Choose your own adventure

My mom is a reader. Growing up in a small town, with my dad working shift work and only one vehicle, we walked around town, mom found low budget things to keep us entertained. I think she read every book in the small town library. We would go a couple times a week. Rain, shine, sleet and snow. Kicking leaves, or mom would pull us on a pig of a wooden toboggan. Each of us kids picking out a few books each. I read Nancy Drew, the babysitters club, novels like the hobbit, and lord of the rings before we had to in school, I read VC Andrews, and Anne Rice, See how hip I am, I was into vampires before they were cool. Funny that I can’t watch scary movies, but I can read the thrilling books.
You would think I would have liked the choose your own adventure books. Remember them? You come to a part in the story, where you choose a path, option “a” is page 246 option “b” is page 302. So you decide the path the story will take, and each decision is then subjected to further decisions. I hated them. What if I was making the wrong decision? what if I didn’t like the way the story ended? What was wrong with the author that they couldn’t just write the damn book? Why did I have to decide?? I wanted to be led, by the hand and shown this tale, have the bricks laid on my journey. I would read till I had to make a decision, mark the page, and read a bit of both option “a” and “b”. Even as a kid I liked to know the facts, make informed decisions. I would run out of fingers and thumbs to mark the pages, and because I didn’t want to commit specifically the story would no longer make sense. I stopped reading those stupid books. I started hanging around with my friends at the arcade, there were boys there.
I was thinking of those stupid books last week. Funny how my coping, or inability to cope with the decision making at 13 hasn’t magically disappeared at 33. I make decisions for other people all day every day. I struggle with my own deal. Damn codependent.
I have a great Job. I am at the top of my ladder. I get paid well for what I do. No one tells me what to do, when I should work, who I should hire, what I can and can-not do (Except the province of BC liquor laws.) My Boss has been incredibly understanding the last few month while I had a complete melt down. I have long standing relationships with most of my reps and suppliers. I am a medium sized fish, not big, but not small. I get a lot of “perks.” I have been in the liquor business in one way or another for 15 years. I know things. And I make a mean martini.
The down sides of my job, well, long weekends are busy, and although no one tells me I have to work them, I do feel responsible, and like to give staff a chance to take them off here and there. I am responsible, for the store, equipment, and violations to the liquor and control act as my name in on the licence. I am responsible for upwards of a half a million dollars worth of inventory and a staff of 10. I sell booze and cigarettes. But I rarely drink and I never smoke. It is heartbreaking to watch people drink themselves to death. Buy a mickey with cash and one on debit, so your wife doesn’t know you are drinking twice as much as she thinks you are. Collecting bottles and dirty dimes to scrape up enough cash for a bottle of cooking sherry. Yellow stained finger tips and rotten teeth. Breaks my heart. Yes they are adults, and make their own decisions, but I still feel it. There is always theft, things going “missing” and fraud. Cash and product. And neither of those things are mine. Managing other people can be challenging, and with a relatively low skill level required of most retail clerks it can be extra challenging (I have great staff comparatively, drama free). If some nair-do-well decides they want to smash a window for a bottle of cheer at 4 in the morning, I get the phone call, and have to line up the police, security camera footage, which is never at the right spot at the right time, and arrange repairs. If I work the till, I get to socialize, but the mountain of paperwork gets bigger, If I sit in the office doing paperwork I feel like I’ve been bad and get lonely. I hate counting cash. It’s dirty. And not mine so although I feel like I should care, I don’t. Generally I dislike most of the office work, maybe I just hate that office. If someone calls in sick, if I can’t pull in a favour or get it covered, I am stuck there. I am at the top of my ladder and although there are a couple more rungs, I’m close to the ceiling. There are still things to learn, and ways to grow, but the role I am in now, I feel proficient. The majority of my tasks at this point feel repetitive, and a little futile. I do not want to be doing what I am doing now in 10 years. Or 5 years, or really even tomorrow…
I have been offered a new job, doing something I have never done before. It is a chance to swim in a bigger pond. I will have to take a small step down, less money to start, I’ll lose some perks, and it is completely unknown. It would mean a move back to kelowna. (some of you just cheered a little, I know you did, and some of you did not…) This creates a mixed emotion for me. I have great people in Kelowna, but I have cultivated great people in penticton, I love the gym, and my gym partner, the saturday market, R, BRE and my amazing girl date partners. It’s pretty here, and finally comfortable. But still, I miss my Kelowna peeps, windfield crew and vernon family, being in Kelowna would make me more central. But starting over…once again…
The world is before me, I have no one to provide for or consider. I just need to choose my own adventure. Option A or option B. I hate this.

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