If I had to chose one word to characterize the last six months it would be ‘change.’ Last August I moved to Sacramento after living in Southern California for 18 years –13 in Los Angeles and 5 in San Diego. Living in Southern California had become so second nature that about 6 weeks ago, I was on the Southwest Airlines website and started booking a plane ticket to go back to San Francisco for Thanksgiving. It wasn’t until I started entering my credit card information that I realized I didn’t need to fly home.
It’s during times of transition that you realize what you’re most grateful for. This year, I’m thankful for the friends who helped me navigate the crazy job market from February to May. I am lucky enough to be surrounded with people who talked me through cover letters, CV changes, and diversity statements. They helped me develop a 10 minute (yeah I said 10 minute) teaching demo. When I screwed up an interview, they gave me the constructive criticism that was integral to helping me land the job I have now. I had letter writers who re-tooled multiple letters so that they would work for the community college system. I also feel lucky to have landed in an extremely supportive department and institution. There are certainly a ton of challenges to face –some I knew coming through the door and others that are just now revealing themselves, but I know facing them make me a stronger teacher and better person.
On a more personal note –I’m grateful for the friends who checked in and made sure I was ok. I’m thankful for friends who forgave my disappearing acts and lack of communication during the most inopportune moments. When you move, you also realize that you took for granted the comfort of having friends you call family and the ease of those relationships. Thank you for being my family by choice –I miss you all more than I could ever put into words.
As I sit on the train, heading home to San Francisco to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family –I realize that I’m so grateful to be closer to home. Over the last two decades –I didn’t really hold out much hope that I’d be able to move closer to home. I’m so happy that I can renew my NorCal friendships. We live in tumultuous times, and it’s not lost on me that the ability to put down roots and grow is a privilege others do not have.
Please enjoy your Thanksgiving and know that I’m grateful that you are part of my life.