Work

When we drive past office buildings and I see uniform little cubicles lit up inside, I get slightly wistful. I am looking for a job, and it is a process that tests my patience a lot. The H and I were agreed on me taking a small break of a year, as I quit my old job to move to this city. Isn’t that the case of so many people who get married and then leave the country to join their spouse? When I informed him I would be getting married in a few months, my old boss asked me “So are you relocating or is he?” It is not a question often asked, and I will always remember that he asked me that. While it was not the job that I had dreamed of, it was still a good one. As with so many things, I see it better for what it is now, a year after.

Few things are more agonizing than building a resume. Well, perhaps going over the document afterwards is worse. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve managed or not to accomplish, the whole resume-building-evaluating-experience is a draining one. Followed by anxious days of waiting and more waiting. It’s no fun trying not to think thoughts like “They saw it and they hated it” “They didn’t receive it” “They won’t sponsor a work visa”. I’ve received phone calls these past few weeks where I rush to the phone in a mild panic and answer it, only to hear a cheerful recording of a woman congratulating me on low credit card interest rates. It has happened at least six times, this sequence of events. Same voice. Same reaction. When I was a child, my image of God was of a person sitting on a cloud and swinging his legs, watching the world in amusement. I’ve thought of that often these past weeks. Someone up there is certainly chuckling away at my expense.

Not that I am not busy or my days not full. There are always things to do, books to read, stuff to write. The H jokes that some of my days are more full than his workdays. I arm myself with an ever-growing list of things to do, from which I remove and add things to, all day. I think perhaps I started this habit to convince myself that I will still be a busy, productive person while being a housewife. Now I’ve been doing it so many months it’s become second nature, this list-making. Which is not to say that there is anything wrong with being a housewife, or a stay-at-home-wife, or a homemaker or call it what you will. But it has taken me some a lot of getting used to.

My mother, my grandmothers, all of my aunts except one, they’ve all stayed at home. Some by choice, some by circumstance, some worked for a tiny bit a long time ago but have all but forgotten it now…All of them built and shaped my family in ways only they could have done. And it goes without saying that they are the busiest people in the house. They still are. I do not entirely know why I feel this unease about my being in the same position. Not being used to it is a definite part of the reason why. Being child-free and having only to think of the H and myself adds to it as well. But there is more to it I cannot articulate.

When I was younger I used to think the right career is absolutely essential to well-being. I do not have experience with a bad job, but I have changed my mind about this now. The right people complete you. A job is simply that, a job. It affords you what you need in order to lead the life you desire. The H and I have built a strong foundation for our marriage this last year (I know I am going to laugh at this a few years later, when I am older still). Now it’s time to find work! I realize that everyone has searched for a job at some point in their lives, everyone has faced rejection, had embarrassing interviews, had disappointing results. I know all this becomes fodder for stories at a later stage in life. But right now, I am just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping the wait is not too long. 

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