How I ended up with my new position in actually a series of meaningful events, so I want to be sure I record them.
(You're welcome to read along, but I'm mostly writing this for me.)
Let me say first that I wholeheartedly believe in coincidence. Some people say that everything happens for a reason. I'm not one of those people. Sometimes things just happen. However, I do know that other times it is undeniable that things happen for a very specific reason. This timeline was not coincidence.
Late January: I was well into the application process for a full-time job in Stanford's Pathology department. The job looked interesting, I had an inside recommendation, and I was completely at peace with the idea of committing a few more years to working full time. And I do mean COMPLETELY. I felt great about it.
Friday, Jan 27th: One of our HR staff (without knowing he wasn't supposed to) distributed a half-time job posting from the Center of Latin American Studies here at Stanford. Note: In the 7 years I have been at Stanford, our HR group has never sent around a job posting outside our department. The position looked great, but I deleted it from my email without much thought. Half time just wasn't feasible for us and not worth getting excited about.
Also Friday, Jan 27th: Christian put in his 2-week notice at Banana Republic. We actually needed that little bit of extra income, but we both felt strongly that we needed him home more.
Monday, Jan 31st: Following my second interview with Pathology, my friend here at work struck up a conversation about what our ideal jobs would be. During our conversation, I remembered the CLAS job posting and pulled it up out of my trash folder and told her all about it. The more I read, the harder my heart pounded. I couldn't let it go. I thought about it all day, and I applied for the position that afternoon. I'm not even sure why.
Over the next few days, I scrambled around my office to see if I had any connections to CLAS. All the time I kept laughing at myself, thinking, "I can't even do 50%. What am I doing??"
Wednesday, Feb 1st: I read this post (and one or two others posted the same day) about doing what you love. I felt like they were written for me. Just reading the CLAS position sparked a long-lost passion deep in my heart. I had forgotten about my Spanish studies, the literature, the language, the people, the historic and current events. I had forgotten where I belong!
Thursday, Feb 2nd: After asking around a bit, I found that our Admissions Director knows the CLAS director quite well, and he called over for me to get more details about the position. I could barely contain my excitement.
Also Thursday, Feb 2nd: I found out I would be called back for the final round of interviews for the Pathology position. It was suddenly very apparent that a full-time position in Pathology wasn't where I was supposed to be, so I promptly (and respectfully) withdrew my application. This was a leap of faith, but I could not deny what I felt in my heart.
Monday, Feb 6th: I was invited to interview for the half-time position at CLAS the following week! I was just about hyperventilating by then. How was I going to manage only working part time?? Even so, I wanted this so badly that I talked to my current supervisor about working half time in both departments (since we wouldn't be able to afford the increased health care costs if I went down to half time). She has always been very supportive of me and knows my ultimate career goals, and she said she would think about whether they could accommodate me half time.
Friday, Feb 10th: Christian interviewed for a 1-year position at Google. This popped up out of nowhere. The interview left him with mixed feelings and a lot of anxiety about those mixed feelings. This also happened to be his last day of work at Banana Republic.
Monday, Feb 13th: I interviewed for the CLAS position. I wanted it so badly but felt by the end of the interview that surely they would find someone more qualified than I.
Wednesday, Feb 15th: Christian was offered the position at Google and accepted. This decision was not easy as it involved giving up a fixed position for a 1-year (albeit higher paying) contract position. It involved a lot of prayer, but we took that leap.
Thursday, Feb 16th: My supervisor told me that she could not guarantee part-time work for me in this department. So if I chose to accept the CLAS position, I would have to do it knowing I would only have half-time work. I cried a bit that night. I wondered when I would ever get to do what I want. I wondered how many positions I had to give up in order to play it safe and provide for our family. (My ESL class, a potential SJSU teaching position, and now this...) It was a terrible evening. It may sound melodramatic, but I could not convince myself to do anything that evening. I watched a movie on the couch with Graham. I cried a bit. All the reasons I couldn't take this job were piling up higher and higher and higher until I wanted to shut off my brain. I was completely enveloped in a dark cloud over not being able to accept this job if I did, in fact, get an offer. I went to bed at 9pm in a complete haze.
Friday, Feb 17th: I woke up with my mind racing a mile a minute once again, but now my mind was clear. I mean CLEAR. All the reasons I could take this job started to flood my mind. The finances suddenly worked out. I prayed about it again. And a very clear thought came into my mind: "I make it work. I always make it work. When I want something badly enough, I work my butt off to get it. Why would this be any different?" I went to work confident. And at 10:30am I got a phone call... and was offered the position.