Sunday, August 22, 2010

So Long And Thanks for all the Lake!

Nearly three weeks ago, I gave notice of my resignation. Three weeks ago, Thursday still seemed like half an eternity away. Today, it feels... well... it feels like it's three shifts/four days away, but that's only because I wrote this part of the post yesterday.

Still, that hasn't stopped me from being all reminiscent-y about things. I remember my first "real" job. I was a cashier at a grocery store and I worked there 3 years. By the time I left, most of the people I'd started with (including the store manager) and got along best with had left, I'd developed pain in my arms from the repetitive motions, and Death by Sheer Boredom was a distinct possibility.

That said, on my last day, I sobbed in the car until a random lady knocked on the window and asked if I was all right.

Since then, I've left other jobs, sans tears, so I can't help but think the fact that my brain's bypassed all those jobs and brought me back to that particular memory can only be a sign of impeding emotional-ness. After all, this is the longest I've worked with one company since then, and ever. I've been working for this company since I graduated in 2006. I'm not counting the years. I did that a few days ago and it was scary. I then blocked the memory.

Strangely, the other memory that keeps floating back is when I graduated Grade 6. Not Grade 8. Not high school. Not university. But Grade 6. Pssst, Memory? You are weird.

Anyway, I would have been about 11, even though that number seems far too small to be accurate. I had moved to Toronto only 2 years before and those years were terrible. The kids at the school hated me before I even walked through the door. They made fun of everything about me. My mom used to tell me they didn't spend their time trying to figure out how to make my life impossible, but even now, I maintain it was a favourite past-time of theirs.

(Of course, I also maintained for the longest time that a mouse jumped out of the TV (from The Nutcracker) and that I chased it around the living room until it ran out the door, so you know, it is possible I'm wrong. It's not likely, but it is possible.)

In preparation for the graduation ceremony, the teacher traced the shadows created by the silhouettes of our heads. It sounds strange now, but somehow it made sense at the time. My hair (which deserves its own blog post) and I have had a tumultuous relationship since birth. In an effort to be like every other girl, I forced it into a pony tail because I liked that clean S-shaped hair-shadow effect they all had going on. My hair laughed in the face of S-shapes and repaid me with a blob-shaped shadow. No exaggeration needed. It was a blob. Possibly even The Blob.

The cardboard versions of these silhouette head-shadows were posted around the gym because it's always important to be surrounded with one's own mortification as one graduates, or in my case, as one delivers the Valedictorian speech.

Yes, I was Valedictorian for my Grade 6 class. It was an empowering experience, mostly. It was also hot. I was wearing a very uncool (in both senses of the word) long Laura Ashley dress. This seems important to mention, for some reason.

Mostly what I remember is writing the speech. And delivering it in a room full of people who made fun of me, their parents, my parents, and the cardboard version of my Hair's Evil Shadow of Doom watching from somewhere on the gym wall.

In my speech, I compared the graduating class to fish who'd outgrown their ponds. I said the ponds had nurtured us and been our homes for so long, but it was time to swim out into the large lake, to discover the world (of Grade 7). And I told everyone that, though this was scary, it was also exciting, because we had come so far, but we had so much farther to go (in Grade 7). It was a good, wise speech.

The strangest thing about 'seeing' this memory? Adult-me isn't the one giving the speech. I'm in the audience. I'm listening to a girl who didn't quite realize she was a child, a girl who'd eventually overcome more adversity than she knew existed (I mean, the hair alone...) give a speech about a school of fish taking chances.

If Grade 7 was a lake, I'm not sure what body of water I'll be standing in front of on Thursday, as I leave a job that's been my home (No, really, I've actually answered the question of where I live with: "The airport. Oh, wait, you mean, where I live... heh...) for far too long. A sea? An ocean? Another really big pool of water I can't think of a name for?

So, thanks for the speech, kid. And don't worry, when your graduation's over, you won't take that awful poster of your Hair's Evil Shadow of Doom with you, and eventually you and your hair will make peace. Mostly.

Anyway, time for this fish to swim out into deeper, scarier, and far, far more exciting waters.

Heh. I realize now that I haven't actually talked about the job I'm leaving, even though that's what this blog was supposed to be about. That's kind of funny. Can I pretend it was intentional?

Oh, I know! Here!

I Owe You:

One Blog Post about Working in the Lost and Found Before I Forget All About it

One Blog Post About my Hair, Possibly Including Embarrassing Photos of my Youth

One Blog Post Ensuring You Finally Know if You Are Indeed a Troll

Until next time, may we venture a little farther out to sea and learn the true strength of our fins!


(No, I mean, that's the end. Or rather, the beginning. Of the end. I'm just kidding. I only mean you can stop reading now. And... start commenting! See? It really is a beginning!)


  1. Fin, like on a fish. LoL ...intentional or accidental?
    - CatnipKitty

  2. LOL. Definitely intentional! :D

  3. Oh, thank goodness - my Troll test got a mention! Huzzah!