The Life of Bon: A success story.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A success story.



Do you like success stories?  Cuz I got one for you.

Ever since I made the decision to work part time next year, I have been praying and hoping that a great opportunity would come up for Greg.  Right now he works in the day with adults with special needs, and at night you can find him at one theater or another performing.  A few months ago he was in The Foreigner.  Now it's Peter Pan. 

While both his "day job" and his "night job" pay, neither pay extremely well.  And his night job is not exactly steady.  He's usually in a show, but not always.  Sometimes there is a lull for a few months.   Sometimes he doesn't get cast. The money comes when it comes, but it is impossible to plan when his next paycheck will come or how much it will be.

Greg has always wanted two things in a career:

1) To do what he loves.
2) To be able to provide for a family.

Pretty basic, right?  The problem is that what Greg loves is theater and doing theater and providing for a family almost seems to be a paradox.  We have wondered countless times if it is really possible to do both.  Last year around this time we nixed our decision to go to California and chase the big time acting dream.  It didn't feel right at all, and only when we decided to stay here did we feel relief and peace that had been evading us for months.

So he found a daytime job and continued to build his resume with local plays and commercials.

With a baby on the way, our plans changed a bit.   Our hope for next year was to try to find a theater teaching job for Greg.  There were two big problems with our plan.  Problem #1 is that Greg doesn't have a teaching license.  So, he figured out the process to do an ARL (alternate route to licensure), which would allow him to start working full time and work on obtaining his teaching certificate at night.  It's not an easy process, but it's doable.

Problem #2 is that there are very few theater jobs that open up each year.  There is typically one theater teacher per school.  These teachers usually stay decades at their schools- they build up an entire program.  As teaching jobs have opened up this spring, Greg and I have looked anxiously for any theater teaching jobs.  As of a few weeks ago there had been two positions that opened up- one full time position two hours north of where we live and one 2/3s position about half an hour south.  It was a frustrating process.

In the middle of all of this, I decided to go part time next year.  Naturally, there was a huge part of me that worried.  Would we be able to make ends meet without my ultra steady paycheck coming in?  Any time I felt this stress and nervousness, though, I remembered how I felt when I told my principal I wanted to go part time and how I felt when I decided to marry Greg.  Both times I felt incredible peace and joy- signals to me that I was making the right choice.

So I have tried my best to not stress and to put it in Greg's hands and God's hands.  The two of them could figure it out.

That's not to say there weren't stresses.  The night of our anniversary, for example, when Greg was trying to attach his transcripts to a teaching application.  Stress, tension and frustration was at an all time high.  We were celebrating three years of marriage, and I was certain we would never see four.

A few weeks ago, I casually scrolled through the new jobs that the school district I work for had opened up for next fall.  There, at the end of the list of job openings was a full time theater position.  I clicked on the link to see where.  My eyes about dang near popped out of my head to read that the position was at my very own school.

I thought for sure it was a mistake.  This is the theater teacher's first year here.  There was no way he would be leaving.  He'd be here another 20 or 30 years for sure!  As soon as lunch was over I hurried down to find my principal.  He told me there was, indeed, an opening.  I asked him if they had anyone in mind for the position already.  He said no, the job was totally open.  I told him my husband was interested.  He said to make sure Greg did the screening interview with the district so that his name could be added to the pool of candidates.  (In my school district all teaching candidates must complete a screening interview at the district before they can apply for individual jobs at the school.)

In the middle of all of this we were waiting for the state of Utah to send Greg his official letter of acceptance to do the alternate route to licensure.  Without this letter the school district wouldn't even allow Greg to do the screening interview.  Every day we checked the mail.  It didn't come.  It didn't come.  It didn't come.

These were stressful days.  Days of quiet panic.  Every day that the letter wasn't in the mail was one more day that got away from us, lessening the likelihood that Greg would be able to apply for the job.

Finally, on a Friday, Greg got the letter.  He scheduled his screening interview for the soonest possible time- the next Friday.  The Wednesday before Greg's screening interview I looked at the job posting online again.  My heart sunk to see that all names had already been sent to the principal for consideration and the open window to apply was closed.

I panicked.  I hurried down to find my principal.  It was almost 4:00.  No one was in the office.

