Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The First Time I Quit

Before I found myself living in DC, I had a short stint of living (by short, I mean about three months) in Houston. The same boy that asked me to move to DC lived there after we met in college to do Teach For America. To lessen the amount of time that we would be in a long distance relationship, I move to Texas for the summer.

Needing a job, and thinking of something I could transition to Seattle once I returned for my last year of school, I sought out a job as a barista.

I lasted 12 days.

Not even 12 consecutive days.I had to go to Atlanta (I think?) for a sorority thing after my first 5 days.

Being a barista didn't come easy. No one really was training me. I read some note sheets and then was making frozen beverages and using the cash register like my life depended on it during lunch. I was frazzled, tired ( nothing like working the 5am shift!) and not sure I was cut out for coffee making mastery.

It was a humid, soupy hot morning. I drove to the cafe, walked up to the entrances. The glass doors where dripping with condensation from the humidity, it was disgusting. Already 90 degrees at five in the morning. I knocked, since I didn't have keys and the store didn't actually open until 5:30. No one came to open the door. I could hear music, but no one was visible. I knocked again. Just more music.

I got in my car and drove home.

I didn't go back. I didn't collect my paycheck for those 12 days of work until 5 years later.

It is one of the only things I think I truly just up and quit.

Now quitting has a broad spectrum of interpretation. Yes, I've "quit" jobs. But resigned would be the more accurate term in my head. I've "quit" relationships. But I would say ended is more telling. I've "quit" violin, and soccer. But not in the way I walked away from that coffee shop that summer morning.

Many years into young adulthood my mom shared with me that a very close family friend had said that I was a unique little kid. He had never seen someone so determine as I was when it came to things I wanted or loved. I was diligent, dedicated and outright stubborn. (Which I will humbly agree with).
I don't like to walk away from something I started. I hate the idea of quitting anything. Especially in the manner of how I quit that job as a barista.That experience probably made me even more stubborn. Even more dedicated to trying to make something work a million different ways before I say " done". It is not my nature to do anything less.

But when is this a fault? When do you let go? When do you have a 5-AM-I'm-Not-Sure-This-Barista-Thing-Is-Doing-It-For-Me moment? How do you recognize that it is ok to let go of things that don't work for you? Because it is ok to do that...right?

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