Monday, June 9, 2008

Decisions, decisions.

Being an adult is really hard sometimes. Like, oh, I don't know...RIGHT NOW.

We have been in this undecided gray area for months now. My husband got laid off from his job in March, right after he mailed off applications to several law schools. Hmmm, we thought, this is awkward timing. If he gets into law school now, he will have to start in August. That only leaves 5 months to find, start and quit a job. That hardly seems worth it. Then again, 5 months without income hardly seems possible. Hmmm.

At first, he looked for jobs he would be comfortable quitting after only a few short months. The problem with jobs like that is they don't pay much more than unemployment. He could sit at home and eat cheese all day for the same amount of money he could make working his tail off at some dead end job. And, if he took a full time job, I wouldn't be able to work as many hours at Vanderbilt. Offer after offer just didn't make sense.

So we waited. Waited for a stroke of genius or a sign or something. Mostly we just waited for the mail.

I hoped it would be like on TV. I'd bring in the mail and wave a letter from Bill's dream school in front of his face. "It's too thin," he'd wail. "It must be bad news." "Relax," I'd say, tossing him the letter. "Just open it!" He'd tear open the envelope and just like that, our future would be decided. We'd clap each other on the back and dance around and he'd point to the mascot on his sweatshirt like, "See? I knew this was the school for me!" I wanted it to be obvious so we'd know we were doing the right thing. So we wouldn't wonder if we were making a mistake.

It doesn't really work like that though. Once you get a letter, it just makes you think about all the letters you've yet to receive. If you get into a school, you wonder if it's the right school. Will I get in somewhere better? Is this it? Do I really want to move there? Why did I even apply to this school? Then you start worrying about money and moving and if you'll be able to find a job after school.

Those are the good letters.

In the midst of all this anticipation and rejection, Bill started interviewing for a job. A good job, one that would be hard to leave right away. We weren't sure if it was a good idea to keep pursuing it but didn't have any solid reason not to. We weren't over the moon about any of the schools he was accepted to and didn't want to turn our backs on a potentially great job because we might get a really good letter one of these days. I tried my best to be quiet and listen to my gut instinct but with Liam and the babies and the pets and the unemployed cheese-eating husband, there is very little quiet to be found around here. Besides, it's not really my decision. As much as it kills me, I have to wait for Bill to decide what he wants to do. His gut told him to pursue the job and finally, after 4 interviews, he received an offer this morning.

Aaahhhhhh. It was like I finally exhaled after all these months. This is the sign that I'd been waiting for.

Or is it? We still haven't heard from every school and he won't start work for another two weeks. A lot can happen in two weeks.

Maybe I'll find a way to be comfortable with not knowing what is going to happen next. To embrace the unknown as exciting instead of infuriating. To be grateful that we have so many choices. That we've survived unemployment. That we've had so much time together. That I've managed to keep my family financially afloat. That my husband landed a great job and got accepted to three law schools. That no matter which route we choose, we will get from here to there together.

The possibilities are endless.


Courtney said...

Kudos to you both on the optimism...and on the job.

hezza said...

I love the way you write about these things. I get it.