The next morning, Thursday, I rushed down as soon as I got to work.  Principal wasn't in his office. "Where's the principal?" I asked anyone who would listen.

"He's out for the rest of the week."  Someone answered.

I almost started crying.  Right then and there at 7:20 in the morning in the middle of a busy high school office.  Our chances were slipping right out of our fingers.

On my way back to my room I saw my favorite vice principal in her office.  I decided to see if she knew anything.

"When are you doing interviews for the theater teaching position?" I asked.
"We already have."
"Seriously?"  There couldn't have been a worse answer
"Yes.  Yesterday.  We interviewed three people.  Why?"
"My husband is trying to apply for that job!  I told the principal about it!  His screening interview is tomorrow!"

I think my vice principal could see my utter panic.  That I was on the verge of some kind of awful pregnancy breakdown.  She wrote down some notes, said she would call the principal to see if they had already chosen the new teacher, and get back to me.  I tried my best to remain calm, but I was a hot mess.  The window on our very best possibility for a job was slowly, but surely closing.  Right in front of my very eyes.

She emailed me a few hours later, "Have Greg send me his resume and tell him to go ahead and do his screening interview on Friday."  I didn't know what this meant, but I replied instantly. "Yes ma'am."

I called Greg and told him during his lunch break he was going to have to fly home and send a copy of his resume to the vice principal.  He flew.

Greg called his top reference that afternoon to tell her she may be getting a call from a high school.  She said they'd already called.

By that evening my vice principal called him and scheduled an interview for the next Monday.

On Friday, he nailed his screening interview.

The window was closing, but it wasn't closed.  Not yet.

Sunday the nerves started kicking in for both of us.  We told very few people about the interview.  I told my mom, he told his parents, and other than that we were kind of just afraid to breathe.  As if any slight breath would forever knock over our carefully stacked blocks.

Sunday night I asked Greg every question I can ever remember being asked in an interview, "How do you help your students who are failing?"  "What are your best classroom management techniques?" "What do you do to engage your students who don't care?" "How do you use technology in the classroom?" "In what ways do you collaborate with your peers?"  We went over questions until we both felt sick, and so we put it in God's hands and watched Netflix the rest of the night.

Monday I was a nervous wreck at school.  His interview was at 2:30.  I didn't breathe a word about it to anyone at school.  I watched the clock.  I tried to participate in the lunch conversation with my fellow teachers.  I got totally lost in the book I am reading with my seniors to not over think the damn interview.

Greg popped in my class to say hi at about 2:10.  That boy is always early for big events.  He watched me teach for a few minutes and then snuck out to go to his interview.

When it was all said and done, about 3:00 he came back up to my room.  By that point the last bell had rung and I was putting in grades.  Greg looked beyond relieved.  He told me that he felt he had done as well as he possibly could have- that if he didn't get a job it wasn't because he hadn't accurately presented himself.  It was out of our hands now. Greg said he'd know by Wednesday at the earliest, Friday at the latest if he got the job or not.

And so the waiting commenced.

Tuesday I couldn't help it- I checked my phone every 20 minutes to see if Greg had called.  I knew he would call me as soon as he heard anything.  I also knew it was very unlikely that he would hear back today.  No calls.  No texts.

About 3:00 Greg called me on his way to his afternoon shift.  Still no word yet, but that was to be expected.

At 3:20 I was driving home when Greg called again.  He never calls 20 minutes apart unless there is a special reason.

"Greg?"  I answered.
"Bon?"
"What's up?"
"I got the job!"

There was shock and excitement and relief but mostly immense gratitude.  An overwhelming sense of gratitude.  Mostly we can hardly believe it.

It is overwhelming for me to think about how everything came together so perfectly.  It was the opposite of a perfect storm- everything came together just right to allow Greg the job. Had one element been missing, he wouldn't have gotten the position.  The letter came in the nick of time.  I happened to check the posting online the day it closed and talked to my vice principal before the job was filled.  Greg's screening interview was already scheduled for that exact same week.  Not to mention that my vice principal worked many years at the school that Greg graduated from...  she worked closely with one of Greg's huge mentors and teachers- a mentor who certainly gave Greg a positive referral and had a huge hand in him getting the job.

