Every time I sit down to write I can’t get started. There are so many things to write about. I’ve been silent a long time.
I spent 10 days in Indiana helping Michael get established. Indiana is prettier than I expected. I knew it’d be familiar Midwest; it’s more like Missouri than Kansas or Illinois. There are hills and forests and lakes galore. There are some beautiful sand dunes and beaches on Lake Michigan less than 30 minutes from where we’ll live. Two weeks into his job, Michael’s still living in a hotel. But I think we finally settled on an apartment. He just has to sign the lease. It isn’t available until September 11th, meaning he will live in the hotel for nearly a month and will move into the new place on my birthday. I probably won’t be there to help because my mom and I are reviving our old tradition of going kayaking and that’s the first weekend that we can get out to the river.
Michael’s new company, ArcelorMittal, seems to be taking care of him pretty well. He had training most of the first week and is now working in the steel production department. It freaks me out a little because it seems like a fairly dangerous work environment. Hopefully they won’t spill molten steel on him.
Meanwhile, I’m back in St. Charles searching for a job. I like working but I hate applying for jobs. It’s hard to make yourself stand out on a standard application. They often ask questions I don’t know the answer to like the start and end dates of previous jobs. I had four jobs during college and I don’t remember the exact dates of each one or even how much I got paid. I worked at The Missouri Review, a literary review magazine in Columbia for the first two years of college. I quit that job when I became a reporter for The Missourian. I don’t list that as a job on non-journalism applications since I didn’t get paid, although it was one of the more important jobs I’ve done. I was a door-to-door sales supervisor for Cardinal Home Improvements in St. Charles one summer. That was great money but I quit to go back to school in the fall. My junior year I was a lane server at the bowling alley in Columbia. That was also good money thanks to all the drink tips, but I quit to go work at LVR for the summer. I didn’t return to the bowling alley senior year because I was tired of getting hit on and downright sexually harassed by drunken bowlers. Lutheran Valley Retreat was by far my favorite job. It’s hard to put down on paper though. The application asks what responsibilities I had at my previous job. Give me a few pages and I’ll tell you all about how I had kid’s lives in my hands all the time. How I decided what to do when our cooking stove stopped working on the first day of a three day trip, or when the water purifier stopped working and the backup pump was clogged. I would write about how I helped cook when our cook’s husband had a heart attack. Responsibilities? Conflict management. Safely setting up rock climbs and rappels and belaying them. Working despite my own injuries. Acting as medic for the entire camp. I would try to describe everything I did in those two summers and how it changed my life. And surely someone would read that application and want to hire me. Challenges don’t phase me. And buddy, I know how to work.
It’s also hard to decide what kind of job I should be seeking. I will only be in Missouri for about six months. I don’t want to work fast food or retail or any job where most of my co-workers would be in high school. I’ve done that. Now I have a college degree. But I can’t apply for a “career” job because I won’t be sticking around. So what’s in between. Right now I’m applying with the Francis Howell and Fort Zumwalt school districts. I can be a substitute teacher or a classroom assistant or a tutor or…name the position, I can do it. I have a lot of experience working with kids. Besides LVR, I’ve done a lot with my church’s youth group. I used to work in a nursery. I even helped teach a freshman class my senior year of high school. But half of those things weren’t actually jobs, so there’s no place to list them on the school applications. If I can just get an interview, I’m probably much more charming in person than on paper.
Wedding planning is coming along. Big things like the church, pastor, reception hall, photographer, and dress are mostly taking care of. But there are lots of decisions to make and I wish I had someone with me. Three of my five bridesmaids, including my maid of honor, live out of town. Amy can help sometimes; she lives in St. Joseph. But Hannah is in Nebraska and Meredith is all the way in Boston. And of course Michael’s not around. But it’s just details. All that really matters is that in 205 days I’ll finally be married to Michael.