Working today, I saw a bunch of people that I used to go to school with- either from my own grade or a couple grades higher- who came in and acted pityingly to see me working a part-time minimum wage retail job for the break. They said ‘sorry’ as they bought upwards of three hundred dollar purchases for cruises and ski trips with their parents and ‘that sucks’ when they heard I was working a full eight hours that day and complained about their own 12-hour a week jobs that they go to stoned.
For the first time in my life I felt embarassed to be working. I felt embarassed to be independent, working a job that helps me work on my social skills, trying to not be a burden to my parents, learning how to live on my own and be proud of myself. I felt too embarassed to correct them and explain that I was earning money to buy my first car with my own money, to pay for rent with my own money, to buy school books with my own money. I couldn’t tell them that I’m a double major graduating early who is being published in a nationally distributed publcation this month. I couldn’t tell them that I have an amazing boyfriend, and a wonderful family that supported me. I was too embarassed by their pity.
And now I’m embarassed of being embarassed.
So what if my parent’s can’t buy me tickets to the Caribbean to beat out the snow, or afford to have me play Xbox all break before I hit the books again? That doesn’t make them bad people. So what if I work, rather than whine that I’m entitled to more from them? That doesn’t make me a loser.
I’m proud of my job. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’m proud of the people around me.
When I got home, my Christmas present from my boyfriend was waiting and I was so upset that I decided to open it early to see if it would make me feel better.
And it did.
Not just because it had an Alice in Wonderland Precious Moment figurine in it (though it’s beyond beautiful and I love it), but because of the letter he wrote inside of it. IT reminded me just who I’m really working for when I pound out my 10-6 every day. Not those kids who came in all high and mighty on their parents’ dime, but for my current family and my future one who depend on me to be the best person that I can be. And if that means working a part-time minimum wage retail job to help me stay afloat and keep on truckin well then
So be it.