“Hope itself is a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords; but, like all other pleasures immoderately enjoyed, the excesses of hope must be expiated by pain.” –Samuel Johnson
Tomorrow I begin work towards a new job. I have finished the application process and now am working on training/orientation which will (hopefully) lead to a new job. It won’t pay enough or be predictable enough to rescue me from the grasp of retail, but it’s a start.
Last year I got really excited about a job posting that I found that was made for me. It fit my interests and talents perfectly, but it never developed into anything, not even a rejection letter. I let my imagination get the best of me. I began to see a life away from retail, away from coworkers that I cannot stand the sight of and customers who make me want to throw myself from a bridge. I imagined a fulfilling job, one that I wouldn’t hang my head in shame when I admitted to. I let myself hope.
Tonight I am nervous. I am worried that I will botch this online teleconference. I worry that I will put time into this, and never get a job. I worry that this will have been another tease, a crueler one because it came closer to reality. I am anxious and will be happy when four o’clock comes tomorrow and it’s all over.
But I can’t help but feel a little hopeful. I am trying so, so hard not to, but I am hopeful that this will be a step in the right direction. It will be the death sentence to my retail life and lead to another job, a bigger step, a world that I feel more at home in. I hope that it will bring me joy. I hope that I love working with students online, working with writing, working on something that is not calculating coupons. I hope that it will mean that retail no longer defines (or confines) me. It will broaden the picture of who I am, for others and myself. I hope that finding fulfillment somewhere will make dissatisfaction at work more bearable. I hope that the money will make me independent, make me comfortable. I hope that this is a sign of good things to come.
As I look at all this, I realize that it is not too much to ask and hope for. But I am not a lucky girl, and things tend to go any way but mine. I feel my throat knot as I try to leave those hopes on this screen, let them out of my heart and forget that they were ever there. I need to let go of them so they don’t haunt me when they are dashed. I am trying to get a good night of sleep, trying to clear my mind and kitchen table for tomorrow, but I can’t help but feel a tiny flutter deep inside. I can’t help but, with an abundance of caution, feel like tomorrow will be different and better and a new start. I am trying to ignore and release it, but for the first time in a long, long time, I am actually hopeful.
“Every so often we long to steal/ To the land of what-might-have-been/ But that doesn’t soften the ache we feel/ When reality sets back in… Don’t wish, don’t start/ Wishing only wounds the heart” —Wicked