Fishing for Jobs and Going Hungry

In Tahoe, shopping for jobs is a very funny experience. It almost makes you forgot that fall is looming, you're running out of money and have no idea what to do with your life. Hash tag quarter life crisis. Although I am no longer 25.

Job postings vary from normal:

"Wanted: experienced front desk receptionist willing to work weekends and holidays."

To funny:
(Filed under marketing) 
"If you're able to tell a good joke then this job is for you. MUST BE A HAPPY PERSON."

(Filed under ETC.)
"Looking for someone with fine dining experience, famililar with yoga and indie rock music i.e. Foo Fighters. Must be bilingual as well. Living in the South Lake Tahoe area is beneficial. Please contact Roy."

To very Northern California: 
"This position requires weekends until mid October. THIS INCLUDES BURNING MAN."

"Local vegan food truck in need of a part time prep cook."

Since June, I've Namaste-d about it, went on hikes when I received the pathetic feeling-inducing "we regret to inform you" business via email, turned off my phone on weekends just to not be obsessed with checking my spam folder every 14 minutes. But now, after a lot of Namaste-ing and so much hiking and turning off my phone and turning it back on, I need to go back to work. Summer is over and I'm starting to panic.

I know what you're going to say because I've said it to myself. It's fiiiiiiine. I'm fiiiiiiiine. I just haven't found the right position. It will be fiiiiine. But it's okay when it's not fine, and it's worse trying to pretend that things are fine. Things are not fine. I want a job and I also need a job. And everything is starting to look partly to mostly cloudy because of it. So I sucked it up and I went on a teaching interview.

I didn't want to. The application process was a bear and just thinking about teaching a 10 minute lesson to 6 adult strangers sent my nerves overboard. I talked it to death on our Sunday evening hike and even contemplated staying at the coffee shop that I was lingering in an hour before the interview. But I did it. And I nailed it.

I received some very good advice from my life coach/amazing friend on Friday night. She told me that being confident is about playing a part: Business Lady. You tell yourself that you have every right to be here and that you're amazing and you're all business all the time until you can go home and talk to your guinea pig in squeaks.

But it was amazing how much it worked. I literally transformed from this:

       This lady can't leave her house and has 1.5 friends: her dad and guinea pig.

To this:
This lady gets stuff done, tucks in her shirts and wears belts. Like a boss.

In the videotaped group discussion, I took charge of the conversation with ease. I volunteered to teach my lesson first and presented with distinction, confidence, kindness and excellent time management. I participated in others' lessons and complimented them on their well-planned lessons and teaching skills. I lessened the tension by talking about Oatmeal and making the evaluators giggle. Frankly, I killed it. And it felt good to get some success after hearing "no" so much since I've been here.

The one-on-one part was a breeze and ended with the recruiter offering to email a principal for me at the middle school closest to me. Okay, I said passively. Talking to the principal today, she told me I come highly recommended from Human Resources. My site interview is on Thursday. Time to re-iron my Business Lady pants and start the process of talking myself into leaving the house......because, here's the plot twist: I don't care?

The problem is that I figured I would have a job by now, doing something else. I want to write. I want to be in an office setting again. I want to obsessively use post-its without having to adhere to state and federal insanity to manage children. I desperately need a break to figure out what I want to do with my life and doing something else, even for a year, would be just that. If it's terrible and I miss the kids, I go back and I teach. If I love it and don't want to leave, then I would've figured something out that I think I deserve to figure out.

So I guess I have a decision to make. I can teach at a middle school part time in the mountains 30 minutes away, or I can wait and apply for more marketing, social media, office jobs while my checking account externally hemorrhages. The middle school position leaves me available to do something else, whatever that else is I don't know, but it's also foreign territory. I know Sponge Bob and puppets: what do middle school kids even like?

With every transition in my life, I've always met it with such emotional anguish. Good, bad, weird, uncomfortable, indifferent, it has always been so hard for me. But here's a Tahoe lesson for you: patience. It's obviously not the time to completely change careers. For some reason, I'm not ready for it. And I think it's going to take time to figure out the why, but until then I'm going to keep blogging and possibly be able to dip my toe into some sort of "something" else on my afternoons off. I have no idea what that's going to be, but I hope it's something that doesn't involve food, hospitals or pet grooming.

My bleeding heart to teach in the inner city is gone. Maybe it's not a terrible thing to not feel like a martyr and just have a job: something that pays me and that I like, but not something that takes all of my emotional power and leaves me with a bad attitude and a drinking problem. Maybe this job will show me that balance and that it's possible to have a healthy teaching job. Is that possible? I have very high doubts but I'm willing to give it a whirl. My bank account and morale need a boost.

And sidenote: The thought of having to come up with something for a bulletin board makes me want to leave my Business Lady pants on the trouser hanger. Real talk.