OK, so I realize that this whole chronicle of my trip to Memphis has gotten a little longer than we all hoped, but I can assure you that the slideshow is wrapping up and pretty soon I’ll be refreshing your drinks/ offering you a piece of strawberry shortcake/ allowing you to escape.
Sleep did not occur Monday night. Just didn’t. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions the entire time I was in Memphis, and they were in high gear that night. That, along with my relative curiosity about my job interview on Tuesday morning and my anxiousness about flying back to NC later that afternoon made sleep rather elusive.
I don’t think I’m too different from most of the population of humanity in my morbid distaste for going on job interviews. I’ve had a handful of ones that went extremely well, but the countless others were just awkward and a tremendous waste of my and the interviewer’s time. The factor that set this one apart from all the other job interviews that I’ve ever been on was my level of confidence going in and my lack of focus on the task at hand. In the past, when I went on a job interview, I NEEDED a job. Like, BADLY. Or at least I felt like I did. Our scenario now is that B is gainfully employed and we’re not hurting for me to work. At least, not yet. It would just be nice to move to Memphis. Therefore my confidence was somewhat high because I didn’t feel like I’d have to pawn my string of pearls if I didn’t nail it (true intimation from my past.)
Then there’s the whole “lack of focus” thing. I really wish I could be one of these people who can balance their personal life and their career and separate them when necessary. But it turns out that at 33 weeks pregnant – which I was at the time of the interview – I just couldn’t. Or, more likely, I’m not wiling to or I’m just too tired to. This is my life and I owe it to myself and Bebe to be authentic. When the interviewer asked me why I wanted to move to Memphis for the job, I couldn’t feign excitement over taking a new step in my career; no, I was honest and told him that yeah, that’s a nearly full-term baby strapped to my abdomen and yeah, I’d like my soon-to-arrive friend to be closer to her family in Memphis. In my defense, she was kicking me throughout the entire interview, just BEGGING to be alluded to. Guess she had gotten used to all that attention at the shower.
Similarly, when the interviewer (who would also be my boss AND who I didn’t really seem to have a rapport with) told me about how the job requires devoting extra time on the evenings and weekends to totally innovating his department, I realized that a year or so ago that would have been something I could have sacrificed my time for and felt enriched about. It’s a great program and it’s doing great things. But the time just isn’t right for me to do that now. I want to know my Bebe. I want to know every single thing she does, every single thing about her.
She will only be an infant once, so she will get my evenings and weekends. I did the interviewer and myself a favor and recognized that right away and told him that I didn’t think I could provide the kind of service he would need. I think it came out a little more diplomatically than that, though. I AM indeed a born and raised girl of the South and I can sugarcoat things and drop some bless-your-hearts like a motha.
After the interview, I was a little upset with myself that I had allowed my lack of rest to get the better of me and make me be so frank and open with the interviewer about how I’m clearly not the ideal candidate for the position. I reflected on myself on the drive from the school to the hospital to visit my mom and thought, Who IS this person who didn’t even try to suck up just a little and play the interview game? Who IS this person who, in the past, could wax eloquent at interviews about how awesome I am, but today just “gave up” the instant I walked into the office?
It was me. Just me. I’m about to have a baby, and as much as I would’ve liked to muster some energy and pretend that the passenger strapped to my midsection doesn’t faze me, she is my number one priority and I can’t separate her and my role towards her from my intrinsic identity. That’s not to say I’m giving up and resigning myself to this new motherhood station in my life and allowing it to engulf me entirely. Not at all. But it is to say that at least for right now, I will be staying with my baby full time for her first year.
And I’m over-the-moon about it and I DON’T have to feign excitement over that. Authenticity – especially when coupled with love for my baby – is one of the best things I’ve ever experienced.
So I met up with my amazing mother-in-law Sidney and we went to the hospital to see my mom once more before I took off that afternoon. She was feeling a whole lot better and was later discharged that day (yay!). Sidney and I went to lunch at the Paradise Cafe* and just talked and ate and relished every second of it. Not joking, I have the best MIL in the history of Mother-In-Laws. She is such a blessing in my life not only because she ushered into this world my sweet B but because she is so purely her. She makes me want to invent National Mother-In-Law Day, even though it would probably be me and like 10 other people celebrating it :/
*Guys. SERIOUSLY. SO good. Promise me you’ll check it out if you’re ever in Memphis. ‘K? K.
After lunch, she shuttled me off to the airport where I hit the skies and got back to NC that evening. At the airport, Sidney embraced me and said, “Next time I see you, you’ll have Bebe.”
I know I’m on the record for making some pretty harsh statements about the wielding of quotes, but I’m going to go back on everything I’ve said and end with one that neatly summarizes my life these days:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” — Ferris Bueller