Catholicism

Scent of a Woman

This morning as I was walking our adorable dog, I caught the scent of lilacs. It was a strange thing, as like most people, I associate lilacs with spring time.

Again, this morning at work, the same scent whiffed through the air. Same fragrance of lilacs … except now I had this image in my mind of the purple lilac bush in the backyard of my childhood home.

Despite the fact that I was born and raised Catholic and went to 12 years of Catholic school, I don’t consider myself a very “good” Catholic. However, I do consider myself a relatively spiritual person.

I believe that there is a higher being out there that watches over me; a person who is there to observe my thoughts and actions, but who is also nonjudgmental with the path in life I decide to take.

I choose to believe this because I need to know that there is someone out there (besides my husband) who supports me when I need it most. I don’t demand this higher being to prove His/Her existence; He/She wouldn’t need to say one word to provide further proof. All the faith I need is that I feel that unconditional love and support. I need to know that there is some positive “force” in my life.

After experiencing the aroma of lilacs for the second time in a matter of hours, I realized what … or rather who was infiltrating my senses.

This is when my spirituality comes into play; my belief that there is life outside of this existence. Perhaps it’s based on previous experiences. Or maybe it’s just because I’ve always had an open mind to these types of things.

This morning, I believe my Grandma Rose came to visit me.

Grandma Rose loved the color purple. I could never imagine her wearing anything else but all shades of purple. Which is why, despite her namesake flower, I have always associated the lilac bush in my parent’s backyard with her.

So when the smell of lilacs overcame me for the second time today, I just knew that it was Grandma reminding me that she was looking over me; acknowledging that I had finally made the decision to live child-free with my Hubby. It’s as if she was letting me know that, even though I always wanted to have a house full of children like her (I have/had 10 aunts and uncles from her alone!), it was okay that I didn’t achieve that dream.

********

I can’t believe the outpouring of love and support I received on my blog after publishing the previous post. Every comment was a reminder to me of exactly why I continue to write … of why I express many of my most private thoughts and feelings to the public.

It’s amazing how total strangers (well, not all of you are strangers anymore …) can provide that unconditional love and support I’ve needed during the most difficult times in my life. These “strangers” have literally taken me from feeling incredibly isolated with no one (but Hubby, of course) to turn to … to feeling as if I’m in a room full of Adoption, Pregnancy Loss and Infertility (ALI) gals. It’s as if these “strangers” become that positive force I’ve learned to turn to when, at times, I felt paralyzed in taking a step forward.

But despite the incredible love and support I’ve received from the ALI community and from close friends alike, I still can’t seem to shake off some of the sadness that comes with this decision.

Part of me thinks that, despite the fact that we’ve been living without children for years, the reality of saying that we’re living child-free is so … FINAL. Even though Hubby & I both know that it could change at any moment.*

Mostly, I think it’s because I’m searching for the “approval” of those other important people in my life; those family members who may have looked to us to continue the family lineage and those traditions that both our families hold dear. I wonder how they feel about this decision. And if, by making this choice I’ve disappointed them in some way, shape or form.

Logically, I know it shouldn’t matter what they think. I know that this is the right decision for Hubby & I at this time. It has allowed us to open our hearts and minds to new adventures in life.

Emotionally? Well, that’s a different story.

But this morning’s visit from Grandma Rose and all the warmth and love I’ve received over these past few days … Well it’s those positive things I should continue to focus on.  Because, somehow I know I’ll need to depend on that energy on those days … those moments I need it the most.

Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart,
for every kind word and encouragement.

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

My Grandma Rose with all her kids. Guess which one is my Mom?

* Meaning that we’re not closed to the idea of having children;
but if the right
opportunity should come along …

Go To The Back of the Class

“Poor Me” … that was the headband that Sr. Barbara, the Third Grade teacher at my small Catholic school, would make one of 25 or so kids in my class wear for an entire day at any given moment. It was “awarded” to any classmate whose behavior she deemed appalling.

Imagine a headband like this, sans feathers, that had "Poor Me" written across it ...

Imagine a headband like this, sans feathers, that had "Poor Me" written across it ...

