Good News!

Hello, dear readers! At long last, I can share with you the good news I’ve been hinting at for the past couple of weeks – I got a new job! Starting March 9 I’ll be moving out of the nonprofit world and into doing tech support at an app company. I could not be more excited.

It’s been a wild ride getting here. Back in October, I was very casually looking at positions online, and I came across a posting for this company that I thought looked really interesting. They were based in New York, but were gearing up to open a Chicago office. I applied, and in December ended up having a couple of great interviews with them. I didn’t get the job, but when they sent the rejection, they told me they wanted to stay in touch.

Now, I didn’t want to read too much into that, but it didn’t seem like quite the standard, “Sorry, you’re not a good fit for us,” email. So when I noticed a new, similar position go up at the end of January, I decided to take a chance. I emailed the HR recruiter I’d been talking to in December, and asked if the hiring manager was the same person, so I could address my cover letter more personally. I didn’t really expect to hear back…and I didn’t, for about a week.

Just as I was about to go ahead and apply, I got a response apologizing for the delay (she’d been on vacation), and letting me know that, yes, it was the same hiring manager. She also said she had a meeting scheduled with that hiring manager later in the week and would be happy to mention to him that I was interested. She encouraged me to apply, so I did.

The very next day, I got a response. They let me know that since I’d interviewed so recently and had already talked with the hiring manager, they were skipping over the initial interview part of the process, and dropping me directly into the next step, which was a trial project (basically using their help materials to answer some sample client questions). I took the afternoon off to go home and work on it (since at that point, I was too excited to focus on existing work very well). I did what I thought was the best job I could do, and sent it in.

About a week later, I heard back that they were impressed by my project and wanted to move me along to the final interview stage. After a last-minute reschedule, I ended up having the final interview last Tuesday. I had great conversations with three people on the team. The hiring manager made a point to let me know that my trial project was the best work he’d seen on that in a long time. I felt like I nailed it. I was told I’d hear back by the end of the week.

Fast-forward…about 24 hours. Wednesday afternoon I got an email from the HR recruiter saying she and the hiring manager wanted to give me an update, and could I spare 15 minutes for a phone call that day? I responded with my availability and sent several, “cross all your appendages for me!” texts to the friends who knew I’d had the interview.

I got an offer. I was expecting, based on the conversations I’d had in December, to be offered a salary that was a bit below what I wanted, and was prepared to argue for more. Instead, the number they offered me was my pie-in-the-sky, I-don’t-think-I’m-allowed-to-ask-for-this, never-gonna-happen number. I said yes.

This all happened in a span of 15 days.

Last Thursday, I turned in my two-weeks’ notice at my current job and informed my teammates. Friday I wrapped up telling the folks I needed to tell privately, and then Friday afternoon my boss sent out the official announcement to the agency. I’m getting a lot of practice in setting emotional boundaries and not trying to manage other people’s emotions (my therapist is going to be so proud). There’s a lot of sadness, and a fair bit of anxiety about what’s next.

And part of me is sad, too. I’ve worked with really great people, and I’m sorry to say goodbye to them. I’ve also learned a lot at this job – when I started, I had zero IT experience. I’m grateful for my time here.

I’m also really, really excited for what’s next. Every person I’ve talked to at this company has gotten me more excited about working there. It’s a great opportunity, and the way things fell into place, it feels like it’s exactly where I’m meant to be right now.

So that’s my big news! Special thanks to everyone who’s reached out in the past couple of weeks to check in and get updates – it’s been great to have your support. I’m a lucky queer.

Bursting at the Seams

Hello, dear readers!

I am having a really great week. I can’t talk publicly about all the reasons why just yet (feel free to reach out if you’re curious), but here are a few:

  • Last Friday, I ended up writing a song with a fellow FAWMer. I wrote the lyrics, sent it to them for music, they sent it back, I recorded the melody and guitar part, and they added harmony and ukulele. It sounds FANTASTIC, and I am so excited about it. You can listen to it here.
  • Over the weekend, a friend from the Twin Cities came to visit, and it was so fun! They are a very easy houseguest and it was a relaxing weekend for everyone, I think.
  • As of this morning, I’ve completed my personal FAWM challenge of writing a song for every card of the major arcana in the tarot. I’m very excited about that.

More to come next week on the rest of the excitement. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you – what’s making your week brighter?

I very nearly forgot to blog this week.

Yesterday was hard. Not because of anything that happened, really, but the whole day felt Sisyphean. I got out of bed late; it took what felt like eons to talk myself into going to work. I spent a lot of the day dealing with a pain flare-up. It was hard to be in my body. I got home and managed to get a few things done, but I was in bed before 8:30.

