Growing up in a small town (well it was more like a village and we lived 3 miles outside of that) there really wasn’t too much to do that didn’t keep you out of trouble. At that age it seemed just the opposite. Even still everybody knew everybody else’s business. Well they had enough sense to know whose spawn’s were running around town and they had no trouble speaking their minds. Usually at the curling rink over beers and good times. Nothing seems to stop your good times though at 13 then older people who just can’t keep their noses to themselves. I got my first job at 13. It was a volunteer job on Sunday’s at the local library. The pay was terrible but I saw it as 3.5 hours that I was investing in myself. I had enough common sense to have an understanding of how the World worked. My Dad worked full time and my mom was working mornings to help pay for our private lessons at the skating rink. As the middle child I kinda saw then that if I was going to be needing anything that I better find a job. Working for free seemed like a pretty senseless idea to my friends but I knew that you had to show initiative to set yourself apart from everybody else in my community. So that is how I came to be shelving books at the local library on Sundays. I wish I knew then that I had this ability to gravitate my thinking into the future. There are always signs that point you in the right direction but we just aren’t developed enough to understand when we begin to go threw it.
Destined to live differently but too impressionable to live alone I applied for my first official paying job at 15 Subway. It was a brand new restaurant being built and it seemed like every unemployed person in my town applied. There was not much going on in the way of work. The living was easy but if you ever wanted to get ahead it became hard. What set me apart by far was my volunteering at the library for the last two years. I should add in here that eventually they did give me an hourly so I did walk away with a small pay check. But like with everything when you are a young age I started to develop this sense of self that I didn’t truly understand. I knew that I loved make-up and music and trying to fit in. I was relly scared of not fitting in. I think that is what gravitated me towards everthing I did.
This is what happened at my glorious two week stay as a Subway employee. Being one of the youngest employees I got the awfuliest shifts. I mean I had no idea that you could work before school. NONE!! Here I was at the wee hours of the morning weighing out cold cuts and chopping onions to get ready for the day. The only sandwhiches I ever got to make were my own. I took so much pride in those beautiful lil sandwhiches. The u gauge was perfect. The placement of all the veggies was exactly as shown on the charts. It was perfect. No saucy mess. No food in your lap. Bliss. I worked hard and fast in the mornings trying to get it all done before school. My manager seeing this decided that it was time for my first official lunch rush. It must have been a Saturday or maybe Spring Break. I have no idea why I wasn’t in school that day but I kinda wished that I was. As the noon hour hit and the line up started my manager had me on getting the bread. Pretty easy right? Have I mentioned I am a perfectionist? I mangled foot long after foot long as the sweat beaded down my neck. I could see the angry stares of my manager from the register. The more she stared the more anxious I got and the more I began to fail. I think this is where my fear of public embarassment creeps in. Grabbing clothes he pushes my towards the veggies and takes over. Fine whatever I am just 15 and kind of ignorant to all this. At 15 I have barely had to make a sandwhich on my own before this and definetly not with that sawing u gauge thing. Thinking to myself that now I can shine I meticulously placed the toppings requested by each guest. Lettuce, 4 tomatoes, 4 pickles, 2 olives….all perfectly placed before adding mayo or mustard. Back then we had 4 sauces none of these flavour de jours that seems to be the insanity in all quick service food joints these days. You guessed it!! My manager was livid. She actually told me to slap those sandwhiches together and get moving. As I finished wrapping the sandwhich in front of me I turned and stared her in the face. I told her that I took a lot of pride in what I do and I considered myself an artist.
What a cheeky thing to say at 15 but that is what most 15 year olds do. That is until somebody dulls them enough so they feel that who they are and what they want to be isn’t enough. Maybe in hindsight I should have just slapped it together like she requested. Subway sandwhiches were always destined to end up in your lap no matter how you slice it. I think it was that moment that should have told me that the direction I was heading down could have been easier. Everybody hates losing their job and I sure did lose mine after 2 weeks. I never truly believed that I was this glorious sandwich artist or that maybe those 2 short weeks had a hand in forming my destiny. Instead of embracing the perfectionist in me that strived to bring joy to others I began to suppress it. Although shy I am definetly a people person. Although compassionate I am an empath. All these feelings and emotions were presenting themselves to me at a time that I fully didn’t understand it. There was so many emotions and hormones swirling around at that time that we all tend to get lost in that moment. I wonder how many other teens or children go through something similiar but suppress it out of fear of realizing just who they are. I wish I could tell my younger self that it would be ok to walk along a different path than those around you. Maybe it is not my younger self that I want to tell. I just want the younger generation to not fear all those changes that they are faced with. To slow down and listen to themselves. Try and dull the white noise of all the influences around you. That is ok to embrace the side of you that you fear the rest of the world might not agree with. Always remember though that no matter where you are in your current moment,