Lucky for me, I only found myself wearing that headband maybe once or twice during that year. Okay … maybe three times. There was that incident where Sr. Barbara caught me jump-roping outside during recess without my school uniform on. Relax Mom … I had shorts on underneath that lovely plaid jumper, so I wasn’t completely running around in my day-of-the-week underwear. The correct day-of-the-week underwear, may I add. (At least I think so …)

Punishment like that would never fly in today’s classrooms. It’s (rightly) deemed too humiliating to present to a young child at such an impressionable age.* But that doesn’t stop other children from humiliating a fellow classmate. For instance, Nancy who got “caught” by others digging for gold might suddenly be called “Nose-picker Nancy.” Which, I suppose would be better than being called “Paste-eater Peter.” (I was unfortunately given the nickname “Dummily”)**

Other school-ground embarrassment can also include the feeling of being isolated or singled-out. Perhaps it’s something as silly as refusing to play with a certain individual during lunchtime recess because he/she ate tuna sandwiches for lunch every day. Or it could be as typical as choosing a particular person last in gym class for your team just because he/she wasn’t athletic/graceful enough.

Whatever humiliation is endured at that time, it’s cruel that — even as adults — we still act in such a manner. At times, playing the “Isolation Game” is blatantly obvious: A co-worker may avoid another co-worker for some incredibly vague reason or another. Or a fellow peer may request to be taken off certain projects just so that their name isn’t associated with another employee. Personally, I think it’s sad and childish that certain adults still feel they have to act out in this manner. ***

Then there are those instances where inadvertent humiliation takes place. These are the moments in which one person unintentionally says something that results in the embarrassment of another person. These, if the offender actually realizes that he/she said something off-color … well, these would be known as the “Open Mouth, Insert Foot” moments.

Allow me to use the example in which a skinny friend goes out to meet with her weight-conscious, always-on-a-diet friend for dinner. Skinny Gal orders the largest and fattest piece of red meat out there, while Diet Gal sticks to her plain salad with dressing on the side. And after finishing the meal and despite knowing how self-conscious her friend is about her looks, Skinny Gal states, “G*d, I feel like a cow!”

Heh. An ancient depiction of "Open Mouth, Insert Foot"

Heh. An ancient depiction of "Open Mouth, Insert Foot"

And then there’s this scenario. It involves either a well-meaning family member or an “infrequently seen” friend. This person proceeds to make the mistake of reach out for the belly. That action is closely followed by the statement, “Wow. You’ve gained weight! Are you pregnant?”

Yeah, that one’s definitely not my favorite.

I’ve had many of those “thought you were pregnant” moments over the past 13 years of marriage. It doesn’t help that I definitely gained a bit of weight since being married. Nor does it help that I had taken all those meds during those active baby-making “science project” years. And my latest excuse is that I’ve been totally stress-eating since my latest work issues began in June.

But my weight issues aren’t the basis of this latest rambling. Nor is it about feeling humiliated, whether intentional or not. Rather this post is about feeling once again, as if I’ve been left behind.

You see, today I read one of my HS friend’s FB statuses, indicating that her 9-yr old daughter would be going away to overnight camp for the first time this week. And I thought about the strange combination of pride and sadness she probably felt letting her “baby bird” fly away from the nest for a bit; even if it was for no more than two days. And this is probably what started the chain of events and line of thinking leading up to this post.

While I love FB, there are some days where I just want to bury my head in the sand and forget that such an addicting social-networking site ever existed. It has been a wonderful tool for me to catch up with those friends from my “school days.” It has done wonders with keeping in touch with Dr. Bro and Dr. SIL as well as any of my cousins who keep a FB accounts.

Then there are those aspects of FB that make it appear as if I’ve literally been left behind. And today is definitely one of those days. Especially when it comes to seeing friends post pictures or videos of their children. It makes me want to post pictures as well; ones of my “supposed” children. And it makes me want to update my status (via Twitter, of course) with witty statements about what my imaginary kids are up to. It’s moments like that where I feel like I’ve been a “total slacker” in my life. Where I’m just not at the same point in life that my other friends are. That I’m kinda just “stuck” in the marriage phase of my life.

Oh yes, I know realistically that what I’m feeling is pure crap. And I know that despite the fact that I don’t have children of my own, I’ve been pretty successful in my life in other ways.

