the place where he was, but I could not. He was so real.

I am a little sad that the house would have gone on the market today and now is not. That will be on hold until one or both of us finds employment again. We may rethink the whole thing all together now, I don't know. Either way I am okay with it. I do have hope that I will find something relatively soon now. I have a trip to Nebraska at the end of March to look forward to. My cousin Ben is getting married. Ben had cancer as a young man too, osteosarcoma, which is every bit as much of a challenge as the kind of cancer Joseph had. Ben is in medical school now, many years out from his ordeal and thriving. It will be such a wonderful, soulful thing to see him take this life step and I will be so moved to witness it, I know. I felt some of that at my cousin Dustin's wedding this past October. It will be even stronger for Ben. I can't wait...the palpable reminders that life is fundamentally good, that joy continues, life moves along in its own cadence and pace makes me feel secure inside even as it moves me to tears. Yes, I miss Joe-Gi every day. I mourn the things I will not get to see him accomplish or do. But the flip side of that coin is that I do get to see Nick and Alex. I get to see Joe and myself. I get to see my cousins, whom I have known all their lives, many of whom I held as babies. For whatever reason, Joseph's journey was complete at the age of 13. He was as whole as God intended him to be. I still have more to do, more to learn and its not a stretch to me to see where I need more work and more time. I feel so grateful to have learned these things. I feel almost curious as I embark on this next curveball of life, having been laid off from a job I loved and identified myself by. The quiet benefit of having lived through the unthinkable I guess....the knowledge that you do live through it and the sun does rise again. I look forward to Ben's wedding. I look forward to my life.

1 comment:

karengberger said...

This is lovely. Great news, and what a gift from Joseph, to have him "visit" you in such a loving and affirming way. I am happy for you.
You, with your AA degree, are far better-educated and more eloquent than many who have their bachelor's degree, just FYI. You are seeing, in the responses to your interviews, just a bit of how the value of your beautiful character shines through, even in just one meeting. I'm thankful that this is being revealed to you!