Thursday, August 26, 2010

Memories 12: Grade 10 / age 15

In Grade10, I went to outdoor education at Strathcona; the program I was in at school, allowed us to go each year between grade 8 and 10.  That meant that it was my last chance not only to attend, but also to try out my my chosen activity, white water canoeing.

While everyone else wanted white water kayaking, and though I would have enjoyed it, I was excited about the companionship of riding two through river rapids, of not being the sole person responsible for my safety.  I was happy to be the person in the front, the one responsible for paddling, for paddling hard, for paddling steady and for paddling enough for the two of us.  The girl in the back, she was responsible for steering.  Seemed like a fair trade off to me.

It was amazing, water spraying in my face, the river roaring beneath me, it was a beautiful, adrenaline-filled serenity.  It made my heart pound and left me feeling vulnerable, strong and connected to the Earth.  I've never been white water canoeing again, but I've also never forgotten the magic of the moment and the power of the river.

I embraced my power in more than one way that year, I also got my first job.  My parents were on a two week cruise and while they were gone, I applied, interviewed and had my first shift working in a retail store in my local mall.

I would work there for about four years on a part-time basis and I loved it every moment of it.  I enjoyed talking to customers, helping them find the perfect outfit, or the blouse that fit their body 'just right'.  I was enthusiastic, but not pushy and I was always empathetic and genuine.  I shared myself with the customers and in exchange they trusted me, and they bought clothes from me.  Over the years, I had some customers that would only come in if I was working. 

I liked having my own money, my own life and my own responsibilities that had nothing to do with my family, in particular my siblings.  It was empowering to work and it still is, though these days are all about family responsibilities and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Amazing how much we can evolve over the course of a lifetime.

This is post 12/15 and is part of Mommy's Piggy Tales
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  1. It sounds like you enjoyed your job and that is soo awesome. You must have been one sales lady if you had customers asking for you!!

  2. Good for you! I worked at Express one summer and HATED it LOL

  3. I went rafting my senior year.

    You sound like the kind of salesman I like to have help me.

  4. I really did love working in retail, but I knew that it wasn't a job for a lifetime, at least not for me!
    Amber :)


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