I was offered a new job yesterday. It’s in the same academic department in which I’ve been working for the past year and a half or so, but doing something completely different. As in, I’ll be doing something that I’m actually trained to do, something I went to school for five years ago, something that I’m actually good at (I hope). I’m going to get paid to do therapy for the first time ever.
I won’t get into the details (because boooooring) other than to say that it’s a different type of therapy than that which I’ve done in the past, I’m still working in research, and I’m still working with people with disabilities. I’m going to move two offices down, to what happens to be my old office, oddly enough. I’m getting a substantial pay raise, which totally rocks and is coming just in time. The past six weeks or so I’ve been really worried about money and have been kicking myself for deciding to take my trip this May. I talked about this with Mrs. Roboto last week and she told me (after expressing surprise at how small the amount of bacon is that I currently convey to my abode) that the price of a plane ticket was not going to make any appreciable difference in my long term financial future but that two weeks in France and Italy would certainly make a difference in my overall grooviness-of-life factor. I knew she was right and I sort of nodded my head at her and everything but inside I was going “Yeah, but that’s another month’s rent and who am I to think I can go on a trip anyway” and so forth and so on. I’d be lying if I didn’t confess that the prospect of more money is one of the things I’m happiest about with this gig.
In one sense this is the kind of job that I’ve been trying to get for three years, since I graduated social work school. I was already pretty sure I didn’t want to do therapy full time and that I didn’t want to be the kind of social worker who does case management at a large agency. I wasn’t sure (not for the first time) what I did want to do though, and I had a little experience with research, which led me to work for a crazy person for a while and which then led to a spate of unemployment which made me into a crazy person, which finally led me to this job that I’m going to have for another month or so. I was glad to get it and I’ve been glad to keep it, certainly, because I was not that fond of being on unemployment. And it’s been good to me, I think: I found a population I enjoy and have worked with some super cool and friendly people and have done some decent work. I have spent a long time being grateful to have any work at all, and the fact that it wasn’t completely soul-sucking. Something about turning twenty-nine (in three days!) began to make me feel really weird about having what’s essentially a immediately-post-college job. I was convinced that going to grad school was the biggest mistake of my life…like, not only will I have crippling student loans for the rest of my life, but I can’t even get a job that will allow me to pay those off in a satisfactory fashion. I’m still not convinced that social work school in the fall of ’99 was the best move I could have possibly made at that time in my life, but whatever, five years ago (five!), I’m over it, mostly.
I’m not a person who is passionate about what I do for money. Like most people, I just work because I want to eat and have a roof over my head, not because I love wearing business casual or sitting in front of a computer all day. As I have not yet found a job that allows me to hang out with my friends all day and do a little knitting and cooking and reading on the side (sigh), I have to have a job, and if I have to have a job, I feel it might as well be one that a) I don’t hate, b) is sort of interesting and jibes well with my skills, such as they are, and values and morals and everything, and c) is with nice people. Oh, and the aforementioned d) makes me enough money to live on in a manner to which I’d like to become accustomed. I don’t think this is going to rock my world that much and that’s fine with me because in general I don’t want my job to be the thing that rocks my world. I work to subsidize the world-rocking part of my life. It’s nice if that work can be pleasant and well-paid.
That said, things feel like they’re looking up for me a little. My mom reports (it’s her birthday today, by the way) that my grandmother is doing much better. It’s getting to be spring, slowly. This time in two months I’ll be in France. I’m having a birthday party on Friday (you’re totally invited!) and it looks as though at least some people will be showing up, which is totally terrible because I prefer to spend most of any party I have cowering and whimpering in the bathroom because I’m afraid no one will show up. I just got to see a bunch of people I love and I’m planning to see them again in June. I popped my karaoke cherry on Sunday. I’m cautious about expressing delight in the turn my life is taking, but this new job thing is helping me feel optimistic about things in general, for a change, and that just feels really satisfying right now.