So on Wednesday, I find out my dad is sick again and has to have surgery Monday.
And you know what?
I wasn't even surprised. As craptacular as that is (or as that makes me, I don't know), I wasn't even surprised. Upset? Yes. Surprised? No.
Because my entire existence consists of waiting for the next assault. I never know which room it will be coming from, but I know it will be coming.
The next day, Thursday, I have a job interview.
The guy interviewing me just happens to be from my hometown, where I grew up. We hit it off immediately and half-way through the interview I begin to think, "Oh my God. Oh my GOD. This is perfect."
The company? Perfect for me. Small and friendly and casual. Everyone works hard (so do I!) but because they want to work hard, not because someone is standing behind them shrieking at them. Everyone helps each other, because they all want the company to do well, not because they are forced to help each other.
Everyone is accountable for themselves. It gives them a chance to shine.
I want a chance to shine.
We talked more and he said, "How are your writing skills?"
I said, "My writing skills are excellent. I'm an excellent technical writer and I just finished my first novel."
He put his pen down and stared at me.
"I've never had anyone give that response before!" he said, laughing.
Job interview are hard for me. I don't like to talk about my accomplishments or achievements. It always feels like bragging.
But I want this job. So I told him how I taught myself HTML and how I taught myself to type 100 works a minute (never had a typing class) and how I learned the entire Microsoft Suite by going in and figuring it out.
I told him how I had trained everyone from Janitors all the way up to company Presidents. I did it and I got good reviews. I'm a good trainer. I'm a good teacher. I love to help people learn new things.
I told him, with complete and utter confidence, that while I don't know SQL, I can learn it and I can learn it fast.
It was going well. Really well. He asked my salary requirements. He nodded and wrote them down.
Then he said, "This job will involve travel. Up to 45% of the time."
My heart hit the floor.
He continued on and said that sometimes you'd be gone for three weeks, home a week and gone for three weeks again. Then other times, you'd be home for a month and not have to make any trips.
I inquired if it was local or regional travel.
It's not. It's Nationwide. It's hop on a plane with a company credit card and we'll see you when you get back travel.
I got in my car when it was over and I started to cry.
I mean, really, really cry.
Because this job would be perfect for me. Absolutely perfect. The money would be better. The job itself would be better, much more suited for me. Much more creative rather than analytical. I freaking love to travel. I would love to hop on a plane with a company credit card and see people when I got back.
But how can I?
I have two ten-year old children. They don't require or demand a ton of my time, but I like them. I really, really like them. I like to be involved in their lives and in their activities. I like to know who their teachers are and what they are doing in school. I like to cook them dinner and help them with their homework.
For the first time in my life, I really felt like I couldn't somehow fix this so that I could have it both ways.
I've always been able to do that. I had to work and I wanted to go to school, so I worked it out that I could do both. I was tired a lot and it was hard, but I did it. I've always been able to work anything out, if I tried hard enough.
I can't see how I could work this out.
I started driving and the thought of having to go back to where I work now was absolutely soul-crushing.
I told Jason about the interview and how well it all went and he said, "Well, maybe in three or four years when Boy Child and Girl Child are older..."
And I thought,
If I have to stay where I am? I will be dead in three or four years.
I'm not suicidal or anything. But that, immediately, popped into my head.
So I got scared.
Really badly scared.
Because I don't know how to fix this.
I do know that I'm probably the luckiest girl in the world though. Because my friends in real life didn't really come through for me yesterday, but my in-box has been clogged with messages and support and help and hope.
So thank you. For all that. Sincerely.
And if anyone knows how to fix this? Please let me know.