July, oh July, you kicked my butt and brought me to my knees a few times. You raised me up and dropped me down. You blind folded me, spun me around and left me in a maze to wander my way blind and confused through stumbling down the path. Somehow in this confusion and chaos I was able to have a highly productive month in my freelance work and in my personal work. I also have made a clear decision on course of action through the fall. It is not going to be easy but it is the right choice.
This weekend I was job hunting, organizing application packets and creating PDF portfolios to send out to various companies in the area. I found this process depressing as there is little in this area that suits my set abilities and skills. If I was looking nation wide I would be a competitive applicant for university teaching or graphic artist positions. I live in an area that simply has little need for folks like me. It is the hardest part of living in this area. I sometimes forget all that I have done and all that I can do. I forget that I have skills that people seek. There are times that I felt simply lost, a feeling a rarely have had to face prior in my life.
I have worked since I was very young. I have moved through my career carefully and calculated, trying to balance my happiness with my abilities to find the perfect match. This all ended when I left my teaching job in Virginia to move with my husband’s career up to Pennsylvania. I have worked hard to build my resume and stay current while trying to make my presence known in the community I live. I have slept little, I have played less and this past month I realized how tired I was of spinning. I want to be settled, I want to feel like I am in my place moving forward in that calculated fashion I was accustom to.
I placed my applications in the mail and I felt sick. I felt even more ill when I asked my colleagues to be references on my job hunt. Then on Tuesday morning, something happened to open up some possibilities. The college contacted me and they want to add another class to my fall schedule. This will give me just enough financial stability to continue on my current course of teaching and freelancing. This will change my entire fall, I will be on campus three days a week in the morning. I will spend the afternoon on the soccer field with the girls varsity team at Mercersburg Academy. If I take a job I will have to give all of this up. I will not be able to teach or coach. It is the easy way out. I will have more money, more time and the security that I want. I will sleep again. So why have I decided to continue on the hard path to give up my job search for now?
There has been a job that has been floating out in the realm of possibilities for the past few years but it will come a reality later on this year. Mercersburg Academy will be hiring teachers to fill a retiring pair which opens up 1.5 positions in the art department in the 2014/2015 school year. It is a dream job, one that will be highly competitive but I will be a highly competitive applicant. If I give up and ditch out on soccer at the Academy I give up on this dream, this possibility.
Another part of this, is my freelance work. I have been really doing well and I have a few great clients. I want to let this build and see what I can do with it. It is going to be a hard road. After soccer season I maybe putting my name in the hat for all sorts of positions but for now I will proceed with my plan. I am thrilled about coaching and getting to know the student athletes on the team. I love the bound I created with the kids on the team at my high school in Virginia. I miss working with this age group and I cannot wait to be a small part of this amazing school.
So as I look at the start of August, I know I have a hard path ahead of me. I will doing a lot of new things this fall. I will be teaching a new class, it is a introductory computer information systems class; it is not a design course. I will be coaching at a new school, a private school, a very well known private school. I will continue to freelance and teach Web Design Theory. I will continue to work hard and play little but this is the end of my marathon and I am running by my house. If I stop for coffee now I will regret it forever. So I wipe off my tears, pull my shoulders back, pick my head up, lean forward and charge the line.