Constant Change

Many things have transpired since my last post, nearly a month ago. Mikhail Gorbachev died. A few days later, Queen Elizabeth followed. Both were towering figures of the second half of the twentieth century–Gorbachev as arguably the most pivotal world leader during that entire period, even though his influence was confined to a period of less than a decade; the Queen as more of an icon, with a different kind of influence that arises from being the longest-reigning monarch in British history. For me, they’ve underscored this as a period of change–for the world, and for me. In a way, that is a comfort of a sort. But it is also a challenge issued: to go forward into the future, after a pause to say goodbye to what was. Already, that part of my life, that rhythm, seems like a very long time ago.

What will that new rhythm be, I do not yet know, but I am starting to be ready to find it. Things have been OK–even good–for me–but I am still struggling with the uncertainty of the future even while the present has brought many good things. We’ve had quite a number of very pleasant outings, including trips to Windsor (for the air museum and Ft. Malden) and Point Pelee and a Toronto harbour cruise. I’ve worked on projects, finishing up the embroidery based on the Time cover of Shostakovich in his fireman gear during the Siege of Leningrad, which has been attached to a leather jacket that had been sitting, unworn, in the closet for years. I’ve also finished a scroll, made a significant start on another one, written two pieces of poetry, and have the embroidery work for my apprentice’s Laurel garment well underway. There have been crossword puzzles, All’s Well That Ends Well at Stratford, Stranger Things and some other shows, and FanExpo with the SCA, where I helped present a panel.

Most significantly, because of an opportunity a friend made me aware of, I broke my self-imposed moratorium on applying for a new position–which meant I spent a couple of days improving my resume, researching the company, and writing a cover letter. That has resulted in an initial phone interview and a second interview scheduled for Tuesday. It’s a position I think would suit me well, and I got great vibes from the phone interview. It is simultaneously going too fast and not fast enough, which, in some ways has been the story of my life the past few weeks. I think the most important conclusion I have come to was that in this case–where I have more than the average amount of information about an opportunity–it was worth the extra stress to go ahead and put myself out there. If things do not work out, I come out of it with a revised resume and a much clearer view of the kind of jobs I’m looking for. If it does work out, I will have a position that plays to all my strengths. What I also realized is that this need not endanger my planned travel. If they want to hire me, we’ll figure it out. I’m only 12 days out from my first trip to New York and a month away from the second one.

The ups and downs of the initial few days after I was let go have moderated somewhat, especially since my separation payment came through, easing a little of the existential dread It has helped that rather than focus on what might have gone wrong in my previous position (if it was even anything I could control), the work on the resume has helped me concentrate on everything that has gone right. I have a lot of training and presentation experience (much of it, but by no means all of it, thanks to Toastmasters), not to mention editing experience and that foundation provided by my project management skills. And training other people in impromptu speaking skills means I’m confident with my own. Doing so much outside of work has helped plant some very important seeds that have already grown and borne fruit.

Toronto Harbour cruise