Sunday, January 14, 2007
Bath and Body Works and Sandy Duncan
I've had a job at Bath and Body Works off and on for the last three or so years. I originally took it as a way of supplementing my income while doing theatre because the reality is that acting doesn't always pay the bills. I certainly never intended to make a career of it. In fact, I had never stepped into a Bath and Body Works store until I went in for the job interview.
The job didn't pay much, but I did enjoy the work I did, which was stocking supplies. It meant I didn't have to deal with customers very much, which I liked, and the job itself appealed to my anal-rententive need to put things in their "proper" place. I also was quite fond of the flexibility in my schedule. My bosses have always been absolutely great about working with my theatre schedule. And, for the most part, I enjoyed my co-workers.
I actually got really good at the job and was considered one of the most organized, dependable, and responsible workers there; so much that each time I went out of state to go to school, my old bosses were very eager to have me back for the Christmas and summer seasons when I would come back home.
But each time I have gone back, I have grown more tired of the job. The day before my last day was just a bad day. I am generally a very positive person, always trying to look on the bright side of things, but this particular day I just was feeling a very negative energy. It started when I got my paycheck. It was much lower than I had anticipated (not that I was expecting it to be huge or anything). Much of that was due to the government taking out so much (which I'm sure I will be thankful for later - I think I'm due for a refund this year), but it just sunk in that the job is no longer worth the money. I work really hard there, and it just plain doesn't pay enough. That isn't anyone's fault; that's just the way it is, but it made me ask myself why I still continue to work there. There are still a lot of good people that work there, but they've also been hiring a bunch of slackers lately, and three co-workers and two managers, in particular, have been getting on my nerves. I just no longer enjoy the atmosphere. My boss (the head manager, who I adore) said she would be moving out of state in April, and that leaves only one person in charge that I like. Also, the company has had a software problem that has caused their computers to commit clerical errors that cause the distribution center to send us an overabundance of stuff we don't need and none of what we do, and as a stockperson that can be frustrating. Anyway, it just all was adding up, and this particular Friday, I decided that I'm done working there. I never say never, but I'm pretty sure that was the end of the road for me as far as Bath and Body Works is concerned. It's time.
Don't get me wrong. I really did enjoy my time there. It's a good company, and there were certainly other benefits I received by working there, but it's time to move on to other things. (By the way, my last day was much, much better.)
So school starts on Tuesday. Only four more months, and I am done with school. Yea! Very exciting (and just a tad scary)! I know it's going to go by very quickly. As I was walking on campus yesterday I thought to myself, "This is it: the beginning of the end." I will miss it immensely. This program has been immeasurably fabulous.
It's been nice seeing Jonah again. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the love he showers on me. Two days ago we went to Soup or Salad, a place that both my mom and Jonah like that I don't enjoy so much. I happened to be on the phone with my mom and she was ribbing me about going to Soup or Salad with Jonah when she wouldn't go with me. Then she asked to talk to Jonah, and they were joking with each other about me. It felt really good to know that my mom and my boyfriend were joking around with each other. It makes me more comfortable. My mom's incredible. Jonah's incredible. I'm very blessed.
Jonah's going through some tough stuff with his family. It's really hard for him. It hurts me to see him in pain, but many of these issues are things he has to work out himself. I'm just trying to remain supportive, like he was with me when I was really having a hard time with my religious issues.
We've been talking pretty seriously about moving in together. Not sure when it will happen (he still has stuff to work out before it can happen), but it's both exciting and scary to think about. I'm a pretty independent person, so it's unnerving sometimes to think I'm settling down with someone. Yet, at the same time, I'm glad I've arrived at a point in my life when I'm actually willing to settle down with somebody and, honestly, I can't imagine finding a better mate than Jonah.
I don't know what's right or wrong for everybody else, nor would I dare to influence anyone else to choose what I have chosen, but I know this: I am much happier, much less stressed, less uptight, more open, and more at peace than I was when I was trying so hard to live a life that never felt like my own. It's strange because I still believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I just can't deny that. I wouldn't want to. Yet, in some unexplained way, I don't feel guilty for living my life contrary to what I've been taught, and I feel that my relationship with God is very, very good (in many ways, better than it's been in a long time). What much of this has taught me is that God's love for me is unchanging, something I thought I believed, but realize I didn't understand until now (not to say I have a full grasp on it by any means).
I would be lying if I said I don't have the occasional day whn I wonder if I'm deluding or fooling myself, but most of the time I feel very, very good about where I am. I'm looking very forward to my future.
Final note: I got to meet Sandy Duncan the other day. For those of you who may not be familar with her, she was in the TV mini-series, "Roots"; the Broadway production of Peter Pan; she was in such Disney favorites as The Cat from Outer Space, The Million Dollar Duck, and The Fox and the Hound; she replaced Valerie Harper on the TV series, "The Hogan Family"; and she did a series of Wheat Thins commercials in the late 70s, early 80s, I believe. I've loved her since I was a kid. I always had such a crush on her when I was a child. I just loved her smile. Anyway, I got to meet her, and I was such a doofus. The minute she flashed that smile of hers, I just became a babbling idiot. I don't get star struck very easily (heck, I worked onstage with Sally Struthers and wasn't fazed all that much), but she reduced me to a pool of fawning incoherency. She either thought I was cute or retarded. Oh, well. It was nice to meet her, and at least she was kind and gracious. I always have a fear that I'll meet somebody I admire, and they'll turn out to be a complete jerk. Fortunately, this was not the case with her.