(I wrote this post on the evening of Chris’ job interview, May 23. Part 1 is here.)
As I said previously, we signed the paperwork for the sale of the house on Tuesday, and on Wednesday we received news that Chris had been shortlisted for a job at a school in London.
The interviews would be the following Wednesday, so they arranged for him to interview via Skype.
When I found out when the interview was, I was furious. (I exchanged several non-ladylike text messages with Chris after he told me.) We were headed out to Florida in the next few days, a drive which would take us over 15 hours and require 2 nights in hotels while we were en route. Due to the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend, we only had 4 full days in Florida, and the interview was going to be smack dab in the middle. I was furious, not with Chris, but that our 4 days of what was supposed to be stress free, job free, non-work and family-only time was now going to be interrupted. I was sure that the cloud of upcoming interview/post interview was going to negate the stress-free beach days we had been eagerly looking forward to for months.
Chris promised me that this wouldn’t be the case, that he didn’t feel overly attached to this job or burdened to prepare largely for it, and that this wouldn’t distract him from the family time that we had been planning. I was glad to hear this, but still not happily on board.
As we drove, Chris would periodically try to start conversation about this job in London and what our lives would look like there, and I didn’t really participate. In my mind, there was no way this job was going to happen. In terms of jobs and opportunities like this, I tend to take a “We’ll just wait and see” approach. Though it is impossible not to start thinking about what your life would look like when looking at new jobs and opportunities, I try to stop myself from going very far down that train of thought. Chris has had a few opportunities in the past that he/we were extremely excited about, and when they didn’t work out it was a very hard crash. So I know that my gut reaction of “let’s not count our chickens before they hatch” is mostly motivated out of a sense of self preservation for he and I both.
Also, there have been opportunities abroad in the past, including in our beloved Edinburgh, and we had mutually agreed that our days of living overseas were behind us. So I didn’t see how this job opportunity really changed anything.
We arrived in Florida, had a few days of beach and water fun, celebrated Jayce’s birthday, talked about the job opportunity occasionally but not predominantly as I had anticipated. Each afternoon Chris would stay in the condo and nap while the kids napped, and I would go over to the pool to have some time to myself to process it all. I remember the first day, grumpily flipping past any song in my itunes that was British or reminded me of our time in Edinburgh. But the second day I listened to them, and relaxed into the idea of possibly having a British existence once again.
I thought about a conversation that Chris and I had several years ago, where we each acknowledged that our home towns, though we loved them, didn’t really feel like “home” to us anymore. We had lived away for so long, we had changed, the cities had changed, and they just didn’t have that warm “homey” feeling anymore. Lincoln didn’t really feel like home, Cincinnati never did for Chris, but Edinburgh did, to a degree. This was the first time that we recognized that the feeling of “home” that we used to associate with a place, we now found in one another, corny though that may sound. I decided that if this job were to work out, IF, then we would be just fine, and probably as happy as ever.
On Wednesday morning Chris had his job interview. He had arranged to use a conference room at the condo where we were staying, and the kids and I played at the condo while he interviewed.
When he came home he told me a bit about it. He was excited. He told me it went really well. He told me about some of the questions and some of his answers. He told me about the overall tone of the conversation and about the interview panel. He told me he had a really good chance of getting it.
While we were still talking the Head of the School called him and offered him the job. In less than an hour after the interview.
He stepped outside to the patio to take the call and when he came back in he was beaming.
He started telling me about the position that they had offered. It was, is, unbelievable. He had applied for a teaching position at a lower level, but they offered him one at a higher level. It involves most all of his strengths and passions. Research, writing, supervising, teaching, leading, directing.
On top of that, they wanted him. The first words out of the guy’s mouth were, “Chris, we love you.” It was not a situation where, they needed someone to teach the Bible, Chris could teach the Bible, so that was that, but a situation where they wanted him. While they were talking in his interview, discussing his areas of expertise and interest, and he shared his research passions and future projects, they got excited about what he was doing and going to do, and wanted him to partner with him and have him be a leader at their institution.
Chris told me about the position that they had discussed with his eyes wide, still reeling from it all. And I said, “Well…that’s it. We have to take it.”
Even I was surprised by my seemingly sudden change of heart. Chris was very surprised. But, in my mind, particularly on the heels of Chris having worked at a school where they were not always enthusiastic about his strengths or successes, the opportunity to work for a place that was so excited to have him do exactly what he is passionate about, gifted in, and called to do, well that is a no brainer for me.
Every few days over the last few weeks I’ve thought to myself, “Ahhh, that was fast!” But I didn’t realize quite how much until I started typing it out on here. So excuse me for the dates, but.
April 22, call realtor to put house “quietly” on the market.
April 24, a few showings are lined up.
April 25-May 6, we are out of town, the house shows multiple times, including to a double showing to one couple.
May 8, the interested couple puts their house on the market.
May 10, they make us an offer.
May 14, we accept their offer.
May 16, Chris finds out about a job interview the next week.
May 23, Chris interviews and receives a job offer.
Apparently this is what’s next for us. And I can’t stop singing Kanye.
Who’s the hottest in the world right now, just touched down in London town…
Linking to the Wiegands.