This morning I woke up still feeling pretty achy, so I made the decision to work from home. This meant that even though I made the questionable decision to crawl back into bed after turning my alarm off, I still had time to shower and take it a little easier getting ready for my day.

Now I’m sitting at my kitchen table with my coffee and my work laptop, getting ready to dive into some work projects, and I suddenly realized I hadn’t written a blog post yet, so here we are.

It’s been a long week, for sure. But here are a handful of things that have kept me going:

  • I finally saw Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker on Friday after work. I know some people found it disappointing, but I really enjoyed it. I cried, I laughed, I held my breath, I occasionally rolled my eyes. It was a fun ride and I found it a satisfying conclusion to the series I was raised on.
  • Saturday we got breakfast with a friend who lives in our old neighborhood. When we moved, we decided to set up a routine of breakfast dates every other weekend, and I’m so glad we did. I am trying to be more intentional about making time for friends. We have such a great constellation of friends and communities here, and I think when I’m struggling I sometimes lose sight of that.
  • I made it to Tai Chi class for the fourth week in a row. It feels good to be doing something to move my body aside from all the walking I do.
  • I wrote three songs last week. I’m getting increasingly excited for FAWM!
  • This weekend I have a couple of things scheduled with friends that I wish I saw more often, and I am very much looking forward to those.

Bleh

The weather in Chicago has returned to its pattern of bouncing all over the place, which means I am having a bit of a rough week. I’m achy and tired and having a hard time focusing. I’m anxious about some things that are kind of out of my control at this point.

But there have still been some happy things. Chiefly among them? This book:

American Hippo by Sarah Gailey

Back in February, our friend K came to visit one weekend. We ended up going to a new-to-us bookstore, and I was not going to buy anything (heaven knows I have enough books). But then I passed this book on a shelf, and I picked it up and read the foreword, and I was hooked.

Y’all. This book. It’s so good. Its premise is based on a real thing that almost happened in US history – evidently, importing hippopotami into the States to be ranched in Louisiana bayous was a proposed solution to a meat shortage in the country in the early 20th century. So this is hippo-riding cowboys, which is a delightful premise all on its own.

But the book is so much more than that. The cast is diverse across genders, races, and body types. No one really makes a big deal out of any of it, but there’s so much representation packed into the two novellas and two short stories packed into this book. I was sad to finish it, because I wanted to keep hanging out with these incredible (and incredibly flawed) humans. If you’re looking for a fun, quick read, I’d recommend picking this up!

The author, Sarah Gailey, has a new book coming out the day after my birthday, which I am excited about. I thoroughly enjoyed their writing style inĀ American Hippo, and I expect I’ll enjoy whatever they’ve got coming next.

Sickness and Silver Linings

I’m writing this on the bus on my way to work. Yesterday, I stayed home sick. I couldn’t manage to drag myself out of bed until 1pm, and I neglected to write a blog post for this morning. I wanted to stay home today, too – I’m still feeling pretty under the weather. But there are too many things I need to get done today, and I don’t have enough sick time left, anyway. 

It’s been a week of emotional processing. I’m thinking a lot about the future and what I want the next year to look like. Nothing is concrete enough yet to write about in detail here, but my mind has spent a lot of time racing lately. 

In the midst of all the mental chaos, though, have been reminders of how good I really have it. My partner’s dad visited us last weekend and helped us acquire and move around some furniture, and our apartment is feeling more like a home than it ever has. I’ve gotten to spend some great time with friends, including one friend who is moving away soon, so that time has been particularly special. I’ve gotten back to knitting after about a week of ignoring it.

My mind may be struggling a bit, but really, things are okay. And there’s the promise of improvement, which is always exciting. I just need to remember. 

A Few Happy Thoughts

My brain is all over the place this week, so for simplicity’s sake, here’s a (very) short list of some happy things from this week.

  1. I’m about 75% done with the sweater I’ve been working on knitting, which means I knit about half a sweater in about nine days. I have no idea how this has happened, but I’m quite pleased that it did.
  2. Yesterday, I was able to have a ten-minute check-in conversation with my boss for the first time since she moved to Israel two weeks ago. We’d been having a hell of a time getting audio to work; now that we’ve gotten that far, we’re hoping video conferencing is in our near future.
  3. I’m planning things. Not a lot that’s too concrete yet, but it’s getting there. Learning how to dream again, and to think more than a week or two out, is terrifying and wonderful all at once.