Sometimes, when the Universe is bored, or pissed off because it hasn’t gotten laid in a while, it likes to fuck with me. Just reach into my life and drop something big in my lap. Then it likes to sit back, crack open a beer, and watch the fun begin.
Yesterday was one of those days.
As you all know, Kyle and I have been spending the summer in Wichita, working for Music Theatre of Wichita. And it’s been great, but like all good things that pay me money, it’s swiftly coming to an end. In six days, to be exact. And as of yesterday morning, we had nothing lined up to go to. We’d been sending out resumes like crazy, and though there’d been a few nibbles here and there, nothing was really panning out. We knew we couldn’t stay in our apartment in Atlanta, due to the ridiculous cost of rent, but we didn’t know where we were going next. Unless we wanted to stay with either of our parents until we got jobs (NO!) or something came up pretty quick, we were about to be, how do you say, homeless. I don’t think I need to explain the anxiety that we were feeling, but suffice to say that Kyle hasn’t been sleeping much for the last month, and I’ve taken up heroin. (And by heroin, I mean entire cans of Pringles.)
But over the last few days, one of the lines Kyle’d sent out started making some noise; an interview took place, references were called, and sliding in just under the buzzer, an offer was made. The job? Technical Director of a space up in Saratoga Springs, NY. Decent gig, decent pay, gorgeous city, and Kyle’s already salivating over all the skiing we’ll get to do.
The only downside is that as of right now, there’s no job for me in Saratoga Springs, which is rather worrisome for me. Though I have faith in my resume, and there’s (supposedly) a thriving arts community in Saratoga Springs, I also remember blindly moving to a big city one year ago, determined to find a job, and we all know how that worked out; I spent nine months watching reality tv, had numerous meltdowns, and started a blog in the hopes of curbing my impending mental breakdown. And is that something that we really want to go through again? Unless they come out with another season of Sober House, the answer is no.
But seeing as the decision came down to live in Saratoga Springs or under a bridge, it turned out to be an easy one. We agreed that no matter what Saratoga held, it couldn’t be any worse than our life was in Atlanta, and began to prepare ourselves for the move to upstate New York, and whatever our new life held there.
And that’s right about when the Universe looked in and said, “Hold up, that was waaaay too easy. Let’s make this more interesting.”
Later in the evening, while I was standing backstage during a rehearsal of High School Musical 2 and contemplating choking myself with the cable I was running, I received an e-mail from one of the cruise lines I’d applied to, inviting me to an interview.
Under normal circumstances, this would not be an incredibly hard decision; Saratoga is a sure things, while the cruise line is one giant gamble. There’s no guarantee that I would get the job, and since Kyle and I vowed never to go on tour alone, Kyle would also have to get a job with the same cruise line. To say it’s a long shot is an understatement. Not to mention the fact that neither of us has any real desire to go out on a cruise ship; 6 months in a single room together without any way to really not be “at work” is just not our bag.
But at the same time, it’s the first semblance of hope for me getting a real job that’s come around in a loooong time. And I need a job, not just for the money but for my career and my self-esteem. Due to the fact that I found technical theatre later in life than most, my resume is a little thin for someone my age, and I’m always afraid that I’m under-qualified for whatever job I’m doing. I know my shit, it’s just that sometimes I forget that I know it. I need that one job to get me going, cement my legitimacy, and prove to myself that I deserve to be in the field that I’m in. And here was my one shot.
I wanted that job. I desperately wanted it. But in my gut, I knew I couldn’t take it; the risk was just too big. If I were single and on my own, I totally would have gone for it, but now that I’m married I have to make the decision that’s best for us, not just for me. I couldn’t ask Kyle to sacrifice a steady job with benefits (benefits!) for a hope. And there’s no way I could go to sea without him; he always swore that he would never get on a ship without me, and I have to keep that same promise to him. Besides, six months is a long-ass time to be apart from someone, especially when your marriage is less than a year old.
Even so, I went home and argued my case. But as the words left my mouth, I knew that they were pointless; I already knew what the right decision was. What I really needed was for Kyle to reassure me that my sacrifice wasn’t in vain, that this potential job wasn’t my only hope, that there was more to look forward to ahead. I needed to know that I wouldn’t spend the next nine months out of work, this time extra-bitter with the residue of the-job-that-could-have-been. And for the most part, he did. (Enough that denial could kick in and finish off the rest of my doubts.) And that’s enough for now.
So in exactly one week, we’ll be leaving Wichita, driving back to Atlanta, packing up our life, and moving to Saratoga Springs, NY. I’m still going to go through with the interview simply for the experience, but my eyes are already looking ahead to our new home in Saratoga Springs. Hopefully, whatever is waiting for us there, we’ll be able to make a life for ourselves, one filled with friends and laughter and love.
Or at least enough beer to make us think we have.
(Eat that, Universe.)