“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
Last Monday was a down day for me, as evidenced from last week’s post. Strangely, around the time I wrote it, a message was left at my house to set up an interview on Wednesday morning for a Building Substitute position. While that was good news, the fact that I was already in New York, heading south for the wedding instead of north was a tiny problem.
I called and explained the situation. It was agreed I’d interview first thing on Monday morning after I’d returned. And by “first thing”, I mean 7:30 am.
But on Tuesday, I received another call asking for me to do a phone interview on Wednesday morning, the time they originally wanted me to come in person. So Wednesday, I anxiously awaited the call. Sightseeing would have to wait until I got this out of the way. I didn’t have high hopes to make a good impression over the other candidates who got to have a face-to-face interview, but I was prepared and thought it went well.
In fact, I was so excited at finally having an interview that I blabbed about it on Facebook. Many encouraging comments ensued.
On Friday morning, as promised, the school called me. I didn’t get the job. The assistant principal offered kind words:
“We hope you’ll continue to work in the district.”
“We anticipate openings for extended term substitute positions.”
“We wish you the best of luck.”
I hoped she meant it. The Social Studies teacher is going on maternity leave at some point, so maybe they’re hoping to put me there. Maybe.
Then it hit me. I was in a house full of friends and didn’t want to announce my bad news. While washing dishes, my husband asked me, and I told him.
He gave me a hug, and told me, “You don’t want this job anyway.”
I replied, “It’s would’ve been a stepping stone.”
Of course, subbing was supposed to be a “stepping stone” and we see how well that’s worked out….
Friday was also my son’s twelfth birthday. Our friends lit a cupcake for him and we sang “Happy Birthday”. Then it was time to take him out to do the things he wanted to do. This meant visiting Iwo Jima and Arlington National Cemetery. You know, places to lift my spirits.
On the way, I tried to help my husband get to Iwo Jima. Apparently, I wasn’t being helpful, but talking over Xena, Warrior Navigator (That’s what I’ve named our GPS).
He yelled at me, and I got teary and sniffly. Didn’t he know what a bad day this was for me? Wasn’t I trying to help? Had I been that interfering?
Poor, poor me.
Visiting these two sites was good for me. It put my life in perspective. I wasn’t fighting a war, facing death, was I? Some daily substitute days feel like I’m engaging in battle, but nobody has died. Yet.
It was moving to visit John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy’s graves and view the eternal flame. Then we walked in the swampy heat to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I was impressed with the soldier walking back and forth. Every move and sound he made was calculated, exact. We viewed the changing of the guard ceremony, which was even more impressive. It’s a hallowed place.
A part of me felt depressed about this ceremony. When I hear horror stories about how some soldiers haven’t gotten the help they need, I wish the living troops got the same respect as the dead soldiers. The cost of war is truly enormous. The three days in DC were a constant reminder of the consequences of war.
Afterwards, we ate in Georgetown at a restaurant called “Old Glory”. My husband and I had eaten there twice before. It was nice to go back to the pretty town. Too bad I was still feeling sorry for myself to enjoy it fully.
Though at the hotel for only ten minutes, one of my cousins called from down the corridor, “Did you hear anything about the job?” Stupid me. Facebook. I was going to have relive this defeat all weekend.
On the way to dinner, I told my husband he could’ve been nicer to me when we were trying to find the Iwo Jima monument since it was such a hard day for me. Apparently, he didn’t know it was a hard day for me. He’s said it before and he said it again – I don’t reveal when I’m depressed about something. “I have to read it on your blog,” he added.
I wanted to be defensive. Wasn’t it OBVIOUS?
Not to him. He didn’t think the job was ideal for me. I guess he thought I felt the same if I didn’t really say otherwise. Saying it was supposed to be a stepping stone and that I’m disappointed doesn’t reveal the magnitude of my feelings.
Why do I have a hard time letting live people I care about know when I’m vulnerable? I know people who wear their feelings on their sleeves. I don’t want that to be me. But I’ll need to find a middle ground.
P.S. I’ve posted an excerpt of The Mist Chasers on my second blog: