I’ve kept a secret from you.
Almost two weeks ago, Eric had a fire chief’s interview for a firefighter position. A fire chief’s interview is essentially the last interview before you’re offered the job. To get to this point, he has already competed against 500 other people in a written test. The 150 people who score the highest made it on to the first oral interview. And from those 150, a select few move on to the fire chief’s interview. But ultimately, only 12 will get hired. Out of 500.
Getting this far, we’ve allowed our minds to wander. To think of all the “what ifs?” Not only would it be an amazing career opportunity if Eric got this job, it would also mean more than tripling Eric’s last salary. It would mean our combined income would be in the six figures. um, hello.
We started talking about the future. About the house we could buy. A yard for our furry child. We’d talk about the vacations we would take. Costa Rica, Thailand, Europe. We talked about the debt we could pay off. The new family car we could buy. Perhaps a new furry addition to the family? I would no longer have to lust over clothes, I could actually buy them. Eric could start all those expensive hobbies he wants. We could go out to eat more often. I do miss restaurants. So much.
Taking the job would also mean we’d be living 300 miles apart. The job is in northern California.
I can’t leave my current job. It’s the fifth job I’ve had since college and it’s the first one I thoroughly enjoy that also pays me well. And I have amazing benefits. Benefits that would be tough to find elsewhere. It didn’t come lightly, but slowly we started talking about him moving up north and me moving in with my parents. (It would be too expensive for me to live alone).
Because of my 9-80 schedule, I have three day weekends every other week. I could visit him when he’s off duty, and he would work a 2 day on, 4 day off schedule.
And this is how the wheels in our head started turning. The money, the opportunity, the future. It would be hard, sure, but it would be worth it.
It seems the decision has been made for us, though. We were supposed to find out last Thursday if he got the job or not. I nervous pooped four times that day. (tmi?) When my cell would ring, I would jump, hoping I would hear Eric on the other line screaming “I got the job!” I pictured myself crying with joy.
I didn’t even take out anything for dinner that night because I was so sure we would be out celebrating.
But the champagne bottle we have been saving for a special occasion, for this occasion, has yet to be opened.
There were so many signs that he got the job. We were so sure. Including the fire chief telling him at the end of his interview that he did well. Who says that and then doesn’t offer the job? Bastard. The chief also told him he got a “gold star” for talking about a fire paper the chief had written. His interview lasted 25 minutes, which was 20 minutes more than the last guy.
Our disappointment was so thick, we’ve barely been able to talk about it. At first, our disappointment was rooted in not knowing about whether he got the job or not, and slowly as Thursday passed, and here we are more than a week later, we’ve slowly started to let go of the dreams we had talked about and the future we had hoped for. But truth be told, I’d rather be poor and get to come home to Eric everyday than to have our bank account full and have to go to bed alone every night.
Perhaps this wasn’t our time. Perhaps the Man upstairs knew our marriage wouldn’t survive the distance. I firmly believe something better is waiting for us. Something that won’t necessitate a 6-hour driving distance between us.
Until then, life goes on. Ho hum.
ppsst..have you entered my giveaway yet??