Have you ever felt lost? Like you’re there but still not really there? Have you ever questioned your purpose? I don’t mean to pry or seem a bit like a nosy Nicky but that’s how I feel. Lost. Like someone blindfolded me took me to the woods and spun me around twenty times before running off and leaving me to my own devices. I exist enough to get by. I survive, I don’t live.
You remember when you were in kindergarten? The teacher would ask what everyone wanted to be and all the children would shout out their answers except for one who’d say ‘I don’t know.’ I’m that kid but instead of being five, I’m banking on thirty! Darn shame. I didn’t know a grown woman could still not know what she wanted to be when she grew up. Age is just a number according to my life, apparently. While all my friends are busy with careers and kids, I still get excited over 90’s cartoon reruns. Sad…I know.
I was an Art History major in college. Graduated top of my class. I thought, ‘Yes! This is just the beginning!’ Who was I kidding? At no point has knowing about the life’s work of a dead painter helped me. My eye for color did come in handy at my old department store job though. Oh, the joys of telling women not to wear red at a funeral unless they’re planning to turn on the corpse. Point being my degree hasn’t been put to good use since I got the dang thing.
It’s ten past five in the morning and I’ve only been up about fifteen minutes. I’ve been pondering so many thoughts since my hazel eyes opened. As usual, I sat down at my desk with a cup of coffee and something to write my thoughts down on. Oh, I ‘m a writer. I write! Saying that sounds so good but the reality is I’m unemployed trying to make a few extra bucks. My last job laid me off due to budget cuts. Who would have thought that being overqualified to slice pizza would skyrocket me into being one of the first to be let go? So, anyway, I write because it cost me nothing and if I’m lucky I can chalk out about three to five articles that cost twenty bucks a pop. And when I say three to five, I mean in a week because my brain was definitely not made to come up with so much info in one day.
I’m working on this article about how difficult childcare can really be. I can make one hundred bucks if it’s approved. Hello! I need a bit more cheddar than what I get from those unemployment checks. If I get good at this, I can actually start my career as a real writer. At this point I’m desperate because my stints as an assistant, a bookkeeper, a secretary, and a teacher’s aid were complete failures. At least with writing I can’t schedule strippers for a party instead of sitters. It was for a childcare providers meeting. I knew I should have double checked to make sure I heard right. I also won’t be able to miscalculate charity’s money, send an email telling someone my boss thought they were an a-hole which I had no idea wasn’t meant to be the headline, or manage to glue my fingers together after thinking white glue was white paint. Writing is safe and I’m in no way able to reuin anything just by writing an article. I think.
Now, I have no kids so I don’t know anything about them. I’m an only child and didn’t even have so much as a pet. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve been around kids. Getting this project was a little unnerving but I can do it. Luckily, I have a friend who runs an at home daycare and she’s letting me spend a day with her. A whole day. Am I excited? Not really. Am I scared? Heck yes! I’m way too nervous to be excited. What if I mess up? Mix up glue and paint again?
I have about forty-five minutes to get ready and meet Jan at her house. She says that early drop off is at 6:30 am and I should be there so I can get the full experience. My coffee isn’t strong enough today! After I threw something on, I wrapped my hair in a messy bun. I don’t even want to look in the mirror right now. Before I left the house, I stuffed my tablet, a few pens, and a notebook into my mangled camel color handbag. Lucky for me, I spot some breakfast bars I crammed into the bag a few days ago. I guess I won’t have to skip a meal.
Once I got to Jan’s, she greeted me with a smile and a hug. She then hurried me up to the front steps of the house. She wore a very colorful outfit. It looked like a nurse’s uniform. She also had on tennis shoes that looked like they’d been through war. I’ve never seen Jan like this before, bare faced, hair up, calm. She just smiled a big smile. I’ve only seen that smile after she’s had a few drinks in her system. I guess it’s a universal smile, you know, like the one remote you can use on different brands of TVs.
It wasn’t long before the first car pulled up, then another. Jan had a big driveway. A bit too big. My entire apartment building could fit on it. Okay, I’m exaggerating but it is huge.
Every time someone pulled up she’d go to their car and remove kids from the backseat. She says it to offer parents some help. They don’t have to worry about getting out the car and walking their kids inside only to have to hop back in the car and drive. My first thought when she said that all the kids had arrived and we could go in was, “So it begins.” It was too late to back out. Darn it!