Wednesday, April 07, 2010

spring forward

I haven't written for a while because I'm not sure what to do with this blog, and I'm not sure if anybody is still reading it, and if they are, they are all on facebook now and thus connecting with me in other ways. While FB is good for updates and news links, it doesn't satisfy the enjoyment of writing the way a blog does, but when I have tried to write lately, my anxiety about the future has made it hard to do much more than complain. Most of all, I've grown tired of sounding discouraged.

But things are changing. While Maude and I were visiting a friend in Austin, I got a call from someone I interviewed with a year ago. I was in the park, playing on the jungle gym with Maude. Well, we were actually playing UNDER the jungle gym, in the pebbles. Maude kept shoving them in her sandals, under her toes, and I kept pulling them out until I realized she was putting them there. My friend was laying on the bottom of a slide, letting the sun hit his hairy stomach, which he calls the Pregnant Lady Monkey Tummy. The air was warm, with a temperature in the 70s, and I was loving the brief reprieve from the Chicago weather.

Then the phone rang. A number I didn't recognize. I ignored it, then got a frantic text message from a friend in Chicago, telling me this job was calling me, and to call back the number. I hesitated. Wouldn't it be weird to just call back? Wouldn't they wonder how I KNEW to call back? I texted this to my friend. "Just call!" she wrote. "Don't say you heard it from me!"

I called back, and was offered a job on the spot, which I accepted, on the spot. It's a job clerking for a County judge, and apparently, there was a new opening, and a salary low enough to qualify me for some loan repayment help. With regular hours, pension plans, benefits. It's just what I really wanted right now, in fact.

The best part is that I knew about this job last year because word was passed along a network of burlesque dancers; mild-mannered office types by day, they become fierce twirlers and peelers by night, headlining various comedy venues and spicing up the social scene with some much-needed girl power. I hadn't taken the bar yet so I couldn't land the position; now, however, everything was different.

So yes, I got my first law job because of burlesque. But most important of all, I got my job because of a network of very cool women who are happy to hire other women.

In a moment life turned around. Suddenly, there was a job, a career, a salary, health insurance for my daughter when GF's job ends this summer--all the things I worried I'd never have again after tenure denial, law school, recession, the collapse of the legal job market, GF's denial of tenure. The sun was shining on my friend's belly, Maude was shoving pebbles under her toes, and I had a job for the first time in almost five years.

Dumbfounded, I hung up the phone and told my Austin friend what happened. "We'll celebrate!" was his immediate response, which tells you a lot about why we are such good friends. And then we just sat there for a few minutes, planning what champagne to buy, thinking about who I should call, savoring the moment.