Monday, November 17, 2008

changes a brewin'

"If you knew that you would die today
Saw the face of god and love
Would you change?
Would you change?

If you knew that love can break your heart
When you're down so low that you cannot fall
Would you change?
Would you change?"

i had a few moments of clarity this weekend...

1. i'm not ready for a serious relationship. i thought that was what i wanted...and then he said he wanted to be in a serious relationship with me...and a day later i was looking for a way out of it. evidently i AM the kind of sista who can have casual sex. ut oh...

2. i was casually watching good morning america saturday morning when a segment came on about the signs letting you know you're about to be laid off. i wasn't even fully paying attention to it until they began going through the list and i found myself saying stuff like " boss isn't really looking me in the eye anymore...and she IS in alot of meetings now...and my list of new projects has kinda stalled...

and then the instinct kicked in and i decided to call my boss to find out what the deal was. turns out they might be eliminating my position. now to be fair, she mentioned it to me in a brief discussion about three weeks ago. here's how it went down:

boss: we are extremely happy with your performance since the last time we spoke on it. you still have a few improvements to make, but overall you're progressing wonderfully.
me: thanks. i appreciate the praise. i've been working really hard to get adjusted to the demands of the position. [we both get up and i'm turning to leave...]
boss: oh yes. one more thing. the associate directors are meeting about reorganizing our department and there is the small possibility that your job might be eliminated.
[i turn to her in slow motion, not sure i heard her right.]
me: wait, are you saying i could be out of a job? when?
boss: well, they're going to be meeting about it at the beginning of november so we should know something by the end of the first week in november. i don't think you'll be affected but i really have no idea how this is going to play out. don't worry about it, though. i'll let you know what transpires.
when i got back to my office, i sat there kinda stunned but i didn't worry, because she said not to worry, right? idiot.
three weeks later and i hadn't heard anything and frankly, hadn't even given it any thought until saturday morning and that segment. after calling my boss, she spent 45 minutes trying to explain to me what happened and why it was looking likely the position would be eliminated.

here's the thing, though...i left a pretty cushy job at another local university to take this gig. i was two years away from being vested, had a shitload of vacation and sick time, was getting my degree on their dime and pretty much had my run of the place. i took the new job because it was more money but also allowed me to get a degree with a pretty prestigious private university for free. when i took the job, my boss told me she had to get special permission to give me the money she thought would be necessary in order for me to leave my other job.

that was eight months ago.

i left a job i'd been in for eight YEARS for a gig that might not last me eight MONTHS? okay, folk. you know i was fucking HOT.

but i played it cool. i asked her how long she thought i would have. she said something about making sure i had time to find another job. i asked her how much time that would be. she didn't know. turns out the salary they gave me they could no longer afford because of budget cuts. in fact, she said they will probably have to change the job to part-time to stay within the budget. she kept stressing the fact that she didn't know for sure if my job would be eliminated or not. the fact that i even had to call her ass to get the heads up on it let me know she would have preferred i be the clueless worker who kept busting her ass and going above and beyond job requirements in order to keep the department running. she doesn't want the worker who knows she's about to be let go. you know that chick...the one who is no longer invested in the department, who no longer stays late or comes in early, who now happily takes all breaks and spends her free time (and perhaps some of her not so free time) looking for a new gig.

unfortunately, that's what she now has.

i was rather dejected after i got off the phone with her. i was talking online to my girl lee at the time and when i got off the phone i told her what happened. three minutes later she had the name of a person i could call regarding a job and a link to where the open positions would be posted. i've been thanking god for bringing her into my life for the last year and times like these remind me of why i should keep thanking him.

then my brother called and i began thinking perhaps things were being orchestrated a certain way for me. i mean, 'swad NEVER calls me before noon cuz he's usually asleep (he lives in cali). this morning he calls though. he's in new york to oversee the replacing of the roof on the brownstone so he's up. i told him what happened and what i was doing in preparation of the possible job elimination. i was sounding sad and scared when he said something to me that changed my mindset entirely.

"i don't know about you, but i'm excited for you! do you know what that means? you can go WHEREVER YOU WANNA GO! you don't have to stay in atlanta! you could move to cali or new york or peru! who says you gotta look for a job in atlanta? you could move to new york, live in the brownstone for free, and go to school if you wanted."

the more he talked, the more i remembered things happen for a reason. i COULD move out of the state! hell, i have no husband, no kids, and no significant debt. i was so busy worrying about what i was losing, i didn't even think about what i was gaining. i'm gaining the opportunity to begin anew somewhere else. i've been wanting to move back to new york for the last four years but it wasn't a possibility while i was still married. it is now, though. the brownstone is paid for, so all i'd have to pay for is utilities and that would be covered by the tenant renting the apartment upstairs. sooooo...i'd be living there for free.

and what's the downside again?

well, actually there are some pros/ york folk will have to help me get this part together:

no rent/utilities to pay for which means the job pays for eliminating my $2300 debt and putting me through school if i choose.
closer to family
more creative and cultural opportunities, including more material for my writing in addition to everything else.
will be able to personally oversee renovation of the brownstone, even take on some of the projects myself, which is exciting cuz i love me some hgtv and diy network
volunteer opportunities galore...might even be able to make a significant contribution in my immediate neighborhood! right now my immediate neighborhood is comprised of affluent folk (not that there's anything wrong with that, but i do feel a bit removed from reality at times).
relatively inexpensive and extensive public transporation system. i won't have to drive everywhere
socially, i don't see how it wouldn't be an improvement over atlanta in every way that matters to me.
the new york blogger scene is HAWT. i'm ready to meet some of them already!
it's new york...'nuff said.

it's an old brownstone, with old brownstone issues like the possibility of mice, no dryer and an ancient pipe and electric system. i've been living upscale for a while now and i have to admit to being a bit spoiled. it's gonna require an adjustment for me.
what's with the whole parking on alternating sides of the street? they don't have that nonsense in atlanta...
and speaking of which, how much will i have to pay to have secure parking for my car?
closer to family
it's cold as a corpse's clit up there! i'm used to mild winters and that'd pretty much be over.
safety...actually, i'm not sure about this one. 'swad says the area has improved from when we were shorties watching gun battles go down on the corner (i'm gonna have to tell that story one day).
ghosts. the house is full of them. not sure if i'm mentally able to handle living so in a place so flooded with my family's past.

by saturday afternoon i had hashed out a tentative rough draft of my list of goals over the next 3 months:

1. update the resume.
2. look for a new gig.
3. get car fixed (was in a car accident about a month ago...the same day i was set to give a presentation breaking down the importance of my job but missed because of said's THAT for timing?!?)
4. see all pertinent doctors so i can get all my shit checked. on the slim chance i'm not employed by the time i move, i gotta make sure i have no serious health issues to contend with.
5. figure out what stuff i'm taking and what stuff i'm putting on craigslist to get rid of.
6. formulate a 'bare minimum' budget to find out the absolute minimum amount of monthly income i'll need to generate in order to live in new york.
7. finish all work projects which includes building two databases from scratch. (my pride won't let me completely slack at work, no matter if i'm out of a job or not.)
8. figure out what to do with my current sexual situation. he jokingly suggested he move up there with me. then he realized i wasn't laughing. i think when he gives it serious thought, he'll realize we're better off as just sexual partners. at least, that's what i'm hoping.

so in the end, change is good. it always is, so long as a person sees it as a chance to become empowered, not left helpless. i won't become the victim of the outcome. i'm gonna be the victor because i choose to initiate that change.

and if you wanna say a few prayers to help me along the way, i won't be mad at it. :)