Friday, November 16, 2007

Writing Full Time

Life has been all over the place lately.

Before I went on my trip to Toronto in October, I interviewed for the scanning position I'd held for the past six months. It was a casual position, but my manager really liked my job performance and how well I fit in with everyone. So he opened the job up to a permanent position, which I then had to apply for, because with government jobs here in Nova Scotia he can't simply hire whomever he wants. Seventy-seven people applied for my job, and six people interviewed. A few days before my trip, I had my interview, which went well. But when Brad and I boarded the plane for Toronto, that was my last day at work.

So I had a wonderful trip to Toronto, saw a whole bunch of family and friends that I miss and spent precious time with his dad who is being treated for liver cancer. All the while not knowing if I had a job to come home to.

Got back, kept working on my novel and celebrated my gram's 93rd birthday. On Brad's birthday - the 7th - we went to a special mass for all those from the St. Agnes parish who'd had funerals there in the past year. My dad passed away this March, so Brad and I joined my step mom Doris, my sister Michelle, my step sister Rhonda, and Judy, close friend of my dad's & Doris in a very beautiful ceremony. Doris, Michelle and I went up together to light a candle for Dad when his name was called.

When Brad and I got back from the mass, Mom and I decided that Gram needed to see a doctor. She'd been losing power for that whole week, her legs just giving out so that whoever was shadowing her had to suddenly support Gram's whole weight. Earlier that day I'd had to call for Brad to help me, cause Gram just couldn't make it to her chair in the living room.

An ambulance came and Mom and I spent a late night in emergency until they had Gram all settled for the night. The next few days, Mom and I stayed with Gram in emergency until a bed opened up for her in the regular part of the hospital. At that point, we had to cut our visiting time down because the regular floors have set times for that. By my birthday on the 11th, we needed a break, so my aunt & uncle, and my sister and her boyfriend saw Gram that day. Brad, Mom and I went out for lunch and celebrated my day and then rested.

At that point I'd received the call from my manager about the job, but with very disappointing news. Human Resources gave him another person, even though he asked for me, especially since it was so close. This other person scored 2.5 points higher than me on the interview, so HR insisted she get it. He was so upset!

I was REALLY upset by that news. I've been working at non-benefits jobs for a very long time. With Brad only able to work part time due to his bipolar condition, my quest for a fulltime job with benefits had been so tantalizingly close. I was on pins and needles since that interview on Oct. 10th. The difference it would make for Brad and me is impossible to explain.

So when I heard that it was all back to the drawing board, I have to tell you I really felt low.

I'm waiting on my employment insurance, and Brad is still working, of course. But here I am with an opportunity to write fulltime for awhile, and I'm doing my best to look on the bright side of this whole situation.

For one thing, it's good timing that I'm available to help out with Gram right now. Mom and I spell each other off for visiting. Today is Mom's birthday so I'm taking both visiting shifts, afternoon and evening.

And because of my extreme allergies, I've always battled the effects that a fulltime job gives me due to long workhour exposures to the chemicals present in every office, especially toner, which just kills me. Both Mom and I have noticed how much better I am this past month that I haven't been working.

And Mom and I talked about this opportunity to write fulltime. I know for me the ability to be a fulltime writer has never existed because I need to be the main wage earner. But now it seems that I'm being given a gift, almost.

When one door closes, another one opens.


Red Garnier said...

Julia, this is definitely an open door. You're so talented, I think you should grab it! I'm sorry about the job but the universe works in mysterious ways to propel us to fulfill our destinies. I say write! ;)

Anonymous said...

Julia, I'm sorry to hear about the job, but you're right -- there are good things, too. I'm glad you'll be able to help with your Gram -- I lost my Gram at age 100 going on three years ago -- Grams are so precious. And that's great you'll have an opportunity to write full-time. It truly is a gift, to spend your days doing what you love the most, with the people you love the most. :)

Wylie Kinson said...

Julia - way to look at the positive. I'm so sorry the job didn't work out, but as you said, when one door closes, another opens.
And Gram - sending hugs and happy vibes and what a blessing for her that she has you looking after her.

Good luck with your new full-time writing career. We're waiting for your novel :D

Akelamalu said...

What a shame about the job, but things happen for a reason and I would say take advantage of this to do what you do best - write!

Sorry to hear about your Gram, I know it's such a worry, my Dad is 83 next week and he's really down at the moment. :(

Annie Mac said...

I'm sorry to hear about your Gram not being well. And HUGS on not getting that permanent job.

Things have a way of working out for the best. Take the time to enjoy some full time writing and what's left of our beautiful autumn weather.

And when you're ready, there are lots of jobs out there these days. I'm sure something wonderful will happen for you.

Leah Braemel said...

Oh, Julia, you've had a worse month than I have! I'm so sorry you lost your job - Gizmo Guy is about to undergo a similar interview in order to keep his job too. So we're on pins and needles too. As the others have said, try to stay positive, though I know it's hard. And know we're thinking of you...

Jill said...

Happy belated birthday to all of you!!
I hope that everything goes better for all of you!! We sure gonna enjoy the fact that you might write more!!
There is a littl Rhian celebration at my place!!

No Nonsense Girl said...

Come visit me, I've tagged you. :)

Toni said...

Oh Julia, what a time you're going through. As you said, there IS blessing wrapped up in this. still, those blessings dance closely with the losses you're also going through. It's hard not to notice the two (blessings and burdens), side by side, in contrast.

I'm praying for you as you go through this time of transition (truly). Being refined by the Father's hand can be somewhat uncomfortable, but I know from personal experience that my best growing and refining is done when I am clay in His hand, willing to be molded and grown in entirely new directions if need be.

Treasure this time you've been given with your precious grandmother. Embrace your writing too, as I know you will. I'm so sorry that job didn't come through (how unfair it seems to me), but I'm praying for an equally wonderful opportunity to present itself in the days to come.

Toni said...

Btw, just wondering if you had read Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh? If not, I really suggest it. It's an easy read and the perspective on life's seasons is so very insightful. Perhaps a good read during this season you're in.

Joy Renee said...

this makes me blush with shame for the little pity party i threw myself last week.

this has been a year of painful transitions for me as well but i seem to have lost the grace to be able to perceive the challenges as opportunities rather than punishments or the evil practical jokes of a sadistic Universe.

I hope this does become the opportunity for you to make writing full time not only your passion but your passport into a future where writing pays your way even better than a benefits job.

you have one thing i envy: the encouraging support of your family. that is such a blessing. I have 'only' my husband and one foster sister who IMs with me daily. I was bemoaning that is not enough. but i just realized that it is more than Jane Austen or Emily Dickinson had. And Virgina Wolf had more but failed to find it enough to sustain.

sorry to blather on for so long

may your days be full love, joy and peace

Karina said...

This is one of those things they call a "blessing in disguise", I think. I'm sure something much better and more suited to you is right around the corner, in the meantime, enjoy the extra writing time, and the ability to be there to help your mom with your grandma.

julia said...

Thanks everyone, for your supportive comments. It REALLY helps!