It’s only Wednesday and I’ve already done two things this week that I promised myself I wouldn’t do.
Even under the best circumstances, my ‘Days I Cry at Work’ to ‘Days I Do Not Cry at Work’ ratio has never been anything to brag about. And this week has not been the best circumstances.
But crying at work is horrendous and so I take deep, steady breaths and I gather up all of my physical and emotional reserves and, for three minutes, I am Greeting! Customers! and I am making the Best! Cappuccino! Ever!
And then I am quietly sobbing over the dishwasher.
Even under the best of circumstances, I might have cried at work last night. The freezer broke, the alarm went off, the computers went down, two of my coworkers left early, and everyone wanted half-decaf extra-hot skim mochas with light whip and dressing on the side, please. And the person I closed with has not been trained, so I was responsible for making every drink, answering every phone call, and handling every crisis. I had to call and wake my manager at home three times. It took us two hours to close, it was raining, and I’m surprised that I didn’t quit on the spot.
But I overslept my alarm by an hour and a half this morning, which means that I was late to my day job, but it also means that I got a decent night’s sleep. And tonight I am closing with one of my favorite coworkers and Friday I have the night off and things are going to be okay. They are, they are.
It’s funny– a year and a half ago, I had a steady paycheck, a cushy 9-5, and very little debt. Now I make $7/hr to do things like clean chairs after a customer has peed on them, I’m in enough debt to last a lifetime, and I struggle to make rent each month.
The thought of exchanging my life then for my life now sends a chill down my spine. Because for all of the debt and the puddles of urine, for all the battle scars and the question marks, I am so much better than I used to be. I’m stronger and I’m wiser and I know myself so much more. I’m a long way from where I’m going, but at least I’m heading in the right direction.
I do believe that.
Most of the time.
photo by fredarmitage
Categories: my life in words