cruise control

So I'm sitting at the hair cuttin place about 2 weeks ago (16 days ago to be exact), chatting with my hairdresser, trying to catch each other up on our last three months of life between my appointments. As she is snipping away at my bangs, my phone starts ringing, and as it is nearly 8 pm, I assume it is my husband calling to ask where his supper is. Strangely enough, it was anybody but Ryan and I simply sat frozen in my chair open mouthed and bug eyed as I listened to a job offer being poured into my ears. I absolutely thought I was dreaming, because it was so unexpected and unplanned (and if you know anything about me, you know I am a very anal planner. Example: my budget is worked out to the penny for the next 6 months including the days I will actually send each bill. Perhaps control freak is a better word.)

Now this is a firm I am very familiar with; I interviewed with them in college and received an offer then, but turned it down because it would require too much of a commute for me and my husband. Instead, I settled with a cozy little firm 45 minutes from home, my husband drives about an hour, and we bought a house in a great little community of about 8000 people. Life is steady and planned, just the way I like it. Then this phone call. Now since I turned down the first offer, I have visited with them time to time at conventions and things and they always seemingly teased about me coming to work for them. Or so I thought they were teasing... Basically, this phone call began a 10-day stretch of stomach knots, awkward conversations, pretty heavy soul searching and long term career planning.

I like to consider myself an ambitious person, although at the same time, I am fond of the philosophy, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The truth is, I like the job I have. It is a comfortable, relaxed environment with 5 people, and as an intern I am given an incredible amount of freedom. The job sizes vary from house remodels to master planning for small community colleges. It is good experience in each part of the design process and luckily pretty good design on the part of this firm. I had always just assumed I would work here til I get my license and either stay a little while, or try to start my own small firm in my new hometown. Of course, the planner that I am, I had already compared this schedule to my personal life regarding our plans for a family and decided my life was in cruise control and the details would work themselves out. Then this great firm calls and says they're thinking long term and they want some good folks, their average size project is about 5 times bigger than I've ever worked on which will be great experience, and they even offered to let me work at home 2-3 days a week to balance my commute!! In the meantime, my husband has been accepted to a management training program with his company and has been told that every 6 months for the next 2 years he will change jobs including two 6 month rotations in Dallas. Yes, he is moving to Dallas from July to January each of the next two years and I will stay in Arkansas. Interesting that we will again have to share custody of Phoebe.

Suddenly our happy little worlds took a giant leap into new opportunities and hard core career/financial/family planning. It was quite stressful, but after generous consideration, we both decided that sometimes good opportunities come at you when you are least expecting them. It's up to you to weigh the risk of changing what is comfortable and secure to what is unknown. Ryan and I are facing many unknowns now and although that seems unstable for both of us, somehow I have this feeling that everything will be OK. Now I won't force religion onto anyone reading this, but sometimes I think the best way to get a laugh out of God is to tell Him your plans. His often tend to be quite different and obviously this is a good example. Ironically, all of these changes have come about in the last 3 weeks and although the hard part of making the decisions is over, I have learned that I am going to have to be a little more flexible in making my plans for my future. Sometimes opportunity knocks on the door when you're enjoying the peace and quiet and you have to sacrifice that familiar comfort for the insecure hope that you've made the right decision in answering the door. Even in cruise control, you have to slow down for traffic jams or curves, but now that I'm past that, I hope I can hit that little resume button and see what happens.


  • At 9:25 PM, Blogger Murrye said…

    congratulations! i think i know which firm you are talking about. i hope you'll enjoy being able to work from home, and if i'm right about the firm, then hopefully i'll get to see you in town sometime!

  • At 10:19 PM, Blogger sam_iv said…

    Interesting! Would this happen to be a firm that I know, or even worked for myself? Good luck in your choices and changes!!


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