And so, that is where you will find Greg and me next year.  He'll be at one end of the high school every day of the week practicing monologues and putting on plays.  Every other day I'll be at the other end, grading essays and analyzing The Scarlet Letter.  On those days our baby girl will be downstairs in the daycare.  We couldn't have asked for a better situation for our little growing family.

I don't know how long Greg will teach.  He might love it and stay forever.  Or in five years he might decide he wants to do grad school.  Maybe we'll end up in California after all. The future is totally open.  Above all we are beyond blessed and beyond grateful.  God is certainly looking out for us.

Life is good!  

66 comments:

  1. Bonnie!!! That is truly amazing, I AM SO excited for you guys!!!!

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  2. Awesome awesome awesome! Congrats to you guys!

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  3. Wow!! Congrats! SUCH a relief! I was on the edge of my seat reading this post:)

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  4. There truly are miracles! You are so blessed! Don't ever forget that! So happy for you!

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  5. I'm so thrilled for you guys! You are living right! Congratulations my friend!!!

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  6. AHHHHHHHH!!!!! SO EXCITED FOR Y'ALL!! Congratulations to him. :) What a great step.

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  7. Umm this is the cutest ever! Love that you will be teaching together.:)

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  8. God is AMAZING and never ever fails to provide for His children! Much love, Bon!

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  9. I'm so happy for you! I was on the edge of my seat reading that! What a cool situation to be in. You guys are so blessed!

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  10. This is just wonderful. I am so happy for both of you! I hope Greg LOVES his new job.

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  11. That's amazing! It's so wonderful to have Heavenly Father guiding you through tough grown-up decisions like that - He always makes it work!

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  12. I'm so excited for you guys!!! That's awesome!

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  13. That's awesome! Congratulations to Greg!

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  14. That is so wonderful!! Congratulations :D

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  15. amazing! So happy for you both! I cried through this whole thing! My husband and I are in a somewhat similar position.. my husband has a crappy job, requiring him to work 45+hours a week (not to mention a total of an 70 minute drive time a day) odd hours, etc. He has 3 bachelor degrees, and can't get an accounting job for the life of him... he had an amazing interview with an amazing company, we thought we felt God tell us this was it! It was over! The wait was over! However, he didn't get the job. I know God has something WAY better in store for our family, and I can't wait until I get that phone call from my husband telling me he got "the job" Needless to say I could feel your stress, anxiety, and excitement and happiness through reading this all!!! I am so happy for you guys!!!! I love happy endings!!

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  16. Wow Bonnie this is great news!! When things are good they are SO good!!

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  17. This makes my heart smile..I love it! God is so good..and so is hard work, perseverance and late-night anniversary battles over PDF-ing :)

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  18. You tell the best stories. I am SO happy for you two (three?!)

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  19. I loved reading this and i especially love stories of God's grace!

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  20. That's amazing - huge congrats to Greg (and to you and baba too)! You tell such wonderful stories, I was on the edge of my seat, hoping for a happy ending and I'm so glad I (you) got one :) x

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  21. So amazing! Stories like this always give me goosebumps. :-)

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  22. Congratulations! That's amazing!

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  23. OMG I'm so happy for you guys!

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  24. Isn't it amazing how sometimes everything just falls into place!?! I am so happy for ya'll!

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  25. I'm so happy for you and Greg!!!!! This is such a beautiful example of just trusting God!

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  26. That is AMAZING! You guys are truly blessed, everything seems to be working out perfectly!!! And maybe I missed this in a previous post, but your school has a daycare? Is it just for teachers, or for students too?

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  27. This is an amazing story! Happy for you guys!!! Xoxo

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  28. Congrats! So happy for you both! Gives me hope that everything will work out for the best.

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  29. Oh my goodness! Congratulations to you both! This is just such GREAT news!

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  30. Congratulations!!! I'm from a two-teacher household and I know how rare the right job is (we're both music too, so I get the scarcity of positions!) It must be such a relief to have that taken care of for next year!

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  31. Eek! So exciting. I'm glad he found a better paying job and that now you can breathe a little easier with your plan to go part time!

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  32. That is AMAZING!! Congratulations to you both! I'm so happy for your guys that it worked out so well:) I was at the edge of my seat reading the whole post and then breathed a huge sigh of relief at the end:)

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  33. Ahhh I got so happy just reading that he got the job!!! Congrats to him and your family! Sounds like this was the plan for you all along - enjoy it!

