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It’s Not Working Out

I lie in bed as the alarm clock on my phone chimes, which is not always efficient in waking me since it is soothing to the ears. Sometimes I hit snooze three or four times before I actually get out from under my covers. This usually results in scooting my five-year-old along before we have to get her to school, myself to work, and my boyfriend to DU for class.

Today is a very odd day, though I can’t figure out why. We drop my daughter off at school and decide we have time for breakfast together before I have to meet with a client who will be buying twenty birthday cards from me, which I commissioned for her. I met her at the children’s consignment store I work at, where I sell children’s jewelry and decorative cards. She is a long-time consigner to the store, and has a quirky personality and a warm smile.

The French bakery where I will be meeting my client is literally around the corner from the store I work at, so I decide to stop by and drop off my lunch and use the restroom before meeting her. As I am washing my hands, I hear my boss come in the front door.

“Alice, are you here already?”

I quickly dry off my hands, “Oh, yeah, I was just dropping my stuff off before I meet someone at the bakery before my shift.”

She looks down at the ground, “Well, I wanted to talk to you anyway.” She clears her throat, “It’s not working out. We’re really slow right now and ... well ... yeah.”

I look her dead in the eye and say, “Okay, thanks!”

She writes me my last check and I hand her the store key. While I feel burdened now, I also feel free. As I walk outside and feel the light air touch my hair I am nervously calm. It is ten minutes to the time I am supposed to meet my client now and I head to the bakery.

We talk for over thirty minutes. I tell her I lost my job, and she is supportive, yet keeps the conversation light. I make a reasonable amount for this commission and I feel a very heavy worth. Today is the day I follow a path that is brightly lit.

I realize I no longer have to deal with mice, cockroaches, unhappy consigners that never get paid from the owner, paychecks bouncing, fifty bags of dirty clothing surrounding my work space, children urinating on the floor, miscalculated hours, and getting underpaid—among other things.

This was a little over a week ago. I am now personal assistant/interior designer for a very generous friend who has allowed me to be able to pay my bills only working part-time so that I can still take my daughter to school, and pick her up, every day. I am doing something that is in my nature; I spend my workdays shopping and creating spaces within his home that are a reflection of me. 

Getting fired could not have come at a better time. I never thought by staying at a job that I was unhappy at I would be missing an opportunity where I could actually be happy. All I kept thinking while I was working at the consignment store was that it was temporary and in seven months we would relocate when I go back to school. But seven months unhappy are seven months that can not be relived. I’ll never regret getting let go at work. And I will never feel bad about it either. I am so happy I got fired.