through the wardrobe door
I had a great interview today. For an internship. Yep. An internship.
A few years ago, after being unceremoniously rejected for further employment by an institution where I had dared to hope I had found a home, I thought seriously about changing directions entirely. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to direct or teach anymore, just that I would have been really happy never to have had to deal with an academic department again. Since then, I’ve worked with three, so obviously I got over it.
But that feeling that I had other passions and talents I had not fully explored stuck with me. And when I relocated to California, I began to seriously pursue some of those things. I became a certified personal trainer and began actively looking for opportunities outside of theater and academia.
Only problem is, I have no actual job experience in any of the areas in which I am applying. In a market full of applicants but light on opportunities, I simply can’t compete. I realized branching out would mean starting at the bottom again, and decided only to do that with a really interesting organization, one that would be a perfect match for my interests.
So I applied and interviewed for an internship at a feminist magazine (not saying which one, but – well there’s only really two, and it’s the second-wave one). Tomorrow I have an interview for a year-long appointment at a University. The health insurance and salary that come with the one would make the decision easy, were I to be offered both, but otherwise it would be hard to say. Feminism, as I described to my interviewers, has always been the underneath for me. It’s been the idea behind the work I was doing, but not the work itself. I’d really like to make the two more integrated – to make activism part not just of my life but of my work as well. As in jobs. So I’m starting at the bottom.
I remember when I first got out of college, I had to convince my dad that my changing jobs often was a product of the field I was in (theater). He had stayed in the job he got out of business school until he retired, and my career path must have looked reckless to him. At this point, my parents have graciously accepted the course I’m taking (either that or they’ve so lost track of what I’m doing that they don’t know what to worry about any more). At this point, it’s getting to be a little much even for me.
Had anyone asked me then, this isn’t what I would have said my life would be like at 38. I foresaw more stability down the line than I have found. But I have also found things I didn’t foresee. I have found more adventure, and greater love, more mystery and more magic. For a while in my life I was disappointed I couldn’t find an actual wardrobe door to another world. But at some point something shifted, and I started seeing wardrobe doors everywhere. Vermont, it turns out, is full of them, and I’ve seen a few glimmers here in LA that make me think I’m very close.
It turns out that Lewis was wrong about one thing. You’re never too old for Narnia. And you’re never too old to become more of you who you truly are. So at least until the economy picks up (a ha ha), I’m just gonna keep going through whatever doors are open to me.