Better Than Nothing

I got the call yesterday, but it was conditional; now that the "conditions" have been satisfied (background check), I can share that I have been offered a job at Target. Yeah, the department store. Part-time, ungodly hours all days of the week and weekend, and compensation significantly less than I've made in years. But, it'll be flexible and accommodating to a prospective student. I have to power through this for the next year to get to a better, brighter place.

I'll start Monday, so I can still catch Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend as planned with my dad and daughter. Still catch the Kentucky Derby. Relish in my last few days of freedom.

I had to take it. Sure there will be benefits to reap, like that flexibility for a student and a discount at a store that we shop, but I've had no income for more than a month now. Also yesterday, I got the final decree and determination regarding my unemployment benefits, which is to say, I have none. In Oklahoma, if you're fired, you're not eligible, it's looked at the same as voluntarily quitting. Basically, you can only get unemployment here if you're laid-off. So, since I was fired, surreptitiously, over a mistake everyone and their dog thinks shouldn't have warranted anything more than write-up at worst, I am ineligible and disqualified from unemployment. I barely paid my personal bills last month and that thanks in large part due to donations from the GoFundMe I set up in an effort to get out from under my mountain of debt.

Times are going to be tough, it's a matter of fact. I've been pulling in over thirty grand a year for a few years now, and still was living paycheck to paycheck, but I wasn't behind on anything and had a little room for entertainment. Now we're going to be largely relying on the ALT's income...for now. This is a bump in the road, or rather, this is barely a dirt-road through a thick set of woods, but we're going to transition from crumbling bridges to towering overpasses.

Toward my stress, depression, and anxiety? I'm fearful of the stress a retail job will introduce, of the further stress working it while being a student will put on me and my family. I'm trying to focus on the aforementioned positives. But the thing that strikes me the most about the position I'm now sitting in—broke, taking on a retail job, and looking at returning to school for 9 months later this year—I realize I'm basically having my senior year of high school all over again, 20 years later. Talk about exposure therapy! This is right where I was at 17/18 when things started to fall apart between my mother and I, and thereby my life, as I look back on it.

And next week would've been her 56th.

I can't travel through time and make things right, but this is the closest thing to it I'm ever going to get. I have an opportunity to course-correct a ship that's been aimlessly lost at sea for too long. I'm grabbing a hold of my life.

Step Right Up