Wednesday, July 11, 2012

South Carolina, or The Silver Skates

Sorry, I couldn't resist. That's from my favorite book title ever, 'Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates.' Apparently the author couldn't make up his mind and just wanted it both ways. It would be nice if you could name children that way. "Hans Brinker, or Larry Morris."

Where was I? Oh yeah, how our lives are about to change again. We're almost definitely moving to Greenville, South Carolina. I say almost definitely because there's a small chance another job may be making an offer. But it's just a small chance, and in any case we're going full speed ahead on SC unless the stars align perfectly.

How did we get here? It started last December when I got a new boss, and she made it clear from the start that she and I didn't see eye to eye. Ever since then, my life has been a Kevin Spacey movie poster.

Specifically, this one.

It's been rough, and I've tried very very hard to find something else. I got very close on a few occasions. I had a good opportunity in Florence, SC that didn't pan out, and I had something in Oklahoma City and San Diego that were 95% sure things except the pay didn't work in SD and we really didn't want to live in Oklahoma City. 

Every morning has the same. I wake up early and review literally 20-25 emails with dozens of jobs each on them from job sites. This year I have sent out approximately 25 resumes, which doesn't sound like much except I wrote a very detailed cover letter with each one and customized my resume to emphasize different things depending on the job. I only heard back on a small hand full of them. It was difficult.

Fortunately, with no formal ties to Texas, we had the luxury of looking at jobs in the whole country. That was nice, and it opened up the possibilities a lot more. 

In May, a friend at the COB arranged interviews with two department heads there. I spent 50% of my vacation meeting with them. It was valuable time, and both gentlemen were very friendly, but the more interested one of the two said "I might have something for you soon. Possibly in as little as 2-3 years or so." 

That week I went to a job interview on Wednesday and Thursday, a wedding on Friday, flew home to Texas on Saturday, hopped on a plane to Pittsburgh for a job interview on Sunday,  interviewed on Monday, and flew back Monday night. What a week.

Pittsburgh was gorgeous. It was like Middle Earth-that's an odd description but you'd have to see it to understand. I've never seen so many hills and mountains and cool valleys and bridges. I've really never been anywhere like it before. I really liked it. The company I interviewed with is the one that is the 'remote possibility' one I mentioned at the beginning. They have offices in Pittsburgh and Fort Worth, and just today expressed potential interest in 'talking to me.' It's remote; I'm not counting on it, but conceivably something could occur.

My view at lunch on the interview day.

I kept on applying for things and a few weeks later saw an escrow-related job in Greenville, SC. I applied, and they called right away. I had an interview 1 day later and 4 days later I was on a plane to Greenville.

It was nice. Not Pittsburgh gorgeous but better than Texas, with more trees and hills. Plus the town is 30 minutes from an honest to goodness Tennessee mountain range & forest, and is 2 hours away from Columbus, SC, Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta, GA. And it's 3 1/2 hours away from the Atlantic ocean. 

A pretty park area downtown in Greenville

It's a very small company and the job is a step down in title and salary. But they're growing and I really liked the people I'll be working with. Plus, just to get me, they took the job to the CEO and made it a manager and got much more salary for it than it started out as. To work for people that really want me and are fighting for me rather than with me is something I haven't experienced for a while.

So I'm headed out there at the end of this month. My Sister-in-law and Mother-in-law will both be arriving to help with Jan and the new baby, who is due in just 11 days. It's going to be very difficult to leave my little family for a few weeks, but I will be back quickly to pick them up once Jan is ready.

There are many other logistics of all this but this is the long and short of it. We've been on a real adventure all year, never quite knowing what was next. Lots of prayers and lots of applications finally paid off, and it took a lot of discouragement and disappointment to get here. I'm sorry if I've seemed stressed or not myself this year-my mind has definitely been elsewhere. That should all hopefully resolve soon. We've very blessed to have the families we have-thanks everyone for the love and support.


Hillary said...

Plane tickets there are cheaper than tickets to DFW but the flights are 3x longer. Probably because it's further away but I could be wrong. Either way, I'll be glad to get a new fridge magnet. SC people are the nicest!

Kristen said...

Wow. Wow. I'm kind of jealous. But congratulations on making a change for the better!

As for children's names, to follow the Hans Brinker title example, it should be something like "Christian Hoopes, or The Garden Gnome."

Catlin said...

I'm happy for you! It would be great to have a job that you look forward to going to. Sad that we won't be able to get together in Texas - but there are much more important things. :)

Kevan said...

Aunt Shannon told me this morning to read your blog. Glad I did. SC is far away but then , so is Texas. I just want you to be happy....