Yet, there’s this small nagging voice inside my head. It’s the voice that remarkably sounds like a hybrid of my parents and a third-grade version of myself. It’s the one that tells me that I can’t just be average; that I must strive to be the best in everything I do. That I should be a step (or a phase, in this case) ahead of where I’m currently at. That I should always be the one at the top of the class; ahead of all my classmates in everything I do.

Good thing my devil voice doesn't sound like Homer

Good thing my devil voice doesn't sound like Homer

And that nagging is swiftly followed by the voice of that little red devil on my left shoulder; the one that says, “Face it, Em. You’re so far behind in what you’ve planned for yourself in life. You might as well give it up.” And it’s the same devil voice that tells me that, even if I do have kids now (whether it be my biological child or adopted child), I’d never be able to “catch up” to the rest of those parental peers in my age-group.

It’s, quite frankly, the same voice that tells me I’m a failure for not even being able to pass a pregnancy test. (No multiple choice; just True or False … )

It’s at those moments where we feel like I’ve been instructed to put on a “Poor Me” headband and head to the back of the class. Because, given my conscience lately,  Sr. Barbara would have told me to.

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

* No wonder I have self-esteem issues to this day.

** No thanks in part to my brother, The Dork.

*** But when there are reality TV shows out there that foster such behavior, it’s amazing that the whole world isn’t all about the backstabbing and talking-behind-the-back

Spirit, Strength and Peace

Dear God,

I haven’t asked much for myself over the past so many years. In fact … if I had to pinpoint a moment in time that I stopped requesting anything from You, it would be the same day I was so angry at You for not giving me the one thing in life that I prayed the hardest for. The one thing in my life that I wanted to experience the most.

I stopped asking at that point, not because I didn’t believe in You. Or that I didn’t think You loved me. I stopped asking because, quite honestly, I just wanted to stop feeling disappointed in myself all the time.

You see, I have always been told that You only give a person what You think he or she could handle. And seeing that I hadn’t been handling the whole infertility thing so well, I thought that perhaps that was the reason You felt I wasn’t ready or prepared or worthy of being a mother.

And that is why I stopped praying for myself.

God, I know that you know that I still pray to You. And that my requests are simple at best. I pray that You look over all my family and friends. I pray that You guide those most worthy of needing guidance to find spiritual happiness somewhere.

Because, even though I am not a very good practicing Catholic, I do believe that having faith in a higher being … whether You are called “God” or “Yahweh” or if You are even a multitude of deities … it is important in finding some sort of spiritual inner peace.

Right now, God … I’m looking for some of that inner peace. And specifically what I need at this moment is some strength.

I know You have provided me with many gifts, including the love and support of an incredible man. I also know You have graciously provided me with my “second chance” in life in a new city and a new home. I cannot tell you how incredibly grateful I am for the love and support of my husband and this opportunity to move to Chicago … because it’s amazing what a change in scenery can do to one’s soul.

The strength I need right now is to maintain my self-confidence. To know that I’m doing the best that I can do in the situation I am currently in. To ignore the thoughts in my head that tell me I’m “just not good enough.” To ignore my tendency to worry what others may think about what I’m doing. To be strong in the face of self-doubt.

Please God. I don’t ask for much. But if it wasn’t too much of a bother, I’m in much need of some inner strength …

Forty-plus Days

In the Catholic-Filipino tradition, a 9-day novena is held immediately after the death of a loved one. On the 40th day, a mass is held in commemoration of this loved one as it is believed that this is the day they’ve ascended into the heavens. It’s also the day where the act of “mourning” (wearing black, for example) officially concludes. It’s supposed to be the time where a person is supposed to outwardly “show” that they’ve began to “move on” with everyday life.

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Yet another "borrowed" picture from another cousin

Except … anyone that has ever mourned the loss a love one (or heck, even the loss of anything in life — like the ability to have children, for instance) knows that grief doesn’t last for a set moment in time. Life doesn’t just miraculously get better after 40 days, several months or even years. If anything, grief is a process that must be worked through completely before a person can successfully move on.

