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The other day, while at work, I had a moment that still makes me feel all glowy with pleasure when I think about it.

Because I’m having so much trouble finding a more standard, formal position in a library or archive, I’m freelancing as an archivist, helping out with family papers, personal collections, etc., for private clients.

One of these jobs is at the client’s office, which is shared with another person. We’ll call my client A and the other person B.

A is rarely in the office when I am, but B comes in and out while taking care of other duties. This past week, B had a visit from a client, and after greeting him, B said “That’s A’s librarian working. Why don’t we meet out here?”

Librarian. It’s such a simple thing, really, but because I haven’t yet held a professional position in a library or archive (though I have had a few short-term positions for other institutions since graduating), I haven’t actually overheard myself described as a librarian or an archivist. B said it in passing, and after they left the room, I stood there, smiling, and just enjoying it for a few seconds.

And it’s at that point that I realized that the moment was even better. I had my headphones on, and the music on shuffle. The song that came on during all of this was a song by the Wailin’ Jennys called “Heaven When We’re Home.” It was one of those instances when the perfect song comes on. It’s about feeling like everything you’ve tried has been a dead end, and you can’t see into the future further than your own nose. It’s about feeling tired and worn down by the struggle, but continuing to struggle anyway because what else is there to do? You have to keep believing that you’ll find what you’re looking for so that you don’t get completely swallowed up by despair. And when you find it, you’ll be able to set down your burdens and rest for a while.

“Heaven When We’re Home”

Don’t know what time it is, I’ve been up for way too long
and I’m too tired to sleep
I call my mother on the phone, she wasn’t home,
and now I’m wondering the street
I’ve been a fool, I’ve been cruel to myself
I’ve been hanging onto nothing
when nothing could be worse than hanging on
And something tells me there must be
something better than all this
I’ve fallen many times in love and every time
it’s been with the wrong man
Still I’m out there living one day at a time
and doing the best I can
‘Cuz we’ve all made mistakes
that seem to lead us astray
But every time they helped to get us where we are today
And that’s a good a place as any
and it’s probably where we’re best off anyway
It’s a long and rugged road
and we don’t know where it’s headed
But we know it’s going to get us where we’re going
And when we find what we’re looking for
we’ll drop these bags and search no more
‘Cuz it’s going to feel like heaven when we’re home
It’s going to feel like heaven when we’re home
There’s no such thing as perfect,
and if there is we’ll find it when we’re good and dead
Trust me I’ve been looking
but tonight I think I’ll go and take a bath instead
And then maybe I’ll walk a while
and feel the earth beneath me
They say if you stop looking
it doesn’t matter if you find it
And who’s to say that even if I did
it’s what I’m really looking for
It’s a long and rugged road
and we don’t know where it’s headed
But we know it’s going to get us where we’re going
And when we find what we’re looking for
we’ll drop these bags and search no more
‘Cuz it’s going to feel like heaven when we’re home
It’s going to feel like heaven when we’re home
–Wailin’ Jennys, “40 Days”

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