I came to Florida because I wanted a change of scenery.
I had an unlucky (and untimely) break and I felt like things in my life were not going the way I had planned.
I was feeling negative, sorry for myself and all the while lost and ungrateful.
After vegging around for a week, I applied for some jobs. Not because I needed money to feed myself, or my family, but because I simply needed money to afford a ticket home and wanted some to spend on frivolous things.
I went in my first day with my bright blue bow tied neatly across my new black skirt expecting nothing and everything all at once. That day I was certainly not babied. I threw myself into selling and learned the art of sales goals and commission pay.
As the first week went on I met more and more of my coworkers.
I found them all to be pleasant people but all I was really worried about was how many pairs of boots I would be able to afford with my new discount.
Although still in their twenties, and many not much older than me, my coworkers all voiced their concerns in little ways. Never complaining, they would mention the number of children they had, the family they sent money to in foreign countries and their ineligibility to have their voices heard during election time.
I had gone into things believing that I was a fairly positive, upbeat person.
But would I be that same person if I was in their shoes?
Retail jobs are not lucrative sought after careers for a reason. The pay stinks and the work can wear you out fast. Not to mention that the pay is minimum wage unless you somehow figure out how to beat the lofty sales goals.
I was positive because, although many personal struggles, I had grown up in a middle class suburb in a largely sheltered life. I had never known racism, never been judged based on the color of my skin or where I was born.
I am a wide eyed white girl.
I am a wide eyed white girl.
Here were these people, coming from so many different backgrounds and huge, life struggles and they were more positive than me.
Every day I go to work knowing that God meant for me to meet these people.
The sweet Jamaican boy who loudly reminds me to praise God every day I wake up and be happy for life and dreams. He dreams of making it big one day, of bringing his family to the states and going to college.
I am 19 years old and I voluntarily took a semester off of college because I had broken a limb and decided that things were too hard for me. This man would give anything to go to college, including continuing to work his two jobs everyday as he does now.
What I mean to say is this, we are all in our own way ‘wide eyed white girls’.
We go through struggles, some bigger than others, but in the end we must always remind ourselves to be thankful.
To share our smile and warmth with strangers and give with open hearts.
And remember, that no matter how hard things get, we must find some place in our soul to forgive, grow, dream and most of all continue to love.