You stare at it.
“Is it still moving?”
“What are those black spots?”
“Does this smell moldy or is it just me?”
You don’t even realize you’re making those faces that tell everyone around you that this situation is a little uncomfortable to you, but you know they know. You know they know and they’re just staring at you staring at the food in front you.
“Will I really like this or regret this?”
“Why do they have those giant grins on their faces?”
You admit to yourself that you’re a brave person. You like trying new things. If other people eat this, then it can’t be that bad. It just looks funny. Not funny “ha ha,” but funny “weird.” That’s ok though. You know too that looks can be deceiving.
Still you hesitate, but you don’t really have a choice at this point. You’re there. It’s there. They’re there.
You trust your friends. You really do. It’s the uncertainty. You don’t like just jumping into things. You’re the planner, the organizer, the calculator. While you don’t mind surprise gifts or parties, you have a deep appreciation for preparedness. “Always think two steps ahead” to quote your father.
Food, however, is a completely different element. You love food. Food is the one thing that you can prepare for all you want, but it could still turn out as something totally different. Food surprises are an unknown you don’t usually mind.
Finally, you take a bite…
I recently lost my job and of course it was one of my dream jobs (I have several). Not many people get to experience that and I did for almost four years. I worked in a bookstore. Yep. I worked in the bookstore on my alma maters campus. I loved it. We were a great team and quickly became a family.
Shortly after I arrived, I felt a genuine sense of comfort. Have you ever been around a group of people and felt like you just fit? Has anyone ever made you feel like YOU were their missing puzzle piece? The teammate, shipmate, that final link in the chain…
I did. For almost four years.
Do you truly love your work? I did. I woke up every day loving it. I WANTED to go to work. I never minded staying late or going in on a weekend. My bookstore was the last independent bookstore on a college or university campus left in San Antonio. In February, we were sold to Barnes & Noble’s College division. We were told in March- the week of Easter- that it was over. **stunned silence**
I know. This sounds like a sappy song. And maybe I was the only one who felt that romantic about our team, but it doesn’t matter. We will all admit to feeling like a family not just like coworkers or colleagues. It was the best feeling to have when you have to spend more time with this group, then you do with your “at home” or “real” family.
We were even considered family for many of the students, most of whom are far away from home, some from other countries. That familiarity with someone in a strange surrounding brings a lot of comfort when times get stressful and believe me those students put themselves under a mountain of stress. We loved it though and always welcomed a chance to let the students know it. We loved being around them and each other- working and laughing and having fun every day. Not many people get to experience that. I did. Every day for almost four years.
I’m going to miss it.
Soon I’ll be starting a new job with what I’m sure will be a great company, but it’s a little unnerving. Much like trying a new food, I want to do it, but I’m afraid I won’t like it. What if I don’t catch on? What if I’m not happy there? What if I hate it?
Like all new things I like to stand back and study it from afar first. It’s not that easy when it’s intangible and requires an immediate decision. I have bills to pay, you know. This requires a lot of trust and a lot of nerve. I already miss my home away from home. Leaving wasn’t something I chose for myself. It’s not something I really wanted, nothing I was really ready for or had planned to do. I really had no choice. Now there’s nothing left, but to close my eyes and take a bite.