It’s late tonight for me to sit at my computer – usually I’m already in bed, asleep or deep into a book while Doug snores beside me. I pull my hands across my eyes & the words feel trapped inside me.
I’m not supposed to tell you about the phone interviews, sitting in my car while it rained outside. Or putting on slacks & a blazer for the first time in over a year to sit nervously across a table from three strangers. How my hands flew as I spoke only to disguise the way they shook if I held them still under the table. How I drove back to the office & worked late since I still had spotlight tags to move.
I’m not supposed to tell you any of this.
I’m supposed to smile prettily & in a few months, pop up with SURPRISE! JOB! & throw sparkles. I’m supposed to make it look easy & seamless.
I’ve been praying for a year that my contract position would turn into a permanent job. Every morning for the past 337 days, I’ve stood in front of the mirror & thought “This could be the day.” This could be the day I no longer have to worry about health insurance. This could be the day I never send out another resume.
I’d picture the entire scene in my head – being called into my boss’s office & him smiling, me screaming & my coworkers laughing & then somehow keeping it quiet until I walk through our front door with a bottle of champagne. I would picture Doug swinging me around & Hibby shrieking because of the excitement, even though he has no idea what it all means.
I’ve played that through my head over & over again.
Some days it would make my heart thump a tattoo against my chest in hope. Other days the feeling crawled up into my throat & settled thick in weariness & discouragement.
It is most likely that I’m not going to get that moment. I have been offered a second contract extension & I am thankful for it, but the head count is not there to bring me on staff & they know I have to start looking. So I work harder than ever at my job, soaking up everything I can. I sift through job listings. I send out resumes & check LinkedIn connections & cross my fingers. Then I put on heels & remind myself to take deep breaths & give a firm handshake. I leave meetings praying that they like me, feeling a rush of breath leave me that it’s over but maybe, just maybe, they’ll like me enough to call back.
Please, please like me. Please choose me.
So I wait for a new moment, the one where a phone rings & an offer is extended & I’ll rush out to buy champagne all the same.
Until then, I sit nervously in every moment of my life. I joke that I’m a walking ulcer waiting to happen, that every muscle in me is wound so tight that no wonder I’m clocking the fastest running times I’ve trained. Every “no” sends an avalanche of self-doubt & failure. I think of very little else but the looming date of July 1 when my COBRA ends. It pounds through my head in everything that I do…6 months left….5 months left….3 months left. Everything is a countdown. There is no option for Doug’s company to provide insurance. Everyone tells me they wish they could help., but it is all on me & the pressure feels suffocating at times.
When I’m quiet at the end of the day, staring at the blank pages of my blog, it’s because I’m not supposed to tell you any of this. It is not supposed to be there in plain English for the entire world to see, where Google knows my name & every potential employer can see my head in my hands. I’m not supposed to tell my boss that I am interviewing & we’re not supposed to both feel sorry for it. I’m not supposed to tell you that job hunting is hard work & sometimes I feel like a toddler, stomping my feet & crying that life just isn’t fair. Maybe I’m shooting myself in the foot. Maybe I should hit delete.
The only thing I know for certain is that tomorrow morning I will stand in front of the mirror & tell myself that it might be the day.