a few weeks ago, i got my first flu shot.
i went to target after a day of babysitting to pick up a few things and stopped by the pharmacy counter to ask what the deal is. how, exactly, does a person get a flu shot? i didn't even know. it turns out, all i had to do was fill out a few things on a sheet of paper, sign my name, and pick an arm. (also, choose which vaccination i wanted, because did you know there are multiple kinds?)
"i don't even remember the last time i had a shot," i said, looking at the needle.
life had suddenly become very busy, and a flu shot was something to cross off my to-do list. i didn't really think about what it meant, until i saw the needle. no time to panic, or consider being afraid it would hurt.
fortunately, i didn't even feel a pinch when it happened. unfortunately, my arm was sore later on, and for the next couple of days.
the pharmacist was shocked it had been that long and proceeded to throw out a few reasons why it was good, then, that i was getting the flu shot. i let him talk, comment on how i am "clearly not afraid of needles at all," and give me a "cool target bandaid" and didn't mention that, actually, i am only getting a flu shot as a precaution, because my new job would put me on a tour bus where i would be breathing the same air as six other adults and five children during flu season, and it was highly recommended, especially considering last year's flu bug that took out almost all of their band and crew.
when i quit my job, i didn't have a plan for what came next. i thought i'd have another job lined up by the time i finished, but that day came and went. i still didn't know, but i guess i would find out.
this is what happens next, i wrote.
i applied to a lot of jobs. i talked to a lot of people who connected me with other people. i tried a lot of different things, took up small jobs on the side, and offered my time for free. i moved in the direction of potential opportunities, because without anything to lose, i could find out "what if."
everything turned out to be a closed door.
on most days, i didn't feel discouraged by this. when a potential tour nanny job fell through, it felt more like a nudge, like an i haven't forgotten about that dream, than a disappointment. when i had, and then lost, a nanny job i really wanted, i fought the voices in my head telling me there would be nothing better, and chose to listen to the one that said you would be settling with that job you thought was perfect.
sometimes it was awkward to talk about, because i had nothing to show for my efforts or even my faith. other times, i enjoyed watching people react to my quitting a job in favor of something i couldn't see yet (and choosing to be unemployed in the mean time).
it was a particularly rough week, i think.
i don't know what to do with empty hands, i remember texting my sister. i was finding out "what happens next," but it felt a lot like nothing. i know god is never "too late," but i didn't know what i was supposed to be doing in the mean time.
and then i got tagged in a comment on a facebook post about someone needing a tour nanny. within 24 hours, i had a facetime interview. within a week, i was hired. within two weeks, i had started working.
i'm still in the process of finding out "what happens next." i still don't know how to answer questions about my career or what i want or what happens after the tour is over, but for now: i am one of three nannies caring for a total of five children, ages five and under, on a five week christmas tour. the details, and the way it all unfolded, couldn't have worked out better.
maybe one day i'll sit still long enough to write it all out, but for now: this is what happens next.
(if you care about who i'm with and where i'm going: joy - an irish christmas.)