There are certain situations which hold a surreal quality to them. Job interviews are one of those situations. Your body feels like it's not your own; you imagine what questions you might be asked, and your mind goes blank. Completely blank, like, 'oh wow, there really is nothing in my head right now. Nothing? How can there be nothing?!' and that's before you've even left the house. You get in the car and your legs have taken on a jelly like quality. Somehow the butterflies in your tummy seem to be controlling your legs.
The butterflies took up residence in my tummy a couple of weeks ago, along with a string of knots, as though there were miniature sailors in training, taking up residence in my tummy while they learnt how to tie knots, using my stomach as their training ground. By the time Thursday arrived, there was a whole butterfly farm in my tummy, along with some fully fledged knot-tying sailors.
As I got in the car to drive to my interview, my legs were losing control and my brain could do nothing about it because of the one hundred and one knots that were tied in my tummy. I felt thankful that I didn't have a driving instructor in the car with me, because wobbly legs make for even wobblier clutch control. I checked the clock, once, twice, three times, compensating for the extra minutes added on by the clock running fast to try and make me on time, and wonder why I do this. It just makes me more stressed, thinking I'm late when I'm actually on time.
I turn on the music, singing along to put my mind on something other than what the principles of the Foundation Stage are. Oh help, I can't remember the fourth key principle of the Foundation Stage Curriculum. Can I ring John and ask him to look, as he's still at home? No, because that might cause me to crash. Then how silly would I look if I failed to turn up to my interview because I've crashed trying to find out a vital piece of information that's temporarily escaped my mind.
Thankfully, I arrived at school in one piece and made it through the next 5 hours of interview time with plenty of butterfly action in my tummy. I'm sure there was a whole farm of butterflies flying around in there, weaving in and out of the knots that were feeling like a permanent feature by now.
The mixture of butterflies & knots left little room for food in my tummy, so having eaten half my lunch, I bid adieu to the lovely school, possibly for the last time, and made my way to the gym. It seemed like the most sensible thing to do after an interview - go and work off the adrenaline fix & hope that the knots would start to untie themselves.
After my gym session, I came home, and the next obvious thing to do was some deep cleaning. The kind where you are compelled to pull out pieces of furniture so you can clean the skirting boards and the dust in all of those hidden places.
Still feeling pretty skittish, and running out of places to clean, I sat down to do some work. While I wanted work to be the last thing on my to-do list right now, sadly I had deadlines for the following day, so work I must. As soon as I had sat down, my phone rang. Deep breath. Should I let it ring for two, three or four times? What's appropriate in this situation? I don't even know how many times it has rung because my phone doesn't go 'ring ring'!! Just answer it.
As I simultaneously held my breath and said hello, (impossible, right? not with this phone call), the butterflies went into a frenzy. Boy, would I be thankful to know the outcome so they could fly away forever. Quite incredulously, I listened as the marvellous headteacher told me that they would like me to be their Morning Nursery Teacher. I shrieked in response down the phone, then apologised for shouting in her ear. I couldn't quite get my head round this piece of news. Me? Were they sure? Apparently so.
The phone call ended and the butterflies flew away, the knots came undone, and I giggled to myself with excitement and shock that I had just landed myself my first ever teaching job after my first ever teaching interview. Wow.