Just Around the Corner

This will be the first in what I hope will be a series of three blog posts chronicling an important transition in my life.

A few years ago, I befriended a /Filmcast listener from across the pond. What began as a series of harsh disagreements on our interpretations of specific films ended up blossoming into a really meaningful friendship. At the time, I had just come off a pretty bad breakup, and I found this person to be a constant source of comfort. She was and is an amazing person, someone whose kindness and understanding helped me to weather an extraordinarily rough patch in my life. Our friendship took the form of frequent Skype calls, during which I would lament the state of my existence and she would find it in herself to constantly encourage me, and embolden me to make interesting choices that I would typically shy away from.

The thing is, her life wasn't exactly all sunshine and lollipops either. She also suffered from occasional bouts of loneliness and struggled with her career. I think we found a connection in these shared experiences. She always had a saying she was fond of repeating to me:

You never know what is just around the corner.

I really appreciated this expression. There's the obvious implication of hope there, but what I like most is it's trying to tell you that sometimes you don't have the whole picture. You don't have a full understanding of the forces at work in your life. Sometimes, a long period of darkness and despair has an abrupt ending (and soon) that you might not be able to see or even conceive of. So don't give up. In life, you never know what is just around the corner.

Fortunately for her, this saying proved to be true. Within two years after I made first contact with her, she'd found an amazing man, her career was taking off, and she soon became pregnant with what is today a beautiful baby girl. The demands of a relationship and of motherhood have made it difficult for us to chat that much these days. But she is one of those people whose impact on my life was so profound and edifying that I'm grateful to have had her in my life, if just for a little while.

***

Three months ago, I was not in a great place.  A significant job offer had fallen through this past fall, which led me to a seemingly endless series of humiliating rejections (of all different varieties). I'd spent years completing my Master's degree, but I was coming to its conclusion with no significantly improved career prospects. My contract at my current job was rapidly coming to an end and I didn't know what I was going to do. In fact, I'd pretty much resigned myself to the idea that there was no longer any possibility for me to work in an exciting, growing field that I was passionate about. Those of you who know me and support me may think it's pretty ridiculous for me to have given up hope at this stage, but the fact of the matter is, when you hear "No" enough times, you start to wonder if "Yes" is even possible.

Then came a phone call.

And another one.

And another.

And still one more.

Within a period of two weeks in early March 2012, several job opportunities appeared out of nowhere, each from a different person I've been fortunate enough to meet over the years. (Perhaps one of the biggest blessings of being down-and-out on your luck is that you are given the opportunity to witness the kindness of friends and colleagues). Within a 10-day period, I'd flown 12,000 miles to job interviews and back to Boston, a whirlwind of self-examination and intense questioning that brutalized the body and the soul, but which was nevertheless filled with excitement. My friend Rachell once expressed to me the truism, "After the final 'no,' there's a 'yes.'"

Yesterday, I received my first full-time job offer in over 5 years.

In the days to come, I'll be telling you all about what i'll be doing with my life for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, I just wanted to share my story -- one of mild success borne out of reaching out, making connections, and finding that those connections have led to my salvation. If it could happen to a schmuck like me, certainly it could happen to any of you. Sometimes, you never know what is just around the corner.

11 comments :: Just Around the Corner

  1. Congratulations - but as a listener, what I'm always worried about is how these job offers will lead to a "... and so, this is my last slash filmcast".

    *fingers crossed*

    Thats not the case!

  2. I must admit to having derived some pleasure in seeing you grow as a photographer; I hope this new opportunity will still leave you some time to continue the exploration of your art.

  3. Well done for making it through a tough time. If you were in a bad place three months ago it certainly did not show in the podcast - I did not discern any difference (qualitative or otherwise) in Dave, the /Filmcast host. I hope to hear you podcasting well into the future!

  4. in the past few months, you have eluded to your fluctuating personal life status, school, career, and arguing with the road..

    I have always been very interested in this and have always hoped for your success. Because I can relate more than you can know.

    I have been through VERY trying times of doubt and uncertainty that had lasted years on end, and have likewise come out on the other side having actually achieved more than I ever could have hoped for, landing a LITERAL dream job that I never would have even believed growing up.

    Obviously, I do not know you personally, only through your work and hobbies, but your hard work is obvious in everything you do, and I knew that it would pay off in the end, because I have experienced first hand the virtues of hard work and persistance.

    Congratulations Dave. You deserve it.

  5. Judging simply from the podcasts you host, i am very surprised it took you this long get a job offer. You seem like one of the most intelligent and down to earth people i know of and you're obviously a great communicator. Seems like any company would be lucky to have you. Anyway, i'm glad to hear you were finally able to land the job you were searching for! Congrats and i wish you all the best. Now for selfish reasons, i hope this job isn't too challenging so you'll still have time to continue podcasting.

    Thanks for all the hours of entertainment! You actually make me look forward to long drives now.

  6. So happy for you Dave. I hope this is the beginning of a path full of happiness and personal satisfaction.

    From a selfish perspective, I agree with everyone else when I say that I hope this doesn't ensure the doom of the /Filmcast. It would be a relief to us if this new opportunity actually allowed for a schedule that solidifies you as the host for years to come.

    Either way, we'll be cheering you on. Best wishes and good luck with this huge step!

  7. Congratulations. I know personally how tough it can be in rhe job market and a lot of the time you can resign yourself to it (and in many ways reaching to life) due to the large number of rejections one is privy to. I was there not too long ago, in a shitty job and broke up with my gf, but somehow i find myself in another place (not going to call it a utopia but definitely not as dark as it was a year ago) and looking to keep improving on that.

    I'm unsure if you even remember me but you have done a lot to inspire me and i'm happy to hear that things are starting to point in a positive direction.

    So congrats and all the best.

  8. Congrats David. I'm in somewhat of a similar situation. I work as a contract employee, and been hearing no, and sometimes nothing at all, in response to jobs. I have hope now that with your good fortune, the same fortune can possibly be in my future as well.

    Good luck to you

  9. Congratulations on the job! If you must cut back on the Slashfilm stuff... please retain your reviews of Game of Thrones :)

  10. Congratulations Dave! Its encouraging to know that you have finally put an end to your job hunt. I know from personal experience that it can be a daunting experience, having been made redundant from my job three years ago during the subprime. I too was knocking on a lot of doors at the time, and I remember seeing as many as thirty different recruitment agents in the space of a few weeks.

    On a separate note, as a longtime slashfilmcast listener, I wanna thank you for providing me with hours and hours of listening. And also thank you for answering my email in an afterdark episode, where you, Tasha, Devindra and Adam recommended to me a few great father and son movies, a few months after my father had passed away. It was a particularly difficult period in my life. My wife and I listened to that episode together and we are touched by your generosity and sympathy. I have a selfish message, but I want you to know that your podcasts, Tobolowsky files, and the TV show podcasts are great work and are amongst the very best out there, especially since I am a film geek, I really hope that you and your co-hosts will keep them coming for years to come. I know things will change in the days to come, but regardless of what happens next, it has been a great few years indeed!

    Again, all the best to your new job, and wish you success in your future endeavours!

  11. Amazing story Dave! I have always admired your show and I really love to listen to your podcast.
    It is surprising to hear this story from you, because you all guys look so succesful, but I guess that is what makes this particular story, so meaningful and touching.

    Good luck with your future endeavours.

    Carlos (from Bogotá, Colombia)

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