Sometime last week was the 40th day anniversary of my Grandma Rose‘s passing. In all honestly, the date escaped me. It wasn’t until I saw pictures of a celebration at my Uncle’s house on my cousin‘s Facebook page that I remembered. And if the rest of my Mom’s family in the U.S. didn’t live on the East Coast, I might have been there celebrating with them. Instead, I celebrated with them in spirit; once again reflecting back on the incredible life my 99-year old Grandmother.

This past Monday, on Memorial Day of all days, I happened to get the first part of an incredible gift in my email inbox. This same cousin, who posted pictures of the 40th day celebration, sent me … along with the rest of my cousins and Aunts/Uncles in her email address book … a scanned copy of a notebook written by Grandma Rose.

290About 32 pages in length and written about twenty years ago, this handwritten notebook told the most basic lifestory of my grandmother in her own words. She had left it to my cousin, who took it upon herself to scan in each page and send it to all of us.

It was absolutely wonderful to read these pages and physically see it my Grandma’s own handwriting. Many of the accounts she documented were stories that I can remember her telling me. Other stories were ones that were passed down to me from my own Mom. But reading them now … well, they brought back such warm memories of listening to my Grandma Rose tell these stories and being fascinated on how life in the Philippines was so different than my own.

For years, we had told Grandma that she should write all these stories down … that she had lived such an interesting life. While many of these stories never made it into writing, I still feel incredibly blessed that Grandma left her own legacy behind and in her own words.

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Last night, after I finished reading these pages I, once again, felt this incredible closeness with my Grandma Rose. It felt as if she was right there next to me, telling me these stories like she did when I was little. It felt as if I could put my arms around her and hug her, while she read aloud to me what she wrote.

And just like that, the tears sprung up again. Because then I realized how much I missed her and still miss her. Even after these 40-plus days.

***

And because the number 40 always reminds me of this song … I have to pay homage to one of my favorite bands of all time. I have this vivid memory of being home sick one day in high school and watching “Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky” … so it’s this clip I had to post.

For those that don’t know, this song is based on the Bible’s Psalm 40. Which … given how spiritual my Grandma Rose was … is incredibly appropriate. Enjoy.

Clean Feat

Today is considered a “Holy Day” in the Catholic faith. It’s the Thursday before Easter; the day before Good Friday. For those that are not familiar with it’s significance, Holy Thursday is more or less the day that Catholics celebrate “The Last Supper.” It’s the day in which Jesus breaks bread with the 12 Apostles for the very last time. It’s the day in which Jesus prays to God in the Garden of Gesthemane to provide him with the strength he will very much need the next day. It is also the day where one of his own Apostles, Judas, betrays him.

Yes, I know I’ve said it time and time again … I am NOT a very “good” Catholic. I believe in God and Jesus. I believe that the death of Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for mankind. I am just not much of a “practicer” in the Catholic faith. No, I don’t go to mass weekly. No, I don’t participate in the sacraments religiously (no pun intended). But what I get out of my belief in God and Jesus (and yes, the Holy Spirit, too) is the sense of spirituality. The sense that there are certain things that are well beyond my control. That there is a higher being watching over me.

Wow … I think that’s the most I’ve really “talked” about religion in a very long time. But seriously, there is a point to this all.

The other thing that is both the backbone and the bane of Catholicism’s existence is its traditions. The “bane” of it being that it takes waaaaaaay too long for change to come to Catholicism … which tends to drive those that are otherwise “believers” away once a situation (like, let’s say IVF for infertility) butts up against an individual’s personal beliefs. I’ve had many many many friends from my Catholic-school childhood fall victim to this. Me included.

But it’s those traditions that sometimes keep a person tied to their faith as well. Personally, there are certain things … like Advent and Lent that I enjoy about my religion. These “seasons” are richly filled with tradition and purpose; but they are also filled with symbolism as well. Advent … a time to prepare for the birth of Jesus which could also symbolize the birth of a “new year” or “new life.” And Lent … a time of self-reflection, of forgiveness of one’s self and others; a time to “give up” something of importance in order to understand what it is like to sacrifice something for others. Yes … it’s those symbolisms in Catholicism that I truly enjoy.

One such tradition that occurs today, on Holy Thursday, is the washing of feet. Yes … you read it right; the washing of feet. During Holy Thursday mass, the priest will literally wash the feet of 12 people in the congregation.

