Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Orlando Came Calling

As it turns out, the universe was listening.  I have a job!  It is so great to be able to say that.  I have a job at a new hospital in Orlando as a Child Life Specialist.  It is an amazing opportunity and I am so grateful.  It is exactly the type of position that was the focus of my master's degree. 

At first I was told that they found someone with hospital work experience, but that they wanted to hold onto my resume since they anticipated growth.  Hence the previous posts of disappointment.  I had such a good feeling and had been so hopeful.  So, when I got the call for the offer a few weeks later, it was quite a surprise.  As a matter of fact, when I returned after my second interview, I went shoe shopping to find something to go with my dress for a friend's wedding and found a cute pair of wedge heels.  They were a maybe for a match with the dress, and I ended up deciding on another pair.  But, the shoes were such a good price, and the braided jute accents just said Florida all over them.  I remember thinking to myself, "I don't need two new pairs of shoes, but maybe I should keep them.  They are just so right for Florida."  I took it as a sign that Orlando was calling me.  When I got the initial news, I thought, "No, not the Florida shoes!  I don't want to return the Florida shoes!"  My disappointment in kind of having to return the shoes seemed to reflect just how much I really wanted the job and felt it was right on so many levels.

So, even if all did not unfold as neatly as I may have liked, it is still crazy good that I got the offer and I will be going.  As I said, it is a brand new hospital and everyone is new.  There is a lot of good, positive energy and I cannot wait to begin.  With everything being so new, there is an element of not fully knowing what to expect. 

My friend, Pete, asked me a couple of days ago, "Are you scared? I mean, to move some place totally new and all by yourself?" He said that he thought that I was brave because he has only lived in the same city his whole life and cannot imagine being anywhere else. My friend, Melissa, kind of shared the same sentiment, but in a totally different context in that she is jealous that I have lived in so many different places and highlighted it being a great opportunity.  My knee jerk reaction is, "Yeah, I've done this before."  I will not be totally alone either.  I have cousins and aunts who live in Orlando.  However, if I stop and think about it, I start to wonder what I have really gotten myself into with this new position and move?

The closest that I can come to describing it is that it is like going away for college.  You think you have an idea, but there is so much yet to be discovered and so much that is unanswered.  It is kind of like going in blind, and it is all of what you make of it.  The same could be said for when I went to study in Spain for a semester in college.  I took those risks for me and they worked out well.  I just have to have faith in myself and remind myself that God has a plan for me.  He is leading me somewhere and while it may be challenging at times, I have to trust and believe I am exactly where I need to be right now.  The whole experience of moving to a new city and restarting my career in some place new in of itself is a grand opportunity to really start fresh.  It is exhilarating and scary and hopeful.

I'd almost say it's like restarting my life, but I've been living a new life for quite some time since the infertility and divorce. And I am proud that I have been making a life for myself while rebuilding, going to grad school and searching for a steady full-time job. I have found a pretty good balance of living life in the moment while going with a plan with some fluidity. In the good kind of way, I think this chapter in my life has well illustrated the old adage, "Life is what happens while you are busy planning it."

It's been a whirlwind--or as my hairdresser told me--a cyclone!  During the past three weeks, the offer was made, I accepted the position (with a bit of thinking time to be sure I wasn't being totally rash), began calling/emailing/facebooking to share the news, flew down to Florida to find an apartment, signed a lease, have been packing, made moving arrangements, packed some more, went to a wedding, and have been squeezing in as many good-byes to my Pittsburgh friends and Cleveland friends and family.  I have had hardly a moment to think about it.  Sometimes there are fleeting thoughts and then it is back to work.

I have experienced excitement about moving to Orlando.  And I know that I will miss Pittsburgh, too.  I have made some wonderful, supportive friends here.  I have made memories and will always have a connection to this city.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am happy that I was able to make living in this city my own experience--to really take it back and own it.  There may be some sad things here, but I think the good things far out number them and have greater power.  I have felt a lot of love here.  And I did it when when my whole other life was falling apart.  I invested in myself and those around me who cared.  So, if I can make it in a strange place in the midst of heartbreak and crisis, I can certainly make friends and a home in a new place, as well.  Pray for me and wish me well!  I have felt the love here with my circle of friends on-line and I thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you!

Another funny note--When I went to Orlando for my second interview, I stayed in a hotel next to the one that I stayed in with some of the BBC ladies on that first gathering three and a half years ago!  When I met the ladies there, I never imagined really returning there.  I took that as another sign that I was supposed to be in Florida.  Funny how life works sometimes.


  1. Congrats!!! Sooo happy for you! While I still wish you were coming to NC, I have to admit Orlando is pretty awesome. You deserved this good news-- you've worked so hard for it. Can't wait to hear (read) about this next chapter of your life as it unfolds.

  2. As I said to you when you gave me the news, I'm so proud of this courageous step you are making. You have truly turned your life into your own and started to focus on moving ahead, instead of being trapped by the past. As much as I'll miss having you nearby, I'm comforted in knowing that you are on the path to your dream and I have a great, warm place to visit a wonderful friend. Let's Skype soon...I'm dying to see the new abode!

  3. Thanks, Kerri! I appreciate your well wishes and for reading and responding to my posts. Even with our lives being in different places right now, it means a lot that you share in my happiness. :)

    Diane, thank you for your continued support and being happy for me. I am thankful for this new position and place as being a fresh start for me on so many levels. You are an awesome friend and I will miss having you in the same town. Definitely will skype soon and look forward to welcoming you to Orlando when you need to get away from the gray and the snow. :)