Sunday, June 17, 2012

Who am I to tell fate where it's supposed to go?

     Now, I'm sure that anyone who has kept up with my goings on over the past twelve months knows that the past year has been quite a roller coaster for me. I've had to get way, WAY out of my comfort zone and also take a really long hard look at myself.  The process has been challenging and liberating at the same time.  I've been forced to develop a laser focus on what I want in my life, and how I provide that for myself.  Let me tell you, I've had to get pretty creative, selling off jewelry, and other things that I just didn't need.  I've also been able to look at my possessions with what seems like new eyes.  I've gotten rid of things that I have hung onto for years.  I can only guess it was just because I had them, they were there, not really because I wanted them.

     After my layoff last June, I took a risk and decided to renew my lease, hoping that things would work out and that I would find another job quickly.  Ha!  That didn't happen, but a lot of other things did, wonderful things.  I started attending job clubs, meeting people, networking, bouncing ideas off of others.  I even took on volunteering and leading the Art Alliance job club myself, so that I could continue to network with others that were searching for work in creative fields.  I started selling some of my own artwork, and I found a part-time job teaching art in a great supportive place, which has actually helped me build up my own skills as much as I have done for my students.  Everything that I've had to do this year has made me feel like a grownup (in a good way) for the first time ever.

I've been applying like CA-RaZY everywhere (even for jobs that have nothing to do with teaching) and have gotten relatively few interviews, considering the time put in. In fact, I generally receive email responses saying," we've found a better fit for the position but, thank you," which I find really hard to understand how they are able to determine that without ever meeting me.  C'est la vie.

     I finally decided to get even further out of my comfort zone and I started applying for teaching jobs in South Korea.  Someone that I went to high school with has loved it, and done well, and she gave me the contact information.  Wow, I was really surprised with how fast they got back to me.  Again, I've been searching for work here like crazy with no response, and South Korea was jumping at the chance to interview me.  Long story short, I got a phone interview that went well,  and was then passed through to the Placement Department.  I had no idea that it could happen so quickly.

     So just when I'm thinking... I guess I'll have to find a new home for my pets and I'll be moving to Seoul in a couple of months, I miss a phone call as I'm walking around  the Blanton Museum.  I don't know what made me call it back, because they didn't leave a message on my phone, but I thought to myself, call it.  So I did.  When they answered, I realized it was an art teaching job that I had applied for at a College Prep charter school.  I told them that I had applied for an art position and they immediately said they would like to schedule an interview.  So then I thought... yay!  This was a job that I knew I would be perfect for.  Well, another long story short, I guess they thought I would be a perfect fit too!  I'm so excited!!!!!  I can not tell you how excited!  I honestly did not feel that there were enough people on my phone to call to get the excitement out of my system (facebook helped).  I will be teaching 7th though 9th grade art, full-time, at a charter school, and it's such a neat place!  I am THRILLED!!!!

     Just a week and a half  before I got the offer, I was going to have to put all of my belongings into storage and temporarily stay in, my wonderful friend, Jenifer's camper trailer while she was gone for the summer, but after that I had NO IDEA what in the world I was going to do.  NOW, I can get another place to live (and it's an awesome place!!!!), I can keep my fuzzy kids, stay in Austin, and most importantly I GET TO TEACH ART TO KIDS (something that I love to do).  Whew! What a year!

So I want to say to everyone that stood by me, supported me, had to endure tear-filled conversations with me, and inspired me to keep on keepin' on, THANK YOU!!!!  I don't know how I would have gotten through this crazy topsy-turvy year without kind, generous, supportive, and loyal friends and family. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!

* ...and as soon as I can get someone to take a picture of me jumping in the air smiling with my thumbs up, I'm adding it to this post.  haha! ( I have a trampoline... We can do this, people!)