Ugh, did I even sleep? I don’t feel as if I did, but I must have. I didn’t hear Vickie taking her shower in the bathroom next to my bedroom.
I had to get up extra early to get a ride to work from Vickie. Her Walmart shift starts at 7:00 am. My Sprout’s shift starts at 8:30 am. Not having a car sucks giant silverback gorilla balls.
Since I’m here two hours early, the breakroom is my breakfast nook. I just ate a hard boiled egg. I’m also eating deli sliced chicken and Swiss cheese roll ups. It’s not quite 7 am, so there’s no cashier to ring up orders. I might go get a breakfast sandwich later.
I can’t believe I used to get up even earlier in Portland when I worked at Coffee People on NW 23rd. I was the opening PIC (person in charge) and had to be there at 5:30 am five days a week. Having a regular predictable schedule made it easier. After over four years of having to go to bed obnoxiously early eventually made my psyche rebel and I left that job for the Coffee Room at Powell’s City of Books. I mostly worked days there also, but the bookstore didn’t open till 9:00 am. Thus, I didn’t have to get up so early.
I’ve always been a bit of a night owl. It’s another thing I inherited from my mom. It’s a behavior that was reinforced by waiting tables during college. Classes were in the daytime and the good money happened during dinner shifts, especially Friday and Saturday nights. Often, I’d get home from work after 1:00 am. It totally sucked if I had a very early class the next morning. I tried to avoid that schedule configuration. However, there was always that one class required by the major that was seemingly only taught every leap year at one time, by one professor, in one section.
In college lingo, a section is one time frame a class is offered. Like, when I had to take Motivation at University of South Florida for my Psychology degree, there were maybe two professors who taught it at two or three different times. College Algebra, or English Composition, which are general education requirements for every undergraduate, might have 15 to 20 sections each. Of course (a pun?), this also depends upon the size of the student body, and the popularity of the major. All the colleges I attended had student bodies greater than 20,000. Shit, University of Central, where I TRY to finish a second BA, the student body is over 40,000. Even at a school of UCF’s size, anthropology is not hugely popular, so I was forced to take Anthropology of Religion at 7:00 am. It was evil. My B grade can be blamed on the early hour, I’m sure. At the graduate level, forget it, you are stuck with one time option. So, grin and bear it.
Ahhh, all this talk of college has me missing school. I could go to school forever. I just love academic environments. I like smelling and tasting the learning. If you are a geek, you get a buzz only a college campus can provide. It’s the main reason I loathe online classes. If I could get paid to attend school, it would be my dream career.
For now, my income is provided by retail, and the income is debatable. I made more money waiting tables in the ‘80’s than I make now. More accurately, my hourly earnings were greater. It’s so sad. I couldn’t do that kind of work anymore, though, I just really don’t care if anyone’s fries are cold, or if the margaritas don’t have enough salt, or if the steaks are not rare enough. This attitude does not lend itself to earning good tips.
It’s 7:44 am right now. I wish I could be at home typing away at a novel, or some short stories, or essays. I wish I was earning my whole income creatively stringing words together. It’s hard to get that good. A lot of it is luck, but a lot of it is just sitting and writing and not giving up, and not expecting to produce brilliance everytime. I think that’s what keeps many creative artistic people employed in retail, or other soul sucking jobs. We all get insecure about not being good enough to work and earn a living doing the crafts we love and get joy from. Once I got over being scared about sucking, I started writing more. So, in a sense it IS about quantity. You have to produce stuff that is of questionable value to get to the work that is truly amazing.
There is something about being creative that is like a drug; doing that creative thing is an endorphin release. It provides the joy that gives life color and meaning. I think a lot of creative people get stuck in soul destroying jobs because of the need to make a living and their craft suffers and they don’t experience joy as much as they could.
It makes me sad that societies put so much effort into stuffing people into boxes and not fostering creative ways to earn a living expressing their creativity.
I’m not sure how to do that, how to fix it so people earn a living doing something they love. I just know that the world would be happier if fewer guitarists, or photographers at heart were not forced to be meat market managers, or cashiers, or bank tellers, or retail clerks.
I think that such a world starts by fostering self esteem. So many of us learned to doubt ourselves and our abilities. It’s a fucking crime.
I learned very late in life that I am a writer and thinker deep in my soul, and at my advancing age, I still have not given up on earning at least part of my living from writing.