Friday, May 02, 2008


I have one week left at Saint Joe.

I've been holding off to tell you guys the story about my new job - mostly because I can't seem to come up with an appropriate post about it (other than that one angry one which wasn't at all appropriate). I guess I'll just jump in.

I've been actively looking for a new job since last November-ish. I was focusing on South Bend, Indiana, because I wanted to be closer to my best friend and her beautiful baby girl (more on that later), but I was having no luck. Apparently South Bend has no need for writers. So I switched to the Chicago market and instantly had a lot of success. I had a bunch of phone interviews (none of which I made it through very well, as I am a complete mess on the phone) and several in-person interviews at a lot of really cool places. Then my former coworker, officemate extrodinaire, and friend Steve mentioned an opening at his current employer - Big Time University - and the rest is history.

On May 13, I'll be the new Project Manager of Development and Alumni Communications. Fancy, huh? It's similar to the work that I'm doing for Saint Joe, but the differences are in all the right places. I'm really excited to begin working for a new institution, and, although I'm really scared to leave my comfort zone, I really think the change will do me a lot of good. (I'm now maxed out on my daily quota for the use of the word "really.")

Almost more so than starting a new job in a new place with new people, I'm so excited about the biggest perk of all: Big Time University is paying for me to go to graduate school for free. Free! Ever since leaving DePaul a few years ago (I was going to link to the post about leaving, but I discovered I never wrote one...), I've been really anxious to get back into a program I actually liked - one that would be beneficial for what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I made the mistake of enrolling in a program that felt safe to me: I had already earned one writing degree, why not get another? This time, I'm going to be taking classes that challenge me and expose me to new ideas and concepts - not classes that comfort me and pat me on the back for doing something well that I already knew I did well. Come August, I'll be enrolled in my first class toward my Master of Science in Technical Communication and Information Design at Illinois Institute of Technology. I'm already starting to have dreams about buying books, new folders, and fancy pens. (Nerd alert! Nerd alert!)

There's just one thing. It's the part I mentioned not having my rap down for: living quarters. I'm just going to come out and say it. I'll be moving back in with my parents in the Region (northwest Indiana). I'm hoping it won't be that bad: they're only about 40 minutes from Big Time University, I'll save a bunch of money, and - truth be told - my parents are awesome. Honestly, I'm actually looking forward to the company and seeing my mom and dad more often.

The thing I'm worried about is the judgment I'm sure to receive from others. You know who I mean - the person (usually someone from high school who you didn't actually like but now feel compelled to make small talk with when you bump into her in Walgreens) whose eyes cloud over and mouth longs to shout "LOSER!!!" when you mention where you're living these days. I know, I know - it doesn't matter what they say as long as I'm happy with my choice - you don't have to tell me that. I know that. But still... I'd be lying if I said the thought wasn't weighing heavily on my mind. I guess a part of me feels a little bit like that LOSER I know they're going to brand me as - like even the fact that I love and respect my parents enough to want to move back home is enough to make me a freak.

But in every aspect, the positive is definitely winning. It's a wonderful feeling to have something new and exciting to look forward to... especially since I sort of feel like I haven't done anything new for seven years since I came to Saint Joe as a freshman.

It's been killing me all these months not to blog about it, but as I mentioned, I wasn't planning on telling my boss. I figured putting the information on my little Web site (which some of my coworkers currently read) was not the best possible way to keep a secret. I wrote a thousand posts in my head, though, about my discouragement, my doubt, and, finally, my elation, and I imagined sharing the news with the few very good friends I've made through the blogosphere. So I was definitely thinking of you guys.

Thanks for all the well wishes in my previous post!


Aunt Becky said...

I'd take the low route and lie if asked. Why not?

Lone Chatelaine said...

Congratulations! New jobs are always exciting, and in Chicago to boot!

I moved in with my parents for two years back in 2003. My lease ran out on my condo in the city, and I was about to start building my house in my hometown, so it just made sense to move in with Mom and Dad and be close to the construction site. Plus, I traveled about three weeks a month for my job back then, so rent was a waste of money.

Hey, that's it! Just tell anyone that might ask that you travel a lot and just need a place to store your things till you figure out where you want to really live.

Nothing wrong with living with Mom and Dad a while, though. Changing jobs is stressful enough. Why make it more so by moving into a strange place as well.

Frema said...

Congratulations on finding a job AND a graduate program you really like. I loved DePaul's writing classes and found most of them very challenging (especially Mulderig's!) but different strokes for different folks. :) You'll have to keep us posted on your fall semester.