What, may you ask, is the symbolism behind this act? Well first of all, this is literally an act that Jesus performed on all of his Apostles shortly after the Last Supper. It seemed like a strange thing to do because really, why would the “Son of God” perform such a menial task on those that were brought together to serve him?

Now I can’t be certain without doing a major google search, but I have always taken this part of the service to mean two things. First of all, it’s a symbolism of purifying one’s soul/sole in order for this person to fully comprehend the assignment of which he/she has been given in life. A way of cleansing any self doubt. And second of all, I believe that this tradition is a practice in humility. If the “Son of God” should perform such a menial task to others … then we, as Catholics, should be able to participate in our share of menial tasks in order to understand humility.

Yes yes …. I’m finally getting to the point of this rambling. So here goes.

The reason I’m bringing this all up today is not just because today is literally “Holy Thursday.” The reason I’m giving you such a lesson is because today I received my lessons in purity and humility.

That’s because today … I finally got to talk directly to my Mom in the Philippines. And I’ve finally heard the news about how my Grandma is doing … straight from the horse’s mouth. And that has got me feeling just a little less anxious because now I know for myself that my Grandma is actually doing okay.

And when I mean okay; I do mean that Grandma has been breathing on her own since last Friday. To top it off, she has been discharged home from the hospital in order to be surrounded by those she loves. Her IV’s have been discontinued, and she’s responsive to touch and pain. However, she’s still getting her feedings through a tube and well, she really cannot talk. But considering where she was two weeks ago … this is absolutely incredible that she has such strength inside of her. And that has taught me the lesson of humility. That we can prepare for the very worse and things could turn out better than we think. God (and Grandma, too) could have other things planned that we are still not aware of.

And purity? Well … it’s a stretch, but the fact that I was able to talk to my Grandma on the phone … well, that was pure joy. As my Mom held the phone up to my Grandma, I told her how much I loved her and missed her deeply. I told her that I wish she could stay strong and get better, but that if she couldn’t do so … I would understand. I told her that I just wanted for her to be peaceful and happy. And while I knew I wouldn’t get to hear her beautiful voice respond to me, I just knew that she understood what I said. That purity of heart and soul inside my Grandma … that is something I’ve always seen in my every interactions in the past with her. And that is what I felt today.

I miss my Mom. And I miss my Grandma, my Lola. And if I could be there to “wash” their feet … to show them some humility and purity (well, as pure as I can get) … I totally would.

Grandma, you continue to surprise every single one of us with your strength. I love you and I just want you to be in peace. I’m praying for you and for all of our family members … that we will pull through with the amazing grace that you’ve always shown us. Thank you for your strength in heart and humility.

Happy Holidays!

Wow. It’s been a whirlwind few months. Actually, it’s been quite a year. But we won’t go into that, as it’s documented quite well in these virtual pages.

What I really want to say, besides “Happy Holidays” and such is this. Thank you for everyone that has read my ramblings over the years. Whether you’ve commented or not, just knowing that there is someone out there “listening” to my hopes, dreams, heartbreaks and heartaches means more than you’ll ever know.

And my wish is that my writings, my sometimes incoherent babble … somehow touched you in some way. It could have been a silly comment that made you smile. Or an angry tirade that “spoke” those words you could never say aloud. Or perhaps an observation noted or a sentiment stated that precipitated a moment of genuine clarity as to the complexities of infertility or life as a first generation Asian-American.

In any case, I wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, a Peaceful Winter Solstice. May the warmth of this holiday season carry each and every one of you throughout your lives.

fireplace

Fleas On My Dog

No … there are no fleas on my puppy-girl, Kozzy. Actually, this is the way that my co-worker sings the Christmas carol, “Feliz Navidad.”

“Ah … now I get it,” I can hear y’all chuckling. But what does this Christmas carol have to do about Thanksgiving … other than the fact that today (or tomorrow, how ever you want to look at it) is the “official start” of the Holiday season?

Well, funny you should ask. Last year at this time Hubby & I, along with my parents, were on a Caribbean Cruise. One of the days was spent in Cozumel, Mexico where, as we stepped off the “boat” all I could hear throughout the plaza was that Christmas carol. And just the thought of hearing a Mexican Christmas Carol while in Mexico … it just had me in hysterics.

