A Little Bit of Wonder is where I journal about the somewhat roundabout way that I have been working to establish a career and a strong sense of self--I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about "direction" and "identity." I have a Master's Degree in Literature, but I'm no longer working as an English Professor; I'm starting the next step in my life as I work to establish a career as a writer in the non-profit sector.

At my companion blog, Little Wonder's Recommended Reading, you will find reviews for both books and other blogs that I enjoy. The two blogs are inter-linked, so you can access my reviews and reading challenges from the sidebar on the left.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Twas the night before the phone call,
and all through the week,
I had spent my time blogging,
a bit like a freak.

While my husband was nestled all snug in our bed,
I blogged all the anxious, wild thoughts in my head.
My interviews over, I now had to wait
With hopes that this cool job would alter my fate...

Due to my excitement, I haven’t been sleeping much more than an average of three hours a night, which explains (but doesn’t excuse) the bad poetry. I believe the technical term for my condition is “keyed up” – I’ve invested too much in the idea that this job could be THE ticket to the life that I want. Now I’m restlessly counting the days, waiting to hear from the director of the department. She told me that she wanted to make a decision by the beginning of (this coming) week, and so she would be in touch either Monday or Tuesday.

That interview was last Wednesday, and I had problems sleeping a day or two before that, too – so my sleep schedule has been a little… off… for a while now. I’ve started mixing up words with other words, which is what can happen when you eat breakfast at 6:45 (a.m.) and then go to bed.

I do not handle stress very well.

I used to randomly burst into tears a lot more often, which left my husband feeling helpless and frustrated. He suffered as much as I did during my first year of graduate school.

Once I learned how to manage my anxiety on a conscious level, my body decided that it still needed an outlet for all the tension that builds up inside of me when I am under certain types of pressure; my chronic insomnia worsened and I developed stress-induced stomach problems. This means that I can no longer drink coffee unless I want to participate in competitive sprints for the bathroom, but the bright side is that I no longer need coffee to stay up for most of the night working. I’ve learned that I am quite capable of going in to work after only having had 2-4 hours of sleep the night before – although it can make for a pretty loopy lecture.

I’ve got all this nervous energy, which I’d like to say that I’ve been channeling into a variety of outlets. Mostly, though, I’ve been reading and blogging, reading and blogging. More blogging than reading, actually, because I am so antsy that I haven’t been able to sit still long enough to become peacefully engrossed in a novel. For some reason, though, I can surf the internet for hours at a time. I try to appease my own guilt with the justification that I’ve not been surfing idly: I’ve been learning more about networking with social media that will be of use when I get hired as a public relations specialist, wherever and whenever that may be.

Honestly, though, I’ve been on the internet a lot but I haven’t been very diligent about submitting other applications during the interview process. I’ve taken a hiatus from job searching – which is admittedly putting all of my eggs in one basket, or counting the chickens before they are hatched. (I wish I could come up with less cliché phrases, but I’m so sleep-deprived that coherent sentences are sometimes a challenge. But you try being clever when your brain hasn’t had deep REM for almost a week.) I’ve been going off the high of a really good second interview for several days – but now it is the night before the phone call is supposed to come, and a string of what ifs are running through my mind:

What if I don’t get this job? What if I don’t find another job like this for months? Or years? What if my husband feels like I haven’t been trying as hard as I could to get a job? What if he feels like he has to support us all by himself and he starts to resent me? What if I have to take a job as an editorial assistant and I have no desire left to read and write because I spend all my spare time weeding through horrible manuscripts for harlequin romance novels?

Even though I wasn’t job searching every day over the past week, waiting a few days (or even a week) before checking the local postings didn’t seem irresponsible – it’s unlikely that something new will pop up every day, anyway. Give the market a little time between queries, I say (because I’m such an expert). But now that these what ifs have proliferated, I’ve decided that I need to be a responsible grownup and keep pursing other career options and employment opportunities.

And so I’m back to the tedious and fairly depressing process of picking through postings on CareerBuilder and LinkedIn. Job search key word: “communications.” Listings include: loan officer, pharmaceutical sales representative, treasury analyst, data warehouse architect (what the heck is that?) and furniture sales associate (how did that one get in there?). Job search key word: “writing.” Listings include: manager of international tax accounts, store detective, legal secretary, wild life biologist (I’m definitely not qualified for that one), Python programmer.

I’m not even getting any possible hits with my searches this time around, which tells me that this non-profit job is, as I suspected, a rarity. So maybe I’m not exaggerating too much when I say that the direction of my life hangs on the phone call that I receive tomorrow.

I doubt I’ll sleep much tonight.

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