August 13, 2011

Repeat, repeat

I'm saying this here, announcing and proclaiming it, because this is a place where I am honest and therefore, if I say it here, it needs to be true.

I am not going to binge this weekend.

I am not going to binge this weekend.

I am not going to binge this weekend.

I'll say it, scream it, shout it, and repeat it as many times as necessary to make the point clear to myself: this weekend, no matter how badly I will want to give in, I will not be using food to calm myself or to relieve stress. The binge jar is prepped and ready for use, though I honestly think I'll be too busy to binge, even if I wanted to.

I got an email yesterday. Not a long one, but a heavy one. An important one.

A little back story, first: the only thing keeping me in Chicago right now is the fact that I love it here. I'm single, with no kids, so if a good job offer came in, I'd be able to take it without any issues of relocating anyone but myself. So all summer, I applied to any open teaching positions I could find, just to say I was trying. I never seriously expected to hear from any of them, not even the out-of-town ones, let alone the out-of-state ones.

Yesterday, I was contacted about an incredible full-time university position teaching French.

It is not in Chicago.

It is not in Illinois.

I've never even visited California on vacation - the furthest west I've been is St. Louis. And I might need to relocate there - soon. Adding to the stress of this is the very quick turnaround: classes at this university start in a week and a half. I have a phone interview Monday, I will get a decision on Tuesday, and I'd need to be at the university for new employee orientation the following Monday and the beginning of the semester that Thursday.

When I first read the email, I stopped breathing, to be honest. I got a granola bar from the cabinet and ate it incredibly slowly - first, to distract myself from the flood of thoughts that suddenly washed over me, and second, to soothe my need to be chewing on something while quelling my urge to eat the entire box. I emailed my friend Jill, left my friend Lorelei a voicemail, and then called my dad in a panic.

I want this job. I'm completely terrified of having to start over, and especially of not having time to neurotically plan every detail of my new life, but at the same time, the thought of forced spontaneity is a little exhilarating.

I walked with my cousin Sarah last night - we hadn't seen each other in a while, and we needed to destress and get out of our apartments. We started in our neighborhood and ended up walking five miles east to a small beach on Lake Michigan. We talked about the job - my nerves about the interview, my concerns about relocating so quickly - and I felt much better, as I always do when talking with her.

After hanging out at the beach, we opted to take public transit home since it was late. I retold the job story to Sarah's boyfriend Marty, who offered more advice and support. He made a great point: that yes, this is new and scary and happening faster than I would like. But isn't that exactly the kind of transition I've become a bit of an expert in lately?

This weekend, I have a very big to do list. I have to prepare for my phone interview - researching the school, the program, reviewing my CV, and bracing myself for what questions they might ask. I also need to research the town I'd be relocating to, since I applied to the position without seriously considering where it was. And even though there isn't an offer in my hands just yet, I also need to research things like an apartment and how I'm going to get myself and my belongings from Chicago to California in less than a week, because if I *do* get good news, the drive is 34 hours without stops - I have to be on the road within a day. Any pre-decision work I can be doing will help.

Not on my list? Snacking. Overeating. A binge by any definition. Panicking and subduing my nerves with food is counterintuitive. It's a comforting feeling during the binge, but thinking about the way I feel afterwards - the guilt, the physical pain - that's not what I need this weekend. I need a clear mind, a clean body.

I am not going to binge this weekend.

I am not going to binge this weekend.

I am not going to binge this weekend.

Repeat, repeat.


Karen said...

Exciting!!!! And I can't help but wonder what school it is since my son is going to college out there. I'm guessing it's not his since he starts a few days earlier. We leave Monday and for us the drive is ONLY 24 hours!

Donald Wells said...

You're right!
You're not going to binge this weekend. Out of control eating is part of your past. However, I would suggest that you treat yourself to something really yummy, but just once. It will help to destress you and take away any thoughts or feelings of deprivation.

100 Weeks

Marla said...

I'm very excited for you. It is scary with such a short turn around time if you were to get the position and accept it. I think you can handle it with flying colors.

And there's one thing I want you to consider that I brought up with another friend who was in a similar situation as you. What if you had to move back next year?

Unknown said...

This is such brilliant, exciting news! I'm trying to comprehend the distances involved, any one of the states of the USA is bigger than my little's such a massive change, but you know what? This might be exactly the change you need to refocuss your efforts anyhow. From the sounds of it, you'll be way too busy planning all of this to even THINK about bingeing! I have all my fingers and toes crossed for you! xxx

Maia said...

That is such a great opportunity and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you! Ask them in the interview if they are willing to offer any help in the relocation. They may offer temporary housing, which could greatly help. It sounds like you have a good support system in Chicago that could help you make the move (like pack up your stuff and send it to California for you if you have to be there that quickly.) Just stay positive and remember that if its meant to be, it will be.

Joy said...

Oh my goodness girl!!! I'm stressing for you...Yikes!!

I know you will make it through this without a binge. Why would food and or a binge make anything better anyway? A binge would just make you sluggish and feel bad. Don't do it!

No you need need good food, water, a little exercise and of course rest...make sure you get some!! You can so do this!!

Really excited for you!!! Keep focused!!

ChiChi said...

