Three months ago, when I was feeling rather discouraged about making a living on my own, I applied for a job. The job is with a former employer that, generally speaking, I loved working for. I quit my former job when I moved and the commute got too long (2 hours each way).
Since applying for that job, I incorporated my own non-profit organization, found a few organizations I can partner with, re-connected with some colleagues I can collaborate with, and developed and submitted two proposals. So, while I still don’t have an income, I am hopeful that things will come together in the fall.
But then, two weeks ago, I was offered an interview for that job. I had the interview last week and heard this week that I am in the running for the job. I should be elated, but instead, I am annoyed because I can feel a choice coming and I don’t know what to choose.
On good days, when I am full of ideas and optimism, I can see my little organization becoming an entity that does useful work that would not otherwise be done. When I think of walking away from that dream, I feel a deep sense of grief. This is a dream baby, unborn but developing, with form in my mind’s eye if not in the world.
But, on bad days, it feels like a tough way to make a living; working unpaid for weeks on proposals that may never be funded. Coming up with ideas that marry funders’ priorities, policy needs in my field of work, with my expertise is tough. Some days, it just feels like I have nothing to offer; or like I have nothing to offer that matches the funding pools. Also, there is a part of me that really wants to work with my old employer; to be part of a team once more; to work with an organization that is committed to improving society for the benefit of all. What a rarity; what a privilege!
I was considering the possible options the other night while exercising in my living room, and found myself thinking that taking a job with my former employer would feel like coming home. Of all the places I have worked, of all the jobs that I have held, that workplace was the place where I most felt that I belonged. As I had that thought, a hummingbird — the harbinger of happiness and joy– tapped on the living room window and hovered at eye level for about 10 seconds. My heart lifted, and I knew, no matter how long the commute, if I am offered that job, there is no way I can refuse.