Sometimes in the process of looking for work, the work comes looking for you.
Since 1991 I'd been working as a counselor in the mental health " industry. " Worked eleven years as a counselor/human rights officer in the psychiatric department of a large teaching hospital in western Massachusetts. Worked part-time for three years at a psychiatric group home a half an hour's drive from here. That job was eliminated recently.
I'm not exactly in a position to listen to folks with issues now. Then again...
An old friend emailed me the other day. Said he was in the midst of a " mental crisis. " Sucked into a " black hole in his soul. " Another friend said she was in a foul mood, getting into verbal altercations with neighbors and co-workers. Someone else I'm friends with wanted to meet with me. Share a beer and a few thoughts about the decision he was on the verge of making. A good friend just had heart surgery. He opened up his shirt the other day and showed me his stitches. I've been trying to make him laugh. Making bad jokes to keep him in stitches.
A cousin I love just lost a friend. Her mom's not doing real well...
The creative writing workshop I facilitate lost one of its members last summer. Another writer's having a rough go of it. Hasn't been to class lately. He hasn't been calling out sick, but if he was, this is what he'd be saying:
" Can't make it in today. I'm having chemotherapy. "
When I first started teaching the writing workshop, I had no experience whatsoever teaching writing. The experience I had with groups like this was experience running therapy groups. Psychotherapy Group. Focus on Recovery Group. Groups like that.
When Jane died, I knew that writing wasn't going to be as important as grieving. When Norm stopped coming ( Calling in with that ridiculous " I'm having chemo excuse ) I knew that the writing wasn't as important as...
You know what I'm saying.
I've been in the process, since losing my job, of searching for work. The powers that be are suspicious. The state of Rhode Island doesn't seem to think I'm working full time looking for work. Maybe they're right.
But I'll be damned if it's not looking for me.