Friday, October 15, 2010

from there to here

Vix, and Dooj and I sometimes have conversations that start in one place and end up in a whole different spot.  Similar to getting on a train in Grand Central Station and getting off on the train ride at the Nut Tree.  Yes there was a place in California known as the Nut Tree, and it had a cheesy little train ride. 

Vix and I were laughing about my first job, "real job" when we passed the old pharmacy I worked at in high school.  I had entered the yearly Halloween painting contest sponsored by the city I think, with high school students assigned a window at most of the businesses in town.  We painted them and then they were judged and ribbons awarded.  In my junior year I won third place for a painting of two giant pumpkins in a patch wearing facial expressions like the old Greek comedy and tragedy masks.  I guess the pharmacist/owner was impressed, because I got a part time job that Christmas wrapping gifts for customers.  I learned how to wrap a gift without wasting one INCH of paper, and could tape an entire package with one strategically placed piece of tape, taught by a gruff old woman who turned out to be kinder than I first thought she was.  And I had one marvelous older gentleman customer in all the dozens of gifts I wrapped that season who tipped me 50 cents and told me thank you for doing such a good job.  I think he really felt sorry for me though, because the woman in line in front of him had hollered at me for taking so long to wrap her items.

I was rehired at the end of the year to do inventory with another girl I went to school with.  She was a senior and a personal family friend of the pharmacist so she basically was my supervisor (I have never been one to buck the system if I can just be left to do a job and not be harassed).  We worked fairly well together and worked for days with an adding machine counting every item in the pharmacy.  Then we hit enter when we finished.  And realized that the total was WAY over what the value of the merchandise was worth.  I panicked and Sandy was about panicked too, and we thought we were going to have to redo the whole thing, which was depressing.  Then someone, I am not sure who, realized we had hit one too many zeroes or something, and come out with an extra million dollars on the total.  It was fixed and even though I was embarrassed, I realized anyone could hit a million by mistake, it was probably a pretty common error, really. 

Vix laughed hard when I recounted that story, then she said we had a lot of jobs covered between us.  So I started listing everything I had done in my life:

babysitter- why I never liked pediatrics as a nurse (until Alaska that is...Eskimo babies are different...cuter)
gift wrapper-see above
inventory expert (snorking on that one)
fruit cutter- (in the orchards in the valley- earned $75 working all summer long and bought my school wardrobe with it)
political sign maker- (mom's friend running for city council needed some cheap signs that looked good and paid me $5 I think)
nurse's aide (certified)
seamstress- my crowning glory was a Princess Di replica I spent 6 months making and sewing 27,000 seed pearls and sequins on, and no I didn't hit an extra zero on that one....
air brush artist- fancied myself living in Florida doing Tshirts for a living...well I did the Tshirt part anyway...
designer- women's clothing
manufacturer-hand painted women's clothing
jewelry maker- paper (yes you can wear paper on your ears and call it jewelry)
nurse (registered)
nurse manager- no life outside work on that one
nurse instructor- fun to work with nursing students
travel nurse-see the world at someone else's expense
photographer- similar to instant painting, and instant gratification
nurse supervisor- again, but lovely job this time
artist/teacher- my current way to be able to be in two places at once

...and artist is interspersed among all that because I have painted on nearly every surface imaginable that can be painted on: faces, bodies, clothing, walls (murals), windows, signs, paper, canvas, cement, asphalt and more with most every type of paint manufactured.  Don't give me a brush with paint on it unless you need something painted, because it will get covered.

It is just interesting to me how many directions my life has taken, and is still taking.  Every day is a new adventure.  Not all days are positive ones, and sometimes the mood on me isn't conducive to more than just getting through the day.  I guess I am just lucky that most of the time, even in times of stress or sadness or anger, I eventually center myself again and realize there is still too much to do and see and I don't want to miss any of it.  And I just hope I can realize every day how lucky I am to have been on the journey to here.  I have no regrets.  And though I say I would change some things if I could, I am lying to myself.  Because if I had changed them, then I wouldn't be here.

No regrets, no regrets.  Except maybe that inventory job.  I still won't touch an adding machine.  Ask Vix.  She handles the register in our studio...I hate anything that makes a whirring sound and spits out paper with numbers on it.

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