Friends and changes

Today I am flying off for yet another interview. This one seems best approached by low expectations. I’m used to some enthusiasm on the part of hiring institutions to see me. So if I’m there for dinner Sunday evening (I should be), someone (or several someones) take me to dinner. Likewise breakfast Monday morning and dinner Monday night. This group doesn’t want to see me unless I’m on campus. We’ll have lunch on Monday. Low expectations. Low, low, low expectations. Especially after that last school was so warm, welcoming, and downright funny.

I had a friend reunion scheduled yesterday, and despite the intensity of my recent schedule, I got in the car, drove the 2 hours out (and 2 back) and went. There’s something comforting about being around people who just plain like you.

I think I told the story of that last, awesome, interview 6 times. I can complain that the town is small, but the friend vote is that these sound like awesome people and an awesome environment for you, Dr. Jinx. We don’t want you to move away from us, but this sounds like a place. I was already thinking along those lines. We shall see. I am excited, eager … and scared and intimidated. I think that’s the way it always is.

Change is hard. Even when you can see clearly that it is time to make it.

There is always grief for what was, and what you hoped for.

There is always excitement when there is new opportunity.

There is always some internal resistance, because we are comfortable where we are.

But we, my friends and I, we are strong people. We have faced hard things in the past. We know we will probably have to face hard things in the future. We move forward, one step at a time, trying choose as wisely as we can. We try to leave the world just a little better than we found it. We have each other, maybe not every moment of every day, but we can get back together for dinner and the conversation starts up right where it left off the last time. At least, that’s what it feels like.

I’m grateful for all of that. Not always grateful for the pain the change brings, not always grateful to be far from people who love me, but grateful for the good that is always there if I take the time to look for it.