I blinked. My cup stilled halfway to my mouth. Another text beeped at me.
“My company is hiring a technical writer. Interested?”
Okay, so I did read that right. For a second I thought the tea was making my eyes see things.
“Do you want a job?”
Yep, still there.
A job offer.
During a late night cuppa.
A job offer that my friend went on to assure me I would get if only I applied.
“Are they that desperate?” I asked, because, really, there had to be other writers in Seattle up for the job.
“They’re getting a lot of crap writing.” I quirked my eyebrow at the text. “Seriously, you should go for it!”
Does this happen to real people? Are they happily drinking tea when it does? Or is there a more suitable dish for situations like this? Perhaps a can of beans and a hot dog? Or at the very least, a tub of triple chocolate ice cream. . .
One minute I’m nibbling on cake with my hubby, and the next, my life is given the proverbial fork.
Lately I’ve found myself stuck between being bored with work and feeling grateful that I have a job to be bored with. It’s hard to feel grumpy about a position that gives me more than most out there, but it was also sucking all life out of me.
Do I want a job? Yes, please!
“What’s it for?” I tapped back with my pinky.
“We need a technical writer dealing with [insert Peanuts Teacher Talk here].”
I didn’t know a speck about technical writing. Except that they wrote manuals. I was pretty sure they were looking for more from their new tech writer than just “put that box there and BE CAREFUL”.
“Would they take a recipe for kimchi as a sample?” My hubby thought about that as he swallowed the last of his chocolate icing. No, probably not. And I didn’t think they’d be swayed by a plate of rolo brownies. Although I’d be all over that, if it worked.
I have been very lucky with getting jobs. For my entire working career, I’ve sort of fallen into positions with only the briefest of lapses in employment, and even then it was self-induced. It’s been a source of guilt and still is – how can I possibly complain about my work when I haven’t really had to work to get the job in the first place? But lately I’ve been wanting to gain back a bit more control. I wanted to wake up every morning with a passion for the day ahead and go to bed excited about the next morning. I wanted the kind of job where my eyes would blaze with fire when someone asked me “so, what do you do?”.
Technical writing? Was that what I really wanted to do? After the last of the cream was swiped from the plate, I dusted off my technical writing course book from my bookshelf (it had somehow survived the previous book purges – was that a sign? My hubby, a non-believer in signs, told me probably not.). The blue cover promised skilled technical “communication” within, but when I flipped through it, I wondered if this was really me. Writing help pages, instructions, booklets, etc were probably things I could eventually do, but it wasn’t quite me.
I agonized about it the entire night, fearing that I was turning down the job of a lifetime. The offer was fabulous and I loved the fact that my friends thought me capable of handling the job without a hitch, but . . .
I was scared.
Secretly, I loved the stability and predictability we had created. We were planning to buy a house in a few years, we were trying to find friends and making a bit of progress and we were financially stable. All was, well, good and the idea of such an uproot (it involved moving 3 timezones away) freaked me out.
I was scared of failure.
And it scared me to pieces.
Suddenly I was back in that French classroom where our Madame was randomly asking everyone questions in French and I was cold with sweat and fear that she’d call on me. I could write, passably, but I feared ridicule when I would show up at my new job ready to work and the first question out of my mouth would be an inarticulate “huh?” with matching deer-in-headlights look.
I remember reading in the “Power of Habit” about how our brains love routines. Once we learned something, our brains could essentially “switch off”. Routine enabled it to breeze right along because it didn’t have to learn anything new or do anything risky.
My brain, in some ways, had switched off. It knew that I wasn’t happy, but it was loathe to do anything about it. So I grumbled and complained but did little to actually change the situation. For years.
And then a change suddenly lands in my lap and I’m forced to confront the real problem.
Me. Bound by coziness and settled into acceptance.
Did I take the job? No. I did turn it down. It really was a lovely offer and I’m very lucky to have such good friends who think of me, but I didn’t think it was quite right. Perhaps later, but not right now.
Now, I need to figure myself out a bit more. I recognize what’s holding me back and I need to find how to move forward.
I’m no longer sitting on the couch and grumbling about life. This little jolt has gotten me back on the path and walking again. 🙂