I’m old. That is pretty much my realization at this point of my year in Spain. I was thinking about my horrific schedule, and reading about all the employees who had to work on Black Friday, and even Thanksgiving this year (GAG!!), and then I started chiming in about my movie theatre days, when I never knew my schedule from week to week, always had to work holidays, and had no benefits. Thinking about this brought my mind around to college in general, where my schedule obviously changed from one semester to the next, with classes on varying days and hours with irritating middle-of-the-day breaks.
Only then, those breaks weren’t irritating. I used them to catch up on homework, chat with friends, or go home to see Bruce on his days off.
I rode home today during my intermittently-interrupted “three-hour” break (with a tutoring session scheduled smack dab in the middle), and of course I had to work during my free time on my University of Phoenix class, part-time job number three.
But it occurred to me, when I was telling the students in Spain about Black Friday, when I was reminiscing those glorious movie theatre days when I got “promoted” to assistant manager and all the employees called in on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, leaving us three managers standing with lines out the door because everyone in America had to see The Green Mile rather than having a conversation with their family members on a sacred holiday, that I have done this before.
And I can do it again.
Sure, stack on the responsibility of caring for three children… but I can do this. I can piece together three part-time jobs to somewhat fill in the gaps of a severely minimal salary. I did it before, worked my way through college, not a penny of debt trailing behind me, and I can damn well do it again.
However, when I was trying to say to Bruce tonight, “That wasn’t that long ago… I mean, I just did that!” I realized that it was thirteen-fifteen years ago… man I’m old. This is why all the other auxiliares are twenty, why they don’t blink for a moment when they pile on extra tutoring sessions or weave their way between parties and bars. They are young, with raw desire for what the world can still offer them, the inconvenience of an erratic schedule just that… an inconvenience.
But as I sat at home this afternoon, thinking, Wow, if my school actually had functioning Internet, I could just stay there and do this Phoenix work, I cut myself short. I came home to Bruce who fixed tea for my aching throat, piled high scrambled eggs with sour cream and salsa, Spanish bread on the side, just exactly how I like them, and my legs were still burning from my quick uphill ride, a few extra miles of back-and-forth commuting tucked under my belt, and I knew, I just knew, I had reached a turning point.
I’ve done it before, and even if I am as old as a bat, I damn well know I can do it again!