Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Librarian in the Cupboard

I did something terrifying.  No, really.  TERRIFYING.

Let me start from the beginning.  Well, A beginning.  I recently (read: a year ago) graduated with my MLS, which is a Masters in Library Science.  Walking across the stage to accept my diploma was one of the proudest moments of my life as an adult human.  I felt like I could do anything! The doors to full time employment were finally opened to me!

It turns out the doors weren't so much open as they were slightly ajar. The brightness of potential just barely brushed my shadow with tendrils of promise.  I applied to many positions. And when I didn't see any results, I applied and applied and applied some more. I went on interviews and second interviews.  And still all I received was rejection after rejection.  And unfortunately, more often than not, I wouldn't hear back at all.  It was the silence that was most crushing.  The lack of contact told me that I wasn't even worth a lousy automated "Thanks, but no thanks" email.  I mean, come on!  The majority of those emails didn't even have my name! And still some places couldn't even be bothered? Yeesh.

At that point, I was losing the edge I thought I had, and any hope I had left along with it.  It became increasingly more difficult to comb through available jobs, and it was soul-squelching to reformat my cover letter again and again. Quick aside, I HATE cover letters! I hate them as much as Gollum hates the hobbits.  I know they serve a purpose, and can tip the scale with which they judge the final candidates.  But that doesn't lessen my hatred.  I will always loathe cover letters.

After whining just a bit to old classmates and my parents, I made the decision to attend the American Library Association conference.  At this conference, I would be able to make professional connections, attend meetings and workshops, attain books, and immerse myself in their job placement center.

And by immerse, I mean haunt.

I spent an entire day in the center, listening to orientation, chatting with a few fellow job seekers, printing out copies of my resume, and perfecting my winning smile.  I interviewed with a few libraries, handed out my resume to numerous others, and traded business cards with even more.  I felt some of my fire returning.

And that is the beginning of the terrifying thing I did... One of the libraries I interviewed with invited me to continue in the recruitment process. They did so by flying me out to tour some of their locations, get more information about their system, and learn about the position I would be filling.

And then! Drum roll please!

Nothing!  So, I went back to my search, meanwhile hoping I would hear back from the library.

I'll cut the suspense this time - I did hear back.  And they offered me a full time children's librarian position. It was a dream come true! And the job would even come with relocation reimbursement assistance.

Shut the front door!  And all the windows!  SHUT. EVERYTHING.

I HAD A JOB!  They wanted me!  The recruited me!  Holy librarian, Batman!

You know that moment in The Mummy, when Rick O'Connell and Evy are sitting around the fire and he asks her what she's doing there?  She is strident in her defense.  Here it is.  Watch it.




Anyway, THAT is how I felt!  I felt like shouting at the top of my lungs, declaring that I AM A LIBRARIAN!!!  And I did.  I danced and cried and yelled!

And then I panicked.

Remember that terrifying thing I was talking about earlier?  At the beginning?  Yeah, getting to that right now.

The library was in New York.

I lived in southern Nevada.

Holy.  Crap.

Note that I said I lived. I moved across the country.  I left everything familiar; my family, my friends, my pets, most of my things (my dishes, my bed, other stuff-like things), are all back on the west coast.

It doesn't help that New York is just so different from ANYTHING I've experienced.  I have never been so far away or in such an expensive state.  Yikes, it's expensive here.  I mean...  I was so not prepared for how expensive it is.  Just to give you a sort of idea: dental floss from the drugstore is $5.

And don't even get me STARTED on the rent.

Like, I knew it was expensive, but trying to find an apartment I could afford was ridiculous.  I'm lucky I'm in the place that I am, which I found through a friend.  I basically live in a cupboard.  Hence the name of my blog. I'm hardly being clever, it's mostly literal.

So anyway, here I am.  In a city populated by millions. And I don't know a single one.  I left everything familiar behind for some crazy adventure.

And I'm scared.

I'll admit that.

I'm scared.  Talking to my mom on the phone makes me cry and so feel so homesick. It makes me wonder if I made the right decision.  Knowing that I won't see my family for quite some time is heartrendingly difficult.

But.

I'm doing this amazing thing, and taking steps to further myself and my career.

Maybe it'll get easier and I'll be able to once more talk on the phone with my parents (we text.  Sad, I know.) without bursting into tears.

The gnawing worry and regret will fade.

I am a librarian.

P.S. This post has been a long time coming.  Since I first started writing this, I've put together programs, survived my first summer, and I can talk to my parents without bursting into tears.  Posts to follow won't take nearly as long to be, well, posted.

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