Anyway.

It’s about 8:00 am on Thanksgiving morning. Hubby’s getting some much needed sleep in the bedroom while I’m on the couch typing away on my lappie. I’m still getting these horrible coughing fits, but for the most part I’m feeling much better. Although, I have this feeling I’ll be losing my voice by the end of the day today. Damn sore throat.

Plans for today include lunch with my parents after the traditional Filipino Thanksgiving Mass. My parents asked us if we were going to attend; in which I promptly said that this morning was the only opportunity for us to unwind before another busy weekend. Which, in a sense, is the plain truth. But I also just honestly don’t feel like having to deal with the inevitable social conversations that involve Filipino acquaintances commenting on our child-less status. Seriously, there’s only so much of this an infertile can take … even if it’s been more than ten years! But seriously, it should be a nice sit-down lunch with my parents at the local Italian restaurant.

What?! Did you just say restaurant?!

Mmhmm. Yes. Emily, with or without the apron strings, is not exactly that great of a cook. And quite frankly, while I can do a turkey dinner, it just doesn’t seem to make much sense to do so when it’s only going to be the four of us. Oh, I suppose I could invite Hubby’s family and the other members of my side of the family … but then that would mean 20+ people in our home which, at most is only comfortable to fit five around the table. So yes … turkey lunch at a restaurant with my parents.

But don’t you worry, we’ll still have the traditional turkey fixin’s. At Hubby’s parents house. Later tonite. Where YAY! I get to see my nephew and niece. And BOO! Might not get to hold niece because of being a bad sicko.

So overall, busy day. But one that will be spent with family. After all … isn’t that what holidays are about?

Oh, and technically this is also supposed to be the day to express gratitude … so, without further ado …

Things to be extra-thankful of this year:

  1. An incredible husband who takes care of me when I’m sick (and we’re talking both physically and emotionally), and who has been my rock for the past 12 years.
  2. Loving and supportive parents who understand the reason for upcoming changes
  3. IRL friends and co-workers (not to mention bosses) that have also been supportive and excited for my upcoming change in employment
  4. Extra-wonderful pets … who have no idea what changes are store for all of us, but who are always willing to snuggle with me and give me some furbaby love
  5. An incredible online group of friends who have weathered with me during some of THE MOST difficult times in my life over the past year

    And last but certainly not least,

  6. God for giving me back a little bit of faith in this world. That somehow when one door closes … another door opens. Even though it might not be the door that you were hoping would open.

Happy Thanksgiving, Blogland!!

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Dim Sum of Nuttin'

Ack. So I’ve been doing good in the blog posting lately … I still can’t believe I’ve done a post a day for now 17 days. Actually more, as I posted a few a day before the month officially began. But in the process I’ve neglected posting comments. And that’s really because I haven’t honestly been reading so much lately. In fact, my Flock reader bar has filled up to more feeds than I can possibly read in one setting.

D*mn. And I had been doing so well for a while.

Brother & Sister

Brother & Sister

Seriously though. Where the heck did the month go? I still can’t believe that a week from this Thursday is officially Thanksgiving. Which, of course means that the Holiday season is literally around the corner. Except, I swear the stores seem to think it’s in full swing. And let me tell you, hearing the holiday music all over the frickin’ place is annoying.

Worse even is that it’s only mid-November and there’s snow on the ground. Well at least there was early this morning. Ugh. This is Michigan … which, unless Mother Nature plays another trick on us, means that we’ll be seeing snow until early April. That’s five months of seeing snow. Almost half a year. Ugh.

It’s not that I don’t like snow. It’s pretty to look at, pretty to play in … totally sucks to clean up after, drive in, deal with stupid drivers and salt trucks. But hey … this is life in the Great Lakes state.

img_58161Moving on to something else …

Hubby was asked by our nephew to be his confirmation sponsor. So today, we went to mass at our nephew’s church where they asked the candidates and their sponsor to commit to this Catholic sacrament’s process. Afterwards, we had gone out for some dim sum at a local Chinese restaurant. Lots of yummy dumplings and noodles later … Hubby & I were sitting around holding our niece, who amazingly slept all throughout mass and pretty much all through lunch. But alas, she open her little eyes to us and was being her utterly adorable self.

