So I’m working nights now, a seeming throwback to a lifetime ago. 9 years ago or so I was working nights, a younger me, early twenties, riding the subways and streetcars at empty hours, alone with the hush of the snow, the warning bells, the odd drunk.
I’d stumble home near 2am, on paydays I’d order pizza and rush to the nearest bank machine, starved. No debit at the door then, and I, without credit, had to run for money. Sometimes I’d catch the delivery man getting out of his car, and exchange money for food in monosyllables as the moon rose and the air chilled.
It was just a job, a way to pay bills and support my magazine and coffee habit, the one that had taken root at Bloor and Bathurst, in a cup of muddy water in the sun.
Years later, a world away, not just a few provinces and languages, I walk home under the same dark sky, the stars a little dimmer in places, my legs perhaps a little weaker. Sometimes the same music blasts in my ears as my hair, flares in my wake. It’s changed. With two children and age, my hair has settled to me, it’s wave defined, it’s body stripped and weakened. My body has changed, my hips clicking into a place I can now love, marks from pregnancy tattooed across my belly.
Things are different, but not quite how imagined them. I look back at the girl doing this same shift, much the same job, and wave to her silence, to her solitary time in the hippie bookstore. But I don’t wish to return. There’s a woman here now-borne of time, of age, of marriage, of children, of choices, of mistakes. She misses the magazines, the time well wasted. She misses indian food weekly and lying in bed all day with her love.
But she loves her confidence, and she loves being loved. She might grumble at being jolted awake by a small sticky face 5 hours after falling into bed, but she’s miss it if it wasn’t there. She loves to stare at the same stars, and try to remember if she dared wish for any of this.
30 seemed so far off, so daunting, and so firm an ending. Her reward for it’s passing? Finding her, finding the girl she lost, the woman she should have been, and picking her up, setting her gently on her feet.
I would never go back, except for one thing. I could run on a lot less sleep then.
I’m so so bloody tired lately. I know it’s the switch but DAMN it sucks. I can sleep for days, and still wake up completely exhausted. The other day I had dizzy spells so bad for a few hours I couldn’t move without holding on to things, something I’m attributing to eating these ridiculous little “entrees” for dinner each night then walking 3.5kms. And headaches-at least 2 of 3 nights my head pounds until I want to be sick.
Other than that, I’m enjoying work. I’m good at it without working hard, and have already been told people have noticed my performance. (In a good, non-sexual type way) Granted, if I wasn’t good at this job, I’d kill myself, but paving the way for the promotions I want is never a bad thing, even three weeks in on the job.
It’s strange to have a drive to get somewhere, whereas before, I didn’t much care.
I’m relaxed though, and happy enough to go to work. I’m happy to see my husband, happy to see my kids-hell, I was singing and dancing while roasting a chicken today. I’m just…well, happy.
And I damn well deserve it, even if it’s taken years to grab on and cling to my shoulders.