"What are they?" she asked while we sweated over the work.
"I don't know," I replied, pausing in my complaints that I was hot and tired and this was hard. "Lillies, I think. The other side blooms sometimes." I waved my hand across the front walk and remembered the white flowers with the pink center. "These never have."
"They're irises!" I told her a few days ago. "One bloomed and it's an iris - well, I think - and it's yellow and beautiful!" I've long loved these flowers and have sighed over the ones that bloom for other people. Vivid purples and bright whites. I wished I had some of my own. And now I do! And they're this perfect, sunny yellow!
I made it to campus today, dropping off trash along the way. (The dump was closed and I had dead bunny in my trunk that I was not taking home again. So I stopped at Friend's old apartment complex, hoped I wouldn't get arrested for trespassing, and dropped of garbage there. I'm resourceful!) I printed Friend's paper to evaluate sentence readability (well, I printed 34 of the 63 pages - that's a lot of knowledge there), turned in my receipts from my trip and lent Boss the conference CD. Feeling relatively productive, I decided to send an email.
For some reason, I think you know someone at the Place I Want To Work. I was thinking about it this morning since the hiring committee will meet within the next couple of weeks re: Position that I badly want. I wondered - if you do have a contact there - if you (or he) might be willing to write a quick email to talk me up a bit. If not, that's fine too. I think I was impressive enough at the interview, but it never hurts to be sure. (Chatting about work stuff).
He replied immediately, said he did know someone there and forwarded the email he'd sent to his friend.
It was great to see you at [redacted]! I am contacting you because a friend and collaborator at Current Institution – Katie [LastName] – has applied for a position [there]. Katie is brilliant and she would be a fantastic addition to any center that would be lucky enough to recruit her.
As I was writing this, Dr. Icing forwarded the email that his friend had sent the hiring director that talked about what a "terrific addition" I would be, spoke of my "excellent background" and continued that he "cannot tell you how thrilled we would be to have [Katie] as part of the [group there]." I have a post planned about how I feel weird about submitting journal articles to editors I know personally. Yet I'm perfectly happy to exploit any resource that occurs to me to find employment in the fall.
The biggest boost - apart from the compliments that had me dabbing at tears (I'm quite emotional lately) - was that I did something. The problem with not finding suitable postings at the conference was that I didn't apply anywhere new. Waiting while being completely passive has weighed me down with pessimism over the entire job search. I need to do something - anything - and Dr. Icing helped me do that. And I adore him for it.
So between reading Friend's very impressive paper (Yay for Friend for being smart and writing beautifully! Even in the face of criticism!), attending a seminar and helping Marlie with some political situations that didn't quite translate without my interpretation, I felt nearly happy.
Someone I like and respect a great deal called me brilliant. I might have received an important boost in the eyes of the hiring committee. I felt more stable - I printed a paper for Boss, I answered some email and revised my to-do list. I told Marlie we'd have lunch tomorrow, feeling capable of reassuring her and offering pep talks since I didn't feel quite so heavy anymore.
It's not all sweetness and light - not that much has changed. But there was a hint of brightness today. And it seemed impossibly lovely.