If I could only find a way to duplicate her and take her twin home with me …

img_5810

Okay, this is all I can manage for today. Until tomorrow …

"Fortune"-ate

 (Update 03.19.2009: Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I can finally un-PWP this post!)

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

Focus on your long-term term goal.
Good things will soon happen.


– Fortune Cookie from Chinese Take-out
(Last night’s dinner, by the way … )

Wow. I mean seriously. Wow. I’m still in a bit of shock over the news I received yesterday, and I’m still completely giddy with excitement.

Wednesday afternoon I received a call. From the HR person I’ve been dealing with. Unfortunately, I missed the call and by the time I realized it, it was way past the time for me to call back. So I had to wait until the morning to call.

In the mean time, I was trying to send out my follow-up letters to both the HR person I finally met face to face this past Monday and the manager of the department I was interviewing in. So Wednesday night, I finished writing the letters and thought briefly about snail-mailing them out. But seeing as if I already received one call, I figured that I could send the letter by email instead … at least for the time being.

So about 11:30 pm that night, I shipped out both emails and thought nothing about it; hoping that the HR person would read it in the morning before I called him back.

Five minutes later … I receive a reply. From the manager that I interviewed with. At 11:30 pm EST. Which means it was still late evening where she was. Yikes … I was totally not expecting that! But basically she said that it was nice meeting me too, and that I should contact the HR rep for “the next steps.”

So I’m thinking that perhaps the call is to set up an interview with the Director of the department for the supervisor position I also interviewed for. Or maybe I was going to be offered the Case Manager position instead; which would have been fine, but then I’d have been concerned about the salary and still having to make the move out of our state. Either way, I was prepared for the call.

So yesterday morning, I call shortly after what I assume is the HR person’s starting time and leave a message. And wait for about an hour. When HR guy finally calls, I’m taken completely by surprise. Because rather than calling to set up another interview, he’s calling to offer me a position. The supervisor position.

That’s right … the supervisor position!

HOLY CRAP!! I GOT OFFERED THE JOB!!!

Okay, so before I get too excited … I still have to officially accept the position and the salary that’s currently being negotiated (which are going good, by the way …). And well, I still have to take the requisite drug screen (no poppy seeds for me). But …

HOLY CRAP!! I GOT OFFERED THE JOB!!!

Okay, so now that I got that out of the way … I can’t believe how, thus far, things have been falling neatly into place. How finding out about my (now ex-) Director’s move to a new company out of state coincided with a very emotionally difficult time in my life (read: niece’s birth). How the opportunity to review my resume and forward it on spurred me to even contemplating such a move. How we got such an awesome deal on lodging that I didn’t realize was right next to the building I’d be interviewing in. How, even though Hubby was sick over the weekend, that gave me the chance to rest up and relax before the big interview. How the manager I interviewed with happened to be Filipino. How her supervisor happened to be someone that shared my views about teamwork and leadership. And how my ex-Director picked the most opportune moment to peak in the meeting room just to say hi to me.

Now, y’all know my stance with my Catholicism. I’m spiritual to a point, but then my scientific and logical reasoning takes over. But let me tell you … right now, I believe that The Big Man Upstairs has been seriously watching over me. That He’s felt my pain and frustration with everything I’ve been dealing with, that He’s noticed all the anxiety and tears I’ve let loose. And that at this moment, when I just needed something to go my way for once, He’s opened a few doors. And I am so grateful for this.

By no means am I completely clear of any obstacles, though. There’s still all the other logistics that need to be addressed. Selling our house in a depressed economy (this is metro-Detroit, after all … the Motor City ain’t doing so good right now). Finding a place to live in the mean time. Paying for both places until our house sells. All those logistics.

Yes, I know I’m putting the cart in front of the horse right now. But haven’t you noticed? It’s in my nature to worry about these things. But I pray that these things go as smoothly as (knock on wood) things have been going thus far.

So again, if anybody has The Big Man Upstairs on their speed dial, would you mind continuing to put a good word in for me?

And now, if you’ll excuse me … I’m going to do the “Dance of Joy.”

_

(Update 03.19.2009: Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I can finally un-PWP this post!)

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