When I was 16, I was a cashier for a family owned sporting goods store. Almost all of my coworkers were burly surly men with hearts of gold. Being 16, I became quite attached. I remember one day someone let it slide that one of the burly surlies was leaving. I burst into tears. “You know he’s not mad at anyone or got fired, right? He’s just leaving,” I remember my boss explaining with a bemused expression on his face. “I’m just going to miss him!” I sobbed. I remember thinking that worklife was inconceivable without this man. I was convinced the next time I drove into work, I would find the building in a heap of rubble.
Lo and behold, the building stood firm. The next week work was fine, maybe even fun. And I was so sad about that. It didn’t seem right that customers kept coming, camo pants kept selling, and I kept ringing people up with my signature charm. The store should have stuttered. It wasn’t right that someone who was such a big figure in that store could just suddenly be gone and nothing skippped a beat.
I have since recovered from my first work-departure trauma, but this same idea still holds true. This year has been majorly suck -o. We’ve lost a kind caring Grandpa, two dogs that we practically considered our children, and a nephew with a sweet purity and strength that my heart is eternally seared. Each loss was so heavy. And of course we had some sweet friends and family who expressed sympathy, but after a few weeks everyone moved on. Including me, in some sense. I still get up in the morning, I still get very stressed about work, and I still get excited when one of my favorite tv shows drops a new season. I guess I should be grateful that I’m not in a dysfunctional depressive state, but I almost want to be. I don’t want the universe to think it can get away with that sort of crap and it not change anything. It doesn’t seem right that people or doggies that I loved that much can just vanish and I keep functioning like they were random bugs that splattered on the windshield.
Whatever happens, life will go on. And I think that’s incredibly rude.