Thursday, June 30, 2005

defeat

Now that I've had time to think, I'm feeling absolutely, 100% horrid.

I'm not sure I can articulate how this feels. I guess, even though I've
been really anxious and uncertain about the whole thing, I really planned
on this. This was my absolute dream job, and it was perfect. I was ready
to pursue this to the detriment of everything else - like a definitive
paycheck. It was a dire need, it was my favorite population (the kiddos!)
and I was going to have the opportunity to establish a position that was
going to be a model for the rest of the agency, to later become an actual
unit of attorneys doing the same type of advocacy. The attorneys with
whom I consulted were great, and the community was the community that I
wanted to move to - and as far as I was concerned, it was going to be my
last move ever. This was going to be it for me.

What's even worse about this whole thing is that, in theory, this is
actually the best thing for the kids - something I would have tried to do
in the course of my fellowship. These kids deserve better, and the state
is trying to give them that. I should be happy that this is a step in the
right direction for these kids. And I am - it's such a good thing.

But what if one day, you showed up for work, and there wasn't a need for
public defenders anymore? No one was committing any crimes, no one was
indigent, nothing was happening. Then what would you do with your life?
Where would you go next? How would you feel about all that you had
accomplished?

Of course, this is just one little job. there are other jobs. But those
other jobs aren't in those communities, and aren't specific to the
population and the advocacy I wanted to do. And I've worked so hard on
this - this was my baby. It was my little project, a seed in the soil,
that was about to bloom and flourish. I think this proposal really
grabbed some people's attention, and I know that these ideas will see
themselves develop statewide - eventually. I should be pleased with all
of this. But right now, I have nothing.

What are the possibilities? The funding agency, now almost a month late
(I sent in the app on APRIL 1. It's been 3 months. That's about one page
a month that they've been reading my app). Last week they said they were
sending out letters last week, and I should have heard early this week.
It's now 10 pm on Thursday, and I haven't heard anything. If they sent me
the letter and rejected me, then this is of no consequence. If they sent
me the letter and invited me to the second and final round, there's a
possibility I could make some alterations to do the same kind of advocacy
but with a different sub-group of kids. I'm not sure that it will appear
as compelling, however. Third, they could send me a rejection letter NOW
based on this intervening event, since my proposal as it stands is moot.
Fourth, I could scrap this whole thing - the agency, the kids, the
community - and go with the other job that assured me they'd be making me
an offer. The upside is that I will know many people in the community,
and will be working with indigent defendants, and will be working for an
excellent agency, but I otherwise loathe the idea of moving to this
community.

Earlier today, I was smarting from the impact of this news. It was more a
shock than anything else. Right now, I'm just devastated. I feel like my
feet have been knocked from under me. This whole time, I was really
gearing up for this - I was really putting all my mental energy into
wanting this to work. Now what?

I emailed Mr. STF an email along the lines of what I posted earlier today.
He called me. I can count on one hand how many times we've spoken on the
phone since we've not been in the same city. He was really sweet. It was
really nice, actually, that he cared enough to call and talk to me about
it. We discussed this predicament. So this fellowship was Plan A. Plan
B I described above. So he asked, "What about plan C?" Plan C is to move
to the Plan A community and just do contract work until I can get a job
that I want. He said, "Well that's not so bad." Pause. Silence.
"Right? It's not." He did it. And I sort of dismissed it, although the
idea had been in the back of my mind. But now, having spent the past 2
hours lying on my bed with tears of anger and disappointment just
simmering in my eyes, I softened to the idea. It's not that bad. If
everything else falls apart, and I can't bear the idea of anything else,
there is Plan C.

I'm tired. I'm devastated. I feel like my energy has been completely
tapped. The day got exponentially worse for unrelated reasons, and now I
really just want to crawl under a rock and not come out for a few months.

6 comments:

Skelly said...

Feel the hurt, but don't get down on yourself. There are a lot of people out here who admire you and your commitment. Hang in there.

ambimb said...

Very very sorry to hear this. I echo what Skelly said.

Just a thought: If the state is basically implementing the project you were hoping to run for your fellowship, is there any chance you can just get a job w/the state implementing the project? I mean, someone has to do it, right? If the state is taking on new responsibilities, it's going to need someone to help out with those responsibilities, isn't it? Like I said, just a thought....

Allison said...

Just some hugs from your spammer friend in MA! ;-)

I have faith that you will wind up in the perfect position for you. You certainly deserve it.
Much love!

CM said...

This sucks.

I was thinking the same thing as ambimb -- can you work with the new agency? After all, you've been thinking about this for a while and you're committed to it. Maybe you can find some connections to the people who are setting it up?

Sanchovilla said...

Be pissed, be upset, and be disappointed. Be all those things just don't give up.

Whatever plan you end up going with, give things a chance to work themselves out a bit before you go hide out under a rock.

I know it's easy and probably very naive of me to say, but there is an answer to every problem. Hopefully it's one that can make you happy.

notguilty said...

Plan C is not so bad, and it turns out that you can actually do contract work in Plan A's community (but for a lot less dough) and we can set up our own office and we will only hire hot guys with six packs who will work with shirts off. Of course, no discrimination, the girls can work with shirts off too.

Plans suck. They just make you upset when they don't come through. Trust me.