I think that the story of us actually needs a bit of a lead-in – just a sliver of the story of me and how I came into the picture.
Although I have spent most of my life in New York state, I did call Nashville my home for a few brief and amazing years. I went to concerts, parties, more concerts, more parties, still more parties, more concerts… I was surrounded by music and fun people. I thought I was home for good.
And then I started to miss my family.
I sat alone on Thanksgiving morning 2005 and cried while I watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and ate a Nutri-grain bar. Although I loved Nashville, I decided that day that I had to move home.
About a year and a half later, I got laid off. I was not upset to receive the news – this was my chance and I was going home! In August of 2007, I moved in with a friend who lived in the hills outside of Ithaca. I had started putting out resumes and had secured a couple of promising phone interviews before I moved back. I assumed that, although I had a paltry severance package (6 weeks of pay), that momentum would keep right on rolling until it developed into a full-time job, and I would be working again in NO time.
Six weeks came and went.
In October, I still didn’t have a job.
My paltry severance package was running out and, at this point, the only communication I was receiving from potential employers was coming fast and furious in the form of boilerplate rejection letters wishing me the best of luck with my continued job search.
Then, one day, my phone rang. It was not a call to tell me how great my resume was and that I would be interviewing at Cornell the next week. It was PJ, the manager at a local magazine and tobacco store in Ithaca. I used to work at another branch of that magazine store – it was my first job right out of high school. PJ wanted to know why I hadn’t called her yet. I had completely forgotten that I reconnected with her when I was in Nashville – just in case nothing else came along. Well, what luck. Nothing else had come along, and she had a full-time position open.
You can imagine that I was thrilled at the possibility of going back there. Thrilled at the prospect of slinging “dirty” magazines, tobacco, lotto, and coffee. Overjoyed at making close to minimum wage.
Still, low income was better for me than no income, and I took that job. My first day was in late October, 2007. It was temporary, you know?
Maybe a few weeks or a month. Just until I found another job.