Some of you may remember my lengthy epistles from the Birdcage last year … oh dear. ‘Twas not a good time by any accounts. Reeling from all things depressive, death, divorce, re-locating, abandonment … the list was one that should garner me an Oscar one day (at least in my mind) but it was dark.
To the point of ‘enough.’ Went back to South Africa to pack up my mother’s things, safe guard my family (particularly my children’s) heritage, rent out my house and get divorced from a man I still love dearly but who has another life now. As they say, shit happens. I had a bull pen full of the stuff but the time comes when you go … dust yourself off and start all over again.
For years I have been a stay at home mom and Kingmaker. Well, I made the kings and now it is time for me to get active. So, the travel business I have enjoyed as a hobby is becoming a full time business, as is the Event Designer with a diploma behind me and fully accredited for. Believe me, doing assignments and pretty mood boards when some neanderthal lawyer is telling I am not worth anything is challenging. But enough.
Returned to my family, and to put it mildly, possessed with the determination to succeed and be financially able which would have even the best saying ‘whoa, this lady is not for burning’, not quite yet.
So why the fourth day job? Sitting here now, feeling like Mufasa in the stampede, I will tell you. I sit at home in my flat all day – working on client’s briefs for travelling and events. I love it, but found myself cut off from the world. I needed to feel ‘in touch’, and learn. So:
- A chance lunch date with a darling and there was this sign (in more ways than one) asking for help at the delightful coffee shop.
- I enquired. ‘Of course, we need someone, who do you have in mind?
- Me. (Hush and astonishment) Unable to argue for the sign is clearly on the window, I was hired.
- Initial first day. All around are wondering what this Silver Streeter doing working in a coffee shop. Is she desperate? Is she crazy? Is she frigging up to it?
- Initial first day. Cannot move after the shift. Broken. Never been so sore or so tired. This is not how I remember being a waitron during my Varsity days.
- Persevere. Transpires that I am in awe of my colleagues who work so hard. Come from EU countries and have ambitions for more. The dishwasher has an Economics degree, others are working three jobs at a time, all are friendly, uncomplaining and an example to me.
- They think I am forty-four. Love them for this.
- Minimum wage. It’s ok for I am planning.
- The people I depended on have gone.
- And, most of all, because I can.
I do not want a job that ties me to a desk for hours and hours, summer and winter to the point where I am Miss Havisham with cobwebs and regrets about life passing me by. I am now, on my own, and doing what I need to live a life I choose.
So, my week is thus: days of business, days of working in the coffee shop and days of travelling. Volunteer days. And again, for you, why am I telling you this? It is simple – we are never too old to make exciting lives for ourselves, post whatever, to do what suits, on our own terms and nothing is too small a job, or to great a purpose.
There are stories in all of us – never think yourself above or below what you can achieve. Start with the small steps, have big dreams and know you are capable.
I am a waitron in My Silver Street. To learn, to plan, to put it into action. There is no excuse for not getting to where you want to be, you just have to suck up the small stuff and get organised, stop procrastinating and realise, like me, the past of having it all and losing it all, is not all.
It’s you coming out of that stampede and ‘shaking yourself off’. If I have learnt anything in this new situation, it’s that I am responsible for myself and I will make my children proud of who I am, and who I will become.
So if you are in the area, coffee is on me.