Jump-Start Vol.1

I am an infrequent visitor to my own well of thoughts (Reverse Exiled)

In a little less than four days I will interview for a position in Baltimore. I’ve lived in West Michigan, somewhat against my will, for almost three years — since I just barely missed getting a job in Northern California that would have transformed my life.

I don’t mean to add so much preface but I have been in a steady cycle of growth: one step back and two steps forward (I recall musing about that in 2019 but don’t remember what conclusions I came to, then…) — I know this opportunity in Baltimore is my best chance to both return to the Piedmont region that I fell-in-love-with in 2013 and yet take a step into a new phase. I was in Baltimore a mere handful of times, never for long nor for a deep dive. Yet I know the vibe, there, and it’s been on my list of cities to probe for work…

The job is with an international student office at a respected university! So, it’s in ‘my field’, such as it is. My understanding of myself and vocation has evolved since I finished my Masters in International Training & Education at American University 5+ years ago. Again, I’m making more preface than I had planned. My identity isn’t heavily invested in the kind of work I get, any more, but I still have a place in my heart for international exchange and the skillsets necessary for this role. Being less invested might help my chances– my intensity can be intimidating. When I imagine where I’ll be in five years…

…well, here we go! This is what I hoped would start to happen! I read a long, dry, 70+ page document about the role of DSO (Designated School Officers) and reviewed the orientation materials my would-be employers created for F-1 visa-holders. I brushed-up on my knowledge-base! Now, I’m having a hard time getting back into my own head in order to think about pitching myself. I decided I need to free-write… …but I can’t motivate myself without an audience.

Here we are! Come along for the ride, if you’re curious. There are sure to be crazy anecdotes and trains of thought that canNOT be part of my interview. This is going to be a big, ol’ threshing session.

I suspect my seeming mental emptiness is actually constipation of memories: there’s a lot to say and I need to start fleshing that out by flushing some of it into this space…

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