Fear

Prelude…

I’d like to start off by saying good morning to my current followers and those who will add me in the future. I am sorry for my absence from the blogosphere. I’ve recently moved back to New Jersey and reconnecting with my friends led to a disconnecting with my audience. For that, dear readers, I sincerely apologize. Your support is the reason I pick up the pen and paper and I appreciate every reader/follower I have. 

My return to writing will begin with the ‘In a Word’ series in which I choose an abstract concept and explore my feelings on the topic. The first concept that I have chosen is fear. I hope that you will enjoy this particular series. As always, you are more than welcome to share your honest feedback or thoughts.

Fear

I woke up early this morning and couldn’t fall back to sleep. Deep thoughts plagued my mind. Thoughts of car payments, my broken relationship, sexual repression, and past dead end jobs tormented me to the point of restlessness. I struggled for hours looking for a quick fix, one cure all for life’s troubles. Then it occurred to me. The best way to solve any problem is to find its roots. What I’ve discovered is that all my woes can be traced back to one concept: fear. 

Fear is instilled in us all from youth, and that’s why it’s so hard to combat throughout our lives. When you were young, you were taught not to touch hot surfaces/objects because they would burn you. Chances are, you touched them anyway and got a very nasty surprise. From then on, your tiny brain learned to equate heat with pain and the potential pain caused fear and panic within you. Well, imagine how sad life would be if you never grew out of the ‘potential pain induces fear’ stage. Trust me, it’s a sad life.

Fear has shaped my entire life. I was always a big girl, from elementary to present. I had/have an accent and kids can be cruel. A lot of the time, I just didn’t want to be seen. Being seen meant being ridiculed and that scared me. I remember a time when my whole class played bingo for candy. I had all the numbers my teacher called out. Rightfully, I should have won the prize, but I didn’t speak up. I let someone else claim the prize. Instances such as this have been a theme in my life. I was afraid to tell the love of my life that I loved him and he went on to have three children. I was afraid to apply for a really good job, so I ended up spending 3 years working part time as a cashier. I was afraid to pursue the guy I really wanted and ended up being in a dead end relationship for 9 years. Whose fault was all of this? No one but mine.

I’m still fearful of many things, but I’ve found that life brings us to the edge of doubt and forces us to jump into the cooling waters of certainty. Yeah, it’s cool to think about what could have happened had we done things differently, but it’s even better to start doing things differently.

 I was forced out of my comfort zone. I got fired from a job I hated. Is money tight? Hell yes. Are there jobs beating down my door? Hell no. But you know what? My dumb ass went out and bought a car the week after I got fired. I broke up with a boyfriend I no longer loved. I applied to jobs that I actually wanted! Fear will always be present, but you have to adapt to it and learn from it. 

Still, I wish I would have stood up early…

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Say Goodbye…

First off, allow me to apologize for my absence. I have been attending tax preparation classes and working. I’m also learning to play the guitar in my spare time. My mind has been on a billion different tasks, but I’m still a writer at heart. I appreciate this rainy day off because it has allowed me to get back in touch with my true passion; writing.
Yesterday was one of THE hardest days I’ve ever had at work. I came in not feeling well and I left feeling physically and emotionally drained. I started my workday with congestion, a sore throat, and low energy. Despite my illness, I refused to go home early. I was facing down an 8 hour cashier shift, but I figured it was best to push through the day in hopes of making some extra money for my upcoming birthday. I had no other focus than getting through the day.
At about 1:45, one of the many supervisors came up to the front of the store and observed me and my Co worker having a conversation during a time when we had no customers to check out. She then asked the both of us to straighten out the carts located at the front of the store. I expressed quite loudly that I didn’t think that was a part of my job description. Target has cart managers who are responsible for organizing and bringing carts in from the parking lot, so when I was asked to do this task, I didn’t think I should have had to. In the end, my coworker and I did what was asked of us and returned to our registers to check customers out.
Around 2:15, my other supervisor came over and told me that the supervisor who had talked to me about moving the carts would like to talk to me in the office. After the conversation, I was allowed to go on break. Knowing exactly what the conversation was going to be about, I proceeded to go to the office where one of the store team leaders and my supervisor greeted me with a four page print out. The print out had a list of my duties as a cashier which my supervisor was more than happy to point out in the most condescending way possible. She said “I sensed some anger when I told you to move the carts. We definitely shouldn’t be expressing anger in front of our customers.” At that moment, I felt humiliated. What happened had nothing to do with carts; I had already moved them. What happened had everything to do with her feeling disrespected and undermined in her authority. She was embarrassed and went to great lengths to ensure that I would be embarrassed too. I went on break feeling very angry and defeated. There were so many things that I wanted to say in that office, but I didn’t end up saying them. After my break, I contemplated going home early due to my emotional and physical anguish, but I decided that I didn’t want that bitch to have the satisfaction. Long story short, I made it through the rest of my day without any further incidence.
You know, as mad as I am at my supervisor and Target in general, I’m even angrier with myself. I had the perfect reason to quit and I didn’t. Why? Because of fear, greed, and uncertainty. I blame myself for what happened, because I should have left this job a long time ago. People will try their best to make you believe that there are no jobs out there because they don’t want you to take theirs. Yes, I know I’m a grown woman who needs to make a living. Yes, I know I need to be doing something with my time, but sometimes your time is better spent looking for the next best thing.
I have allowed myself to accept 8.89 an hour for a job as a cashier. 8.89. I make thousands of dollars a day for this company and they literally told me that I wasn’t worth the extra cent. And I sat there in silence and accepted a .14 cent pay raise. I’ve been passed over for being cross-trained in different areas and generally treated like the shit on the bottom of new sneakers. I allowed this to happen because other people told me that this job was the best I could do and I believed them. And then I started to buy things to reward myself for putting up with the bullshit. I would tell myself, “Let’s just make it through the week and we can buy that new (insert random expensive item here) that we’ve been looking at.” I ended up in debt and I needed to work more hours to pay off that debt. Thus is the vicious cycle that we’ve all found ourselves in at one time or another…
I happen to be the type of person who finds meaning in everything. I think that every day contains a moment that we can learn from. The moral of this story seems to be…know your worth. When it’s time to end a situation, end it. This applies to jobs, relationships, or anything else in your life that you know needs to be brought to a close. Don’t let insecurity and uncertainty be the guiding factors in your life. If you think you can do better, more often than not, you can. Will I quit my job tomorrow? Maybe. Maybe not. But now I know that there is no salvaging my employment with this company and its time to move on sooner rather than later…It’s time to say goodbye…