Today’s the sort of day that I would love to sit at home, wrapped in a blanket watching movies. It’s overcast, raining, a bit chilly and I have a headache that is just resonating in the back of my skull, making my teeth ache. Any other day I could have stayed at home – I don’t have a job so it’s not like I HAVE to come to Jason’s office with him. But today I have a skype call scheduled with Maria, our wedding coordinator, for 2 pm (8AM PR time) so I’m making the most of it.
The last couple of weeks have been a bit difficult for me. The process of searching for jobs is exciting, with the possibilities that each potential position holds leading me to daydream about the happiness of having a job and money will bring. But slowly the daydream fades, first as I start the business of writing the dreaded cover letter. Each letter is filled with my experiences catered to the details of the minimum qualifications, which of course sometimes have to be stretched and twirled into wording that would make the potential employer believe that even though I don’t have the min 5-7-10 years of experience, I’m still worthy of their consideration.
The day dream completely goes grey and fades into the background after I email the tear and sweat stained cover letter and cv (or resume, whatever they prefer). Initially I’m happy because I don’t have to revise any longer and just clicking the ‘send’ button gives me a sense of accomplishment. But as the days go on without any response besides the initial “we received your application” email, the hopeful picture is replaced with the continued job search. On the upside, after writing cover letter #4 (and submitting it this morning), I realized it actually gets easier with each letter because I don’t have to recreate every sentence and instead can cut and paste from the others!
We also just realized that Jason’s job has ZERO stability at the moment. He doesn’t have a contract past the end of November so we actually have no idea what will happen when we return to Africa in mid January. The day we completely comprehended this was the gloomiest yet, with both of us now in the job searching position and no real control over how to change this fact. Not exactly the way you want to start off your marriage but deep down, we know something will work out. It always does, somehow. There is a lot of potential funding in the pipelines for his organization and the situation is likely to change and he (we) won’t have to worry so much. Plus, I heard I was short listed for one of the jobs so that gives me a bit of hope.
Another cause for my less than chipper mood is the constant power cuts from ZESA, the main electrical power company here in Zim. For whatever reason Jason’s office isn’t affected and we don’t seem to have interruptions in the power supply (knocking on wood constantly) during the working hours. But every day for the last 2 weeks there has been a power cut (http://allafrica.com/stories/200911130777.html) to the neighborhood where we stay, Chisipite, and every other neighborhood in the city as well. Even when I am in a good mood, the moment we pull into the driveway and realize that the electricity is out, depression just washes over me.
The one luxury that we have at this house is TV, which we mainly use to watch the France24 news channel but also the occasional show on one of the SABC channels we get. I’m not a huge fan of wasting hours in front of the tube, but for the little bit of time we watch in the evenings (or in the mornings during breakfast) it’s our link to the outside world and the act of sitting in front of the TV just makes me feel normal for a brief moment. And then to come home and find that refuge taken away is just maddening. Usually after a few minutes I can adjust to the fact that we’re destined for an evening without electricity and try to make the most it and do things like reading, exercising, cooking (we use a gas burner), having a romantic candle lit dinner, and finally squeezing in a few episodes of Scrubs on Jason’s computer before the battery completely goes flat.
Last night it was seriously depressing to come home after it was dark and drive past the pitch black shops with not even the glimmer of an obnoxious neon sign to catch the eye. The only lights came from those fortunate enough to have generators, like the Chinese food restaurant, the petrol station, the girls high school and a few houses throughout the neighborhood. We are not one of the fortunate and have to rely on candles or my super duper phone that has a flashlight (which is much brighter than my headlamp at the moment). We watched a few Scrubs episodes and then finally the lights came back on around 9. It’s amazing how the relief I feel is instant, even though it’s late and there is nothing much left to do but sleep.
And so I drifted off to sleep, content, with the whir of the fan in the background and with the Scrubs theme song ushering in my dreams, ‘I can’t do this all on my own, no I know, I’m no superman…
I’m no Superman.’