My current earworm. I dedicate it to Prime, for obvious reasons.
Last week, I stumbled across something I had thought I had lost: my old pencil pouch that I carried while I worked as a cashier at Walmart. There was nothing of consequence within it, just the usual array of pens and refills along with a memo book or two. A pair of old Walmart pins, still in their plastic bags, also rested within it. One was a fiftieth anniversary pin, the other was one exclusive to our store with our “motto”: Find Comfort Within. I picked the pouch up, looked at the contents and shook my head.
Last Friday was the one year anniversary of my termination from Wallyfuckinwawaworld. The next day, I was at an orientation for my new employment at Costco. Sunday, I turned in my two week notice at my current job. I’m switching jobs at nearly the exact time I was summarily dismissed from one. For the last several days, I have felt oddly disquieted, upset. It was as if something was utterly wrong and I just couldn’t quite explain what.
Fast forward to last night.
Prime and I were en route to Milwaukee for a Brewers game. The entire day I felt ‘off’. I was nervous, anxious, and not really myself. I had been feeling this way since I had tacked my two week notice on the board at work. As Prime and I traveled, we started playing the Letter Game in order to pass the time. We were both on “V” and when Prime tried to point out one that I’d missed, I exploded. And by explode, I mean I had a full-fledged meltdown which included shouting and tears. Prime was shocked and I was as well. It was a game we’ve played hundreds of times; not once had I lost my temper so badly over something so small.
Prime was hurt and confused. I was as well. He wanted an explanation and I didn’t have one ready for him. I didn’t quite understand why something like that would upset me so deeply. Then I remembered: the disturbed sleep patterns I had struggled with the week before, the vague feelings of depression, the restlessness similar to what I had felt the year before. It was an after effect of being fired from Walmart. Whether I wanted to admit it or not, I was still dealing with the trauma of losing my old job and transitioning into a new one was bringing those old feelings back to the surface.
The explanation came out in fits and starts but when Prime understood, he decided we should do something else for the night. We ended up in Fond du Lac and went to the local mall, one replete with a bookstore–rare in this day and age–and a hobby store.
At the hobby store Prime found a game that he had been wanting to buy. I busied myself by looking at, of all things, a display of tumbled rocks. There were many different minerals on display and they were divided into three different bins based on size. I have a soft spot for tumbled stones; they are oddly grounding and, simply put, quite attractive to me. They are a reminder that we are part of gigantic rock that is hurtling through space, following a large ball of hydrogen gas. In other words, holding a rock is a bit humbling yet uplifting. As I dug through the display, I found a piece of clear quartz which was unusual, to say the least.
This quartz was almost completely clear, except it had an occlusion near its edge and an odd one at that. This looked like a bit of fossilized wood or a small, thin chip of some other mineral buried within the stone. This small imperfection cast an almost bronze color against the clear background. I had never seen anything so strange or beautiful. I couldn’t put it down.
This was one of those “fill a small pouch for $X” so I chose four more stones, all varying degrees of clear quartz and some filled with streaks and occlusions. Not perfect but oddly beautiful.
In other words, it was like that moment in August of last year.
Yes, getting fired was traumatic. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t. The night it happened I barely slept at all. For a week afterward I couldn’t sleep through the night or eat much of anything. I paced the house with my arms crossed, wondering what I should do. But now that I’m out of Walmart, now that I’m away from that place, I realize that the work was slowing killing me. My current job, as bad as it is, doesn’t have half of the backbiting or drama that Walmart did. There is ineptitude and foolishness but it isn’t as horrible as running out of bags twice within the same quarter. And yes, I’m leaving this current job and going on to something that has a higher wage. Losing the Walmart job was tough but it was necessary, a needed blemish in my life. I see that when I look at that stone, its perfect imperfection speaking volumes.
Tomorrow, I start training. It goes without saying that I am nervous. But I’ll be all right. I can get through this, I know I can, just like I did last year.