Today was my second to last day at Casa Bueno. It passed with what I can only call a feeling of ambivalence. Today was my last shift with Shorty and Flyguy. It was my last shift with my favorite cook. It was the last time I will ever arrive forty-five minutes early to work so I can make sure the salt and pepper shakers are filled before the store opens. Its the last time I'll pick up a dozen doughnuts for the Saturday morning crew. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm excited.
Actually, I'm really not. I'm not excited. I'm not sorry, but there isn't a sense of elation either. I think part of it is that I'm not feeling the loss of the job yet. I mean, yes, I did say goodbye to Shorty and Flyguy as a coworker today. But I know, for certain, there will be many more moments of my life to share with them. I don't feel like I am losing them. Honestly, I don't feel like I'm losing much at all. Oscelot will still be working there, which means at least twice a week I'm going to be headed up there to drop her off and pick her up from work. I'll still see all my coworkers. I really like the food, so there's no doubt in my mind I'll still go there to eat. It will be the first restaurant that I've waitressed at that I will go back and eat the food.
I think the other reason I am not terribly excited is the prospect of unemployment looming ahead of me. Thursday night when Sakura was over I had him do a tarot reading for me. As he suggested, I asked only, what is it that I most need to know? The answer was clear and very straightforward. And I should have seen it coming. It told me that I need this break. And that I am so concerned with my past issues that I am terrified of what it coming. And it's true.
See, since I was fifteen I've had a job. I've never been unemployed for more than a couple months, and even then I was actively looking for a job. This time, I'm not. I'll be at home. I'll clean, I'll cook, I'll write. But I will not be out making money and contributing to the household I live in. For various reasons, this is very scary for me. I feel like I won't be earning my keep. As Sakura put it, I feel bereft. I feel empty, like I have somehow lost part of my worth. Despite the fact that I am constantly being told otherwise by my family, I feel like this is true. Like I am somehow less valuable than I was two weeks ago.
Sakura says this is a good thing for me, this break. He says he was concerned for my health. He said there was no doubt in his mind that I was putting my health, even my life, in danger with the amount of stress I was putting on myself combined with the physicality of my job. I don't know when to say when. I don't know when to stop. Its unhealthy. He says he's relieved I am taking time to look after myself. I can't see what's coming down the road, and I have to stop worrying about it.
I know he's right. There's no way of telling what lies ahead for me. I suppose that's part of my problem. I've spent my whole life working and I've relied on my psychic sense to give me warning if something new or worrisome was on the horizon. I've never just rested and relied on someone else to take care of me. I don't like it. But I'm going to have to live with it. I suppose that I can take to heart what Tiger has been telling me, which is I need to get back to writing and try to get published. I'm a good writer, and there's no reason I shouldn't be able to make money at it. I hope she's right. But in the mean time, I am being warned I need to write for myself, and with no pressure on me to succeed, because that's when I do the best work.
So, tomorrow, my last day, I'm going to do my best not to stress myself out. There have been a lot of things happen to me since I came to Casa Bueno. I split up with BBD. I had my pseudo affair with Rogue. I ran back into my Kitten, remembered the strength that love can have and married her. I met Oscelot. She moved in with us. We started dating her. I sobered up. I met Spice (who trained me, by the way) and made friends with a wonderful woman who reminds me that intelligence and beauty are valuable qualities. I met Shorty, who reminded me that there is always a reason for our past, because it gives us the strength to love and share with new people in our lives. She taught me that first impressions aren't always right, and that given the opportunity, you can find deep friendship with a person who at first seems like they are not a kindred spirit at all. I reconnected with Sakura and found that I have a deep sense of spirituality in me, and that there are people in this world who can love you for who you are and who are willing to go to any length to help you be safe and happy. I became friends with Adidas, who shows me every day that there is more to beauty than just looks, no matter how beautiful you are (and she is). That tenderness and compassion are sometimes hidden until you look for them, and that youth does not mean ignorance, and innocence doesn't mean naivete. And I met Flyguy, who is, without a doubt, one of the most special, wonderful people I have ever known. From him I have learned that there are people who will keep your secrets no matter what. I have learned trust. I have learned that there are, yes, heterosexual men out there who can love me, find me beautiful and accept my love and affection without expecting anything from me. (Swiss, I beg pardon, I mean of course, men whom I see in person.) I have learned real friendship. He is, to me, the best man I have ever known outside of my Grandfather, which is the highest compliment I can pay him.
Through all of this I have learned so much about myself. I've learned just how far I can push myself. I've learned how far I am willing to let someone to push me. I have learned to control my colossal anger. I have learned that I have more compassion than I thought myself capable of. I have learned that I am able to learn to respect people I thought I despised. I have leaned that I am not as shy as I used to be. I learned I am able to smooth over tense situations, and that I am as good as peacemaking as I am at stirring up trouble. I've learned to keep my mouth shut, I've learned to listen. I have learned to bide my time. My faith in the goodness of people has both been shaken, and also confirmed in ways I thought impossible.
I am not leaving bereft, not totally. I cannot look at the gifts I have received and be ungrateful for them. I cannot look at the love and friendship I have been given and wish I had spent my time better. I told Flyguy today that I am happy I worked at Casa Bueno long enough to have met him. I know fate would have found a way to bring him to me, but I am glad that in this case, I didn't have to wait, didn't have to wonder. I am blessed.
This will be, I think, the last time I ever work in food service. My mom tells me to never say never, but I am going to do everything I possibly can to keep it that way. I may be good at it, but truthfully, my temperament have never been suited to it. I'm taking what I can, and I will use what I have learned to make me a better person.
I'm not sure how I feel, really. Nostalgic, yes. Scared, of course. I am anticipating the coming months. I am unsure of who I am now, and who I may become. I suppose I should be excited about that. There's something beautiful about the wild unknown, right? We'll see. I'm still unsure. But then, I feel so sure about so many things, maybe this is just a new lesson for me to learn.
Oh- and in the process of telling some of my regular customers goodbye, I've found there are actually some of them who like me for who I am and not my waitressing abilities. I actually swapped email and phone numbers with Hot Doctor, whom I have long wanted to. I figured now was the time to ask, since there was as little risk involved as possible. If I was gone, she wouldn't have to avoid the store because she said no, she didn't want to meet me socially. Fortunately, she is as nice a person as I thought, and she actually wants to attempt a friendship. We'll see. As I told her, she's a little older than me, and a doctor, and I am after all, a 30 year old waitress. There's a bit of a difference between us. Hopefully I'm right, and the mind I've always loved myself for is there, and its something I can still find value in. Something that can win me friends and respect, despite the fact that I have no personal accomplishments to speak of.
I'm signing off. I've written my emotions out, I think. I'll part with these thoughts. Thank you, to you readers, who have been there for me, supporting me in this and all of my wild decisions. I need it, and you never let me down. Also, if you haven't, click my link toSwisslet. He's running a half-marathon tomorrow and he's raising money for cancer research. He's a great guy and its a great cause. Go donate, if you can. (Good luck Swiss, I'll be thinking of you tomorrow, and wishing you all the best!)
I love you all.