I remember it like it was yesterday, it was Cinco de Mayo of 2007. It was the night of the Oscar De La Hoya fight, and the night that I got fired from my first job. I felt like such a failure. As I was escorted into the executive offices at Macy’s I was worried as to why I was there. I was completely confident that I was one of the best employees, and yet I still had no idea why I was getting in trouble. As I was confronted about my role in the repeated use of a coupon, I could feel my stomach tightening into tiny knots, my entire body was shaking, and I began to sweat as though it was the middle of July in the Arizona heat. That’s when I knew it wouldn’t end well.
As I tried to explain how I didn’t feel I had done anything wrong, I knew I would be fired that night. Each of my transactions had been tracked since the first purchase with the coupon. They had all the proof in front of my face; it was all on paper, every detailed little receipt. It became very clear to me why I couldn’t find my friends earlier that day during my shift. They had been told that they needed to go home as well.
My pride was shot, and to make things worse, my entire family was at my house to see me in all my faded glory. A million thoughts filled my mind as I walked outside to call my mom to come and get me. I felt such relief when I saw my friends Aliha and Sylvia outside. It was so surreal that this had actually happened. As we sat there telling our stories and talked about how stupid we were, all I could think was: ‘what is my family going to think?’ And for the first time since my Tata died, tears began rolling down my face just as the cold hard rain comes after an extensively long drought. I felt ridiculous crying over something I had essentially brought upon myself.
A few days after my dismissal, I discovered that my Nana would be needing surgery in her lower abdomen. I felt the light bulb shining so brightly on top of my head. It was one of the most foolish mistakes I had ever made in my life, but it was necessary. While we may not always see it right away, and we may not always like how everything turns out, I truly feel that every miniscule detail of your life has been planned out for you, even before you were a thought in your parent’s minds. As horrible as it may seem, my unemployment was essential for my Nana to be able to nursed back to health, at home, just like she wanted it.
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