I can choose to answer “yes” or “no” to the old ones, depending on my experience with working with them (as I write in another chapter). An old client, a Peruvian author of short stories, recently contacted me to ask me to translate his stories into English. I had enjoyed translating them in the past, and we got along, so I answered that I would do it if he didn’t have tight deadlines. I’m currently translating one of them for him. On the other hand, I’ve answered “no” to quite a lot of organizations for whom I’d worked before the injury and had not been pleased with them as a client.
I have yet another kind of emails: from a professional network letting me know about job openings, and from a job site where both employees and employers can post. Some have remained unopened, but while I did open the others, I didn’t click on the link: do I want to take the risk of getting a job if I’m going to be forced to fulfill my obligations nonstop for several years? Would I be sufficiently healed to take on this responsibility? And if I did get the position, for how long would the job last? I vaguely picture myself working there, and every image is somewhat daunting. I want to and don’t want to make the move. The only job for which I’d like to apply is the interpreter one at the Beacon School District – it feels familiar; I think I’d be able to perform. I know the people who’ve worked and had kids there: I’ve years of memories stored in my brain about Nathan’s schools.
But I’ve never held a post in the other organizations. They remind me of all the jobs I had when I lived here years ago. When I wonder what my performance will be in the new workplace, I think of my bad arm, my slow brain, my accent. I say to myself, if you don’t try, you’ll never get a job. But it’s so easy to follow my own pace; to read and write and translate at home; to remain apart from everybody; to let Eric bring the income while I slowly heal; to avoid commitments. I have to open emails when I get them repeatedly. I have to apply for potential jobs. I have to take that step, but I don’t. Every time I see the name of the sender, I move it directly to the corresponding mailbox.