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  34. Congrats to you and your husband!! I know how draining that whole process must have been for you both. So excited for you both and the new journey you are starting together!

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  35. Bonnie, my sister and I shared a table with you and your sister at the StoryMakers conference. We chatted about coauthoring and just then your sister won the award for the 1st chapter contest. I had your blog open on my iPad and I just came back to it today to check it out. I have to say that you are a very talented writer! Seriously. I loved the story. You have an incredible voice and I'm sure you and your sister will both go far in the writing world. Keep up the good work, and I wish all the best for you and your family.

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  36. Congrats!! That is soooooo awesome for you guys!!

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  37. So excited for the both of you!! God is good!!

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  38. What wonderful miracles! As the parent of a theater major, I absolutely adore this post!

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  39. That is amazing! Good job Greg and Bonnie, Success=hard work+preparation! It sounds like you could not have asked for a better situation. So happy for you!

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  40. Wonderful news!!! I'm so thrilled for you guys. YAY!!!

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  41. How exciting!!! It is totally awesome when things fall perfectly into place!

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  42. I am so happy for you guys! It's amazing the way God lines up the peices of the puzzle. All we can do is have faith. Congratulations!!

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  43. That is so exciting! Congratulations on such a wonderful blessing!

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  44. Praise the Lord! Congrats!

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  45. I just chewed off my nails reading your story, LOL So happy for you both, you are blessed and things fell right into place :)

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  46. That is so exciting, congratulations to you guys! It is further proof that things come together and happen for all sorts of reasons and makes you remember why holding on to faith is so very important.

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  47. That is incredible!! I'm so excited for you guys!! Congratulations! I feel like I was right there while reading this post. I've definitely experienced those feelings before- waiting for big life changing events to happen and hoping for the best. So glad it worked out just how you hoped!

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  48. Amazing! So excited for you guys!

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  49. It's amazing how things work out when you stay positive and do your part to make it happen. Congrats!! Super excited for you and your family!!

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  50. Congrats to Greg! I hope he loves his new job.

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  51. That is wonderful! Congratulations to you both.

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  52. I was trying to read as quickly as possible to get to the end. Congrats!!!!

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  53. that was awesome! I was reading so fast to see if he got the job! Congrats!

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  54. That is certainly one heck of a success story! I love it when everything works out perfectly and you can look at everything that's happened and be like "ahhh, now this is why it had to have happened the way it did." Gives me hope right now!

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  55. I was getting super anxious and nervous for you guys as I was reading this! I had a feeling it would work out because of the title of this post... but I was still scared! I'm so happy he got the job!!!!!! As someone who has been having a hard time finding full time work lately, this gives me hope!

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  56. I just started crying - this is the BEST!! Congratulations to you, baby, and especially Greg, and congrats on that "super profeshy teacher beard" he's got going. I'm impressed! I guess it's not fair for you BOTH to look like high school students, hopefully this gives him a leg up in classroom management (and keeps him out of the bishopric? At least that's my husbands biggest joke about his own face growth)

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  57. What an adorable picture of you two! Oh my--I am so excited for you and your family! You will all be up at the high school together. What a dream! You deserve it!

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  58. Congrats!! I am so happy for you guys. That couldn't have worked out more perfectly.

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  59. Yes I am also excited for both of you

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  60. I am so very happy for you guys. I don't know you but I feel like I do. And you are a great story teller. I was GLUED! Congratulations, guys. That sounds simply perfect. God is so very mindful.

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  61. Hooray! I love when there's a happy ending (or beginning!).

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  62. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!

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  63. Ohmygoodness!!!! I'm so happy for you both!!! How fun and exciting that will be! And there's a daycare!!!??? I am so jealous! I'd love to just be able to go downstairs and see my little Reesey-bear throwing tantrums and eating Fruit Loops! Looking forward to reading more about your journey!
    Stephanie @ Meet With a Smile
    www.meetwithasmile.com

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  64. Congrats!!!! This post was written so well, I was on the edge of my seat! I am so happy that things have worked out for you guys!!!!

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  65. So happy for you guys!! :)

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