I wish February had come with a big, fat trigger warning. At a time when I most needed my social network for support, I couldn’t go on and stay on because people were arguing over accusations over whether or not Dylan Farrow was lying. It was a topic that cut too close, and in my raw state from being on the job market and trying to teach and freelance and and and… The headlines were constantly being tweeted and retweeted into my timeline, not maliciously, but relentlessly nonetheless. Many did try to warm people about the content of the links and news they were sharing, but then even “trigger warning” became a trigger because I knew it meant more.
And then academics were getting personal in their online battles. Friends were being attacked and bullied. And I had to stay silent for fear of jeopardizing my job prospects. It was terrible. I felt terrible. I shrank even further into silence, closed in on myself, hunkered down from the digital blizzard and many literal ones as well, as the winter continued to get worse.
What was supposed to be a three-day trip with a one-day interview turned into a week-long odyssey. Leave a day early to avoid one storm only to be stranded because of another one. While I partially relished a “day off”, snowed in at the hotel, I knew I was falling further behind in my classes, further behind in my work, and that my children missed me and I missed them, too. I had travelled to my fifth state in five weeks, and the time away, the travel, the stress…
And then the waiting. Trying not to get my hopes up and failing miserably. Trying to stay in the present moment, focusing on what lay directly in front of me, rather than drifting off to the possible futures. This interview, I thought, went better. I managed my energy. I was better prepared for certain questions. I got excited about the potential colleagues I would be working with, the possibilities both professional and personal the move would provide. I could see myself in this position, see our family there.
I didn’t think that I had gotten the job, but I did think that I had a really, really good shot.