Sink or Swim


“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.” – Tyler Knott Gregson

Where do I go from here? It’s one of the many questions that have been plaguing my mind over the last couple of days. Ever since I came back home, with my little brother turned Marine in tow, I’ve been keeping to myself. I’ve been reserved, quite, and spaced out most of the time. I didn’t know why until yesterday.

Work was normal, except when I was called down to speak with my manager along with the store manager. I quickly realized the reason, and there was nothing I could do to prevent it from happening. It was my own fault. Thoughts like, “I just woke up late, there was no reason for me not to go in…” and “I should have gone into work, even if I was sick, they could’ve sent me home and it wouldn’t have counted against me” and “All I had left was a month and the points would come off, just one month” raced through my head. I started panicking; I worried about my finances that are not in the best of shape, where I was going to find another job, what everyone was going to think of me. They both told me things like, I would have no problem finding other employment, and this in no way reflected my work performance, and I’m a hard worker, and my department is taking a blow with me leaving, etc. All very, very nice things, but nothing that would soothe me.

Losing my job that I had had for almost a year was not what upset me the most. It was leaving my coworkers, my friends. That observation hit me pretty hard. I love them so much. If it wasn’t for them, I would have left a long, long time ago. They helped me, encouraged me, guided me, laughed with me, laughed at me…they were everything to me. I know this isn’t goodbye, what with the social media connections I have with some of them. I’ll be in to visit every now and again, but I will miss working with them terribly. I grieved over this for a little while.

All of my attendance mistakes. My work family. It’s all I thought about. But I would have to set it all aside, because the next day I had my second interview for a prospective position. I was worried they would ask questions where I couldn’t avoid telling them what had transpired less than 24 hours prior. Fortunately I was able to skate by, but I think just barely. I’ll know for sure in the next few days. In the mean time, all there is to do is sit and think.

I look over at my brother’s picture in his dress blues. He knew he wanted to be a Marine since high school. He fought to be where he is now; he set out and did what he said he was going to do. It fits him well. I’m so incredibly proud of all he’s accomplished, all that he’s become. It makes me wonder what my purpose is, what it is I’m supposed to do with my life. I’m 21 years old and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve been told that this is okay, but it’s expected of me by society to have everything figured out so I can get a head start on life. I’m constantly torn. And now I’ve not only messed up my education, my relationship, and my finances, I’ve gone and lost my job as well. I have no degree, no career, no job, no place of my own, no relationship, a pathetic social life, and no money. All I have is a car. And time.

I’ve received some sympathy, but mostly encouragement to find other employment. It’s not something I’m fond of, after searching for months last year. But I have to find something if I want to go back to school and become a certified Pharmacy Technician. It’s still not what I want to do, but it’s good pay and I don’t have to be stuck in school for long. You see, I was persuaded into majoring in Pharmacy, but quickly realized I would never make it. And then I thought that maybe Middle Childhood Education would be better. But I still don’t think I’ve got it right. I know I’m passionate about something, I just don’t know what that something is yet.

I read an article that said that maybe my purpose in life, my passion, isn’t something I can make a career out of, but rather keep as a hobby. I fear that will be my future. I will be working at a job I don’t love, as my time and resources for my beloved hobby diminish between working and raising a family. That’s not the life I envisioned. This is what I dream of: I’ll have a job I love, a nice house, a nice car, a loving husband, two kids, some cats and maybe a few other animals. It’s the in-between that’s unclear. It’s scary and mysterious and frightening. It’s sink or swim. But I refuse to sink. I’m gonna keep swimming. 


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