Oh Me Oh My

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Running to Regret

The week after my 14th birthday I got my first part-time job. I was the first of my friends to be working and I still remember buying my first item without my parents present--it was an overpriced green zip-up golf shirt from Eddie Bauer. The shirt was far too big for me and it sat in my closet for years under the assumption I would one day grow into it. I never did. My dad wears it to work doing construction now. 10 years later and some use finally came of it.

In grade 12 over lunch with my friend Holly, somewhere between the McChicken and the McFlurry, I made the decision to fast track through my final year. That afternoon I saw my counsellor and dropped all my unnecessary classes, stocking up on my OACs instead, with the knowledge that by June I would be free of the school I'd grown to hate.

Over lunch today I went to the bank and arranged my mortgage. The financial advisor had kind words to say about my willingness to save in a time when there is a lot of temptation to spend. Perhaps encouraged by her approval, (i'm weak like that) I set-up an extremely tight amoritization period with sizable payments that are going to be a challenge to meet, but not impossible.

When my friends were sleeping-in on weekends I was riding my bike at 6:00 a.m. to open the restaurant. I got a paycheck but I slowly grew to resent the place that wiped me out for $6.40 an hour, and resent even more the last-minute plans friends would devise for their weekends. Had they just given me an extra day I could have found someone to cover my shift, but 14 year-olds have no concept of "peniclling someone in". It wasn't their fault, I just started working a little too early.

I wandered around the campus at York desperately looking for an orientation I had scheduled work around. When I found it I realized that people were already mostly oriented with eachother. The majority were either living on campus or had come with friends from high school. Because I had fast tracked I didn't know anyone there. I sat in the back and listened to the Dean of Students talk about the plays put on by Vanier (I couldn't audition as they met on Tuesday nights when I worked) as well as the newspaper I always put-off writing an article for. Then he opened up the social part of the day; relay races and pub crawls, but it was almost 1:30 and my shift was at 2.

I wish I had continued with French. I wish I hadn't dropped interactive media. I wish I had lived on campus for at least a year. I had raced through high school to arrive first at a finish line that didn't exist. i was competing with no one and missing out on more than I understood.

I'm 24 now and I'm still doing it. As I signed over my life savings this afternoon all i could think about were the jobs I worked to gather those savings: flipping burgers, selling overpriced office supplies, shelving books, having people yell at me full-time. Then I thought of all the doors I was ostensibly closing: travelling abroad for long periods, being able to quit my part-time job. I guess life is all about choices and I've made mine, I guess I'm just worried I'm still running.


At 9:52 p.m., Blogger Darek/Darciu/Dariusz said...

Don't read my new post - it'll make you feel more sad than you already seem to be from this post.


And people with perceived authority (the bank lady) always have that effect on people; I practically preformed verbal sex on the bank teller that helped process the payment for my tutition yesterday.

At 8:05 a.m., Blogger Crystal said...

Remember your promise of farts and inappropriate sexual innuendo in your next post. Miss you.


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