As some of you know, I took a full-time job about ten days ago. I've been looking for a "real" job for many years, having taken some time after college to commit myself to my writing and art (did you see the new "art" tab on this page?) then ran right into a recession and kind of living off those artist fumes. So I've been looking for stable work, that chance at independence, something to do besides sit in my head all day and try to bring this incredible world out of it to share with you all.
Not that this isn't fabulous. It just doesn't pay spectacularly and while this girl doesn't run on money, this world does.
So two Thursdays ago, I landed a full-time job. Nothing I really saw myself doing. Nothing you probably would have imagined (or maybe you would?). Not a permanent gig, but for now, it's nice to have the work.
I'm a construction worker. And it's only been 105-degrees every day since I started. (Until this week, praise God, with highs in the 80s forecast all week. It's beautiful out there!)
I don't really want to call myself a construction worker. Since I picked up my hammer, I've kind of wondered what I might title this. You know, which sounds cooler. Am I a construction worker? A laborer? A contractor's assistant? You tell me.
The skinny is this: my house got wrecked by giant hail back in March, and the insurance saw fit to replace our roof, siding, gutters, and fence. We hired a contractor, who started two weeks ago after finishing the house across the street, and he could only afford one helper at a low wage. That helper was a 19-year-old kid who kept texting the boss in the morning and declaring it too hot to work...or plain just not showing up. I walked out of my house and offered to lend a hand because it's tough to watch a guy - even a professional guy - kill himself trying to do a too-big job by himself. And he fired his wayward assistant and hired me on.
I've been out there everyday. Paid to do the labor on my own house. Building skills, muscles, and my first tan in maybe my life. (I always burned; now, I'm tanning. I like it better.) And the house is CUTE....a whole new color scheme, a whole new look.
Between that, I'm keeping up with the things I normally do. Projects here and there. Job-hunting for one of those "real" real jobs in the mornings and evenings. Waking up a bit earlier than normal to make sure I get my Bible study in. Because my day would not go well without it. Writing and blogging on my lunch break, when I take one, or after dinner if I don't.
But God's kind of spoiled me. I was talking with my boss this morning because I have an interview next Monday that I had to reschedule due to Harold's funeral. I just wanted him to know that I could only work the morning because I have an interview that afternoon and need a bit to clean up and drive and so forth. Then I got to thinking about what I was actually doing. Today.
And I'm happy. It's not the money. Money doesn't make me happy (and maybe tomorrow, I'll tell you a story) and it's not what you'd consider "good" money anyway. It's a little bit of purpose, having something to do everyday, somewhere to go, something to be a part of. It's a little bit of satisfaction. It took a little more than three years to see my first book come together, and I'm plugging away at the end of the first year for book two. But the siding on the house? That's today and tomorrow. That's this week and next. That's piece by piece seeing something come together quickly. And it's satisfying.
But the biggest piece of it is...I'm just happy. I'm outside all day, sitting in the sun, watching the birds and the clouds and the leaves in the trees, working with my hands, building something, putting my body into it. I look really forward to showers in the evenings and restful sleep at night.
I feel like I'm living a little bit fuller - a lot fuller - these days just since starting this job. I have more of myself to pour into art, into writing, into relationships, into ministry, into love, because something about this work feeds me. That's how God has spoiled me.
There is the mundane. There is the everydayness that we all have to deal with. But by and large, God has always put me in situations that feed me, that draw on my heart and put me right in a place that is good for me to be. Even when it doesn't seem on the surface that it would be that way. I mean, how many people would have put me on a work site? God would. And I am being incredibly blessed by it.
It kind of makes the real job job search a bit harder because it makes me even less likely to settle. Less likely to take something just because it's out there. More willing to wait on whatever God's got for me because He's always had something awesome. I'm blessed. I'm spoiled rotten. My Father's blessed me this way.
As for the future, I know God wants me somewhere. I'm not sure yet where that is tomorrow, next week, a month, a year from now. But I'm thankful that today, He has me here. I'm finding it is a really good place to be.