I will always remember the phone call of my first job offer. I was driving home and heard my phone ringing so I pulled into shopping center and answered. The director of the department got right to the point and said they would like me to be part of their office. I was completely overwhelmed. What I meant to say was “I am so thrilled! Ever since the interview, I have known that this is the job that I want and the news couldn’t come at a better time.” Instead, I said “I have to tell you, my grandmother died.” The eternally gracious director expressed her apologizes as I whacked my palm against my forehead thinking “Why did you say that, idiot!” I stumbled through awkwardly trying to explain that both my husband and I had lost grandmothers in the past week and we both needed some good news and this was good news. The very kind director saved me by moving on the explaining the next steps of the process.
After hanging up, and thinking “Did I really just start that conversation with ‘my grandmother died?” it dawned on me: I had a job. I drove home in silence with a huge grin on my face. I wanted to tell my husband in person to see the look on his face. We went out for dinner that night and saw friends, all the while celebrating the payoff for ten months of the unknown. There were plenty of hurdles to come, the paper work, moving, the first day, training, making new friends, etc., but at that point, the search was over. Later I would reflect on the experience and realize how much I had learned about myself, how lucky I was to have such a wonderful supportive family, and how I had developed patience and coping skills I would use for a lifetime. But in that moment, all I could do was smile and think “I have a job.”