October 20, 2012 by cieramilo
I have a conundrum.
A month ago, I decided to do this Atlanta Corporate Fight Night…thing. It was an out-of-the-blue decision to put my extra, post-post-graduate, semi-employed energy to something productive, something I could be passionate about, at least for a time. ACFN is a charity event where people from corporate Atlanta don boxing gloves (and headgear!!) and duke it out in front of a black-tie-clad, cocktail-sipping crowd of celebs, pro-fighters, and the office bros-n-gals. I currently do not fit the corporate mold the event managers were looking for. Nonetheless, they thought it to be an interesting fight to set an Angsty Clerk at a Grocery Store (read: me) against a CPA, Lawyer, CFO, or some kinda white collar person (I honestly wasn’t listening to the specifics of my match after I heard Terri Moss say, “She’s a little taller than you, but she’ll drop weight….anyways, you have a fight!”).
So I’ve started training. Or something like it. I did my research and joined a gym with real trainers and real fighters. (Folks, always do your research!) I started running A LOT and asking questions of anyone and everyone who knew anything about fighting: what do you eat? how far and fast do you run? what’s a typical workout? what’s an atypical workout? ….oh, and will you spar with me?????
I would have never in a million years thought I would end up here. “Here” being training for an amateur boxing match, working a part time job 40 hours a week, and scraping a living together in ATL. …..Well, “Here” has a lot of connotations, and I’m sure you, Reader, will piece together the full story as you keep up, you’re smart like that, but that’s it in a nutshell. So, every time I wrap my hands and start working on a bag in the midst of big, sweaty men who’ve been fighting all their lives I think, “Ciera. What the fuck? (excuse my language, but…no really…fuck.) You better not screw this thing up…and what were you thinking!?”
I love it. Deep in my scared little bones I love every minute of it. When I watch a fight now, it’s different. It’s me in those shiny shorts, in that rhythmic sway, giving that right hook, jab, upper. My heart starts pounding in my head and I kind of get tunnel vision. I realize that out-of-the-blue, I want this. For no other reason than it’s mine.
And then I get a call today.
It’s from the facilitator of a job that broke my heart in the middle of the interview process back in July. That’s a mouth full, let me break it down. In July, as I’m preparing to graduate from my Masters program (which is an M.A. in Nonprofit Organizations if you’re interested), I was in the interview process for a very exciting new position at the college in my hometown. I mean, I was so into this job!! If the job search is like dating, I slept with this job on the first date, smoked my cigarette, and called HIM the next day for a follow up…I mean second date. ……. I really wanted this job. They went in a “different direction” (aka: seeing other people). I was heartbroken, got another opportunity in Atlanta (that later fell through), snatched it up and ran as far and as fast as I could from that little slice of safety.
But I digress. The facilitator calls me to tell me that she has a few contacts she wants to connect me with. I’ll gladly take anything she can give me right now (put THAT into dating terms and this blog just went PG-13), so I say YES! HOOK ME UP in more professional terms. And essentially, this is what is happening:
An organization in my hometown is looking to fill a very important position very soon. The director of the organization, who I met in my interviews with the college, thought immediately of me to fill the position. The position is right up my alley of community engagement stuff, volunteer coordinator stuff, cool hippie nonprofity stuff….It would be awesome…. It would be 5 hours away from Atlanta and the Rocky/romantic little life that I have just built here.
This is my conundrum. Do I apply for (with the expectation of getting) this job and move back home; or, do I stick with my commitment to boxing and ultimately to Atlanta and the family I have found here and stay. Nothing needs to be decided tonight.
As a note: this first post, as noted by its title, is “in the middle of things” as literary tropes go. You’ll be getting all the juicy details that lead up to this point soon. Think flashbacks akin to Lost….or Family Guy. But I’ll never be that clever. Thanks for tuning in.