"I have the counter-offer," Realtor told me this afternoon. "They did change the closing date to 10 days later - you did say you were fine with that, right?"
"Not excited, but, yes, fine," I replied, waiting with nervous tension to hear the rest.
"And they asked that earnest money be held in her attorney's trust," Realtor concluded.
"So they didn't ask for more money?" I confirmed and closed my eyes when she said they hadn't.
"I don't have a printer and fax accessible at the hotel," I told Realtor after the wave of gratitude and happiness passed. "Can you call and tell the owners I'll print and sign it first thing tomorrow?" She agreed and I paused for a moment, blinking back a few tears. I love that house - yes, it's kind of too big for me, but it's so pretty! And the bathrooms! And decks! I'm all but trembling with joy here!
I defined a term and explained its importance without glancing up from the protocol I was reviewing during a teleconference earlier in the day. I blinked at the chorus of sounds that indicated my fellow meeting-goers understood and looked around.
"Wait," I wanted to say as I began to smile widely. "Did I just help? Am I contributing? Yay for me!" I returned my attention to the document in front of me and added my signature to the appropriate line after neatly printing some notes in the margins. We made plans for a get-together next week and I basked in the warmth of belonging. I wasn't going to be left out - that happened often during my post-doc. Instead, people ask about my schedule before planning an outing. Others stop to talk in the hallways and are even approaching me in my office to introduce themselves and ask for my help. My calendar is filling up in a most satisfying way with meetings of people who need my opinion. I love it.
I had lunch with a colleague, perching on a chair at a tall table located just across the street from a pretty lake. I watched the water and nibbled on my portobello mushroom while we discussed the past and future and how to get from one to the other. I asked questions and took notes, but felt comfortable and knowledgeable about the topics at hand. I lifted my face to the sunshine a couple of times, feeling so spectacularly blessed that I couldn't articulate it if I tried.
"I have to find Katie," I heard Adam say at one point during the day. I was between meetings, seated at my desk, and glanced up to see him round the corner. "You're in the wrong spot," he said upon seeing me. Scooping up my nameplate, he called that I should follow him and I hurried to catch up. "You belong," he noted, placing my name in a different holder, "here. I don't know why anyone would have put you back there."
"I didn't mind it there," I said softly, all the while glancing around the larger office with room for a table and extra chairs. Adam shrugged and said I was to start moving stuff and live in the spot he indicated.
"OK," I said and began to move my meager set of belongings the several feet to my larger space. I thought the more important people sat in the larger spaces and I allowed myself a moment to feel rather special before rolling my eyes at delusions of grandeur. I mentioned to Karen that I'd need help deciding what to throw out and she immediately said I couldn't sit there.
"Excuse me?" I replied archly to the secretary, suddenly protective of my new, larger space. She proceeded to say I wasn't important enough. I glared and told her to talk to Adam. I also wrote an email describing the problem. Karen soon came to say that I was, in fact, moving and could she order me a flat screen monitor? Or new computer supplies? So apparently I am important, which is a bit weird, but I rather like it.
So I have a house, as of late next month. I have an office that's bright and cheerful. Both of them are bigger than I need, but I like having room to grow. And there are people here - Jon included, and he's another huge source of happiness all by himself - who seem to want to spend time with me. To hear what I think and show me new places and laugh when I say something charming. I giggled with one woman about her children, raised my eyebrows at another when she suggested I take ballet with her. (I agreed, by the way, but told her if she made me look uncoordinated and stupid, I was going to be mad.) Adam and I made notes on goals - all of which are exciting and challenging, and I have new email from Jon to read.
So? I'm still so happy! And beginning to think it might last - that tomorrow is something to anticipate rather than dread. It's lovely - a bit surprising, but completely lovely.