Oh_mg!!! I'm so excited for you! If anyone can handle this I know you can. Do your homework and I know you will do well during your phone interview! A few pointers that someone once told me (not like you need it:)) the interview standing up, try to keep a smile on your face while you're doing it and tape your CV to the wall so you can easilty reference it. Someone told me those tips and I've been 3/3 with phone interviews! You are going to do great! I'll be thinking about you on Monday!! {{{no binging}}} vibes heading your way! :)

Caron said...

Very exciting! As a person who has moved more than 45 times in 45 years, I know the anxiety it brings. Hope the interview goes well. Keep breathing. :)

emily said...

So happy for you! I hope the phone interview goes well. And when you're feeling overwhelmed about the prospect of moving across country, just remind yourself that life has presented you with the opportunity to even further reinvent yourself. So happy for you!

michelle said...

i would totally freak out, too, and i love that you have a plan to keep yourself in check. congrats and good luck on the interview! :)

Une femme en santé said...

Wow quelle belle nouvelle. Concnetre toi sur le positif de la nouvelle et oublie le stress, tu sais les choses se placent toujours, stress ou pas ...

Bluezy said...

I need to state that mantra as well.

Cali is great. You might miss the skyscrapers, but you will enjoy the produce that comes from the San Juaquin valley where your map is marked. Picking oranges right off the branch. You can run outdoors year round. I wish you much luck and crossing my still fat fingas for you.

jayme @ Losing Half My Weight said...

so exciting!!!! even if you choose not to take the job (which is an option, you know), it's gratifying to be given the chance and to have an opportunity to dream and think about where you'll go and what you'll do. i'll be thinking of you!!

kinda crazy that they've left it this long though, so i'd ask them about that. be listening for clues to determine: is the department so dysfunctional that they don't get things done til the last minute? or did someone leave intentionally at the last minute to screw with everyone? or is it a simple case that they weren't able to fill the position earlier?

and since it is so last minute, i'd certainly agree with Maia - they should be willing to help with the move in some way, so i'd make sure and ask them about that too.

having worked in an academic setting that was in a beautiful setting and perfect job but within a nightmare of an administratively dysfunctional hellhole of a school, remember you have options and go in with your eyes wide open. it may be perfectly fine, but you don't want to move halfway across the country and find out its not. search the 'net for former staff/employees, how long they stayed, if anyone's said anything...just to be on the safe side.

on the optimistic side, i think you'd love california. the life able to be lived outdoors, the local food options available, etc...i can envision you enjoying life there no doubt.

good luck!! can't wait to hear what tuesday brings!

alisonds said...

WOW! That is amazing - and a massive decision! I'm from the Uk, so to me Califormia says beaches, good weather, natural highlights and being able to exercise outside without worrying about rain, snow, wind, any other weather you care to think up. I'm sure it's not all like that but it sounds like a dream.

It's a massive move and it will be scary starting over somewhere new but what an amazing opportunity! And I'm sure your new colleagues will be very friendly and help you out.

Good luck! x

timothy said...

fabulous, you're gonna do great in the interview and fabulous in the position! OMG sooooooooooooo excited for you. ummmmm might wanna start packing NOW! that'll keep you too gosh darn busy to binge. sending love/energy your way just breathe deeply and remin calm! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Hyla said...

Good Luck! Everyone has already offered the same advice I would, so reread their comments for me and take the advice you feel comfortable with!

If you want it, you CAN do it! Look at what you have already accomplished!

wenchlette said...

So exciting!!! Just think - no more crazy humidity! Tons of luck for you, love. <3

Amy said...

This is all so incredibly exciting!!! I really hope you get it because I think this will be such an exciting and exhilarating chapter of your life! AND!!! NO WINTER!!!!!

Rusti said...

Awesome!!! Good luck on the interview!

Anonymous said...

That's great news Mary. Bingeing will only add to the stress, so repeat, repeat. Good luck with the interview. If you do end up taking the position, everything else will fall into place. Sure it will be hectic, but you are strong and can handle ANYTHING that comes your way.

Denise said...

So very exciting! Good luck on the interview. It will work out. If you decide to take it I think it will be a great job and adventure.

everdream said...

I hope you will not binge. *press thumbs* you can manage that :)

Wish you good luck with the job interview.

Jessica said...

What an awesome opportunity. Good luck with the interview :)

Christie Farrar said...

Wow what an exciting thought!!

Remember though, whether it goes positively or negatively, its still a great experience and will help you plan better for the next big change

Because there will always be a next big change.

marisol said...

So exciting! You will do great tomorrow. They will be lucky to have you.

And if you have questions on Cali, let me know. If I am looking at the map correctly, I am familiar with the area that you have marked on the map. I've lived in NorCal for the past 20 years.

Tim said...

Ah ha! This is what you were on about on Twitter. Wow, what an opportunity. Grab it, grab it with both hands and don't let go!

Good luck with the interview, you can do this!

Shannon said...

So exciting!! You'll have a great interview, Mary! Can't wait to hear more!

Sarah G said...

What an exciting opportunity!! Good luck with the interview!

Anonymous said...

Man I can read fast if there is urgency! Congratulations on your new job and such a really good job teaching your passion. What a load off! And so so SO good that you did not binge. I cannot say I would have been able to bear it. But you are all the stronger now.

Central Cali huh? Big diff from Chicago, but Californians are free and easy folks. You will fit right in and I know you will be a happy camper. Get settled in, oriented, a few workouts in the college gym, get a routine - you will be golden!