Yesterday I got my review from my manager and was told that I’m more of less failing their expectations and in – perhaps only my pessimistic (though I may add negatively inspired responsible) sense I heard, “You’re going to get fired.”

Which, I’m sure those two are just two different ways of going about it.

You know how managers get. You know. Especially in hospitality.

Anyway, don’t shock yourself too much. I bawled. I hadn’t really meant to, and that sounds like I’m speaking about how horses will become flying unicorns and that the sewed on butterflies on the Cinderella dress in the new movie does not bother me at all. It really did. But I signed the damn thing anyway with my nostrils flooded and a mixture of tears and snot drooling down my chin onto his desk. Jeez. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Except that the biggest disappointment wasn’t the fact that I wasn’t meeting their expectations. Nor that he was reprimanding me on several different instances. I won’t even bother to add in a self defensive argument. I acknowledge I’m not perfect – but I’m pretty sure as hell I’m not that terrible. But you know how people tend to remember all the terrible terribles. My daddy told me so. And he was right.

The biggest hurdle that struck me was that I was again disappointing my family. The people that think I have my shit put together. Sure, it’s pretty materialistic for my mom and sister to love my job because I can get them half off their meals at our 5 star restaurant in the lobby and that I get to look pretty and be courteous, but who cares, right? So long as that makes them happy. And I hope that does not come off ingenuine or bitter. Because really, who cares.

But when I start to imagine what it would feel like for my mom to hear that I was not doing so put-together as she thought I had been. Or that I was not so put-together as my manager may appear to see me as. That, and how she will have to fend off in good will the damage in the maternal pride one has of their own children against other same-breed parents that are only pushing on you to strengthen their own adopted prides. God it feels pretty damn bad. And you parents out there are welcome to rebuttal me – but don’t tell me you don’t inwardly coward and feel the cavity of your chest concave and shrivel up the big pumping muscle because it squeezes out the expectations filled with love and the high hopes that were there only with good intentions, to be sure – and you pretend that it doesn’t hurt so bad and may just say, “Everything happens for a reason.” Or if you’re like me, find that you’re the one saying it over and over again though no one denied it, because who really knows why things happen the way they do.

Instead, I suck it all back up and wonder a presumptuous few dozens of moments later how the tears could roll out so easily down the side of my cheeks and how flushed and hot and angry I felt when I’m standing at the front being the oh-so-put-together person I (or did I?) set myself up to be. My manager even comes up to ask whether or not I’m alright and I say, “Of course, I’m fine.”

He looked like a mixture of relief and confusion.

I guess life’s all about that.

So I obsessively go and apply like I’m a spam lord and focus not too sharply on the future and just think that I can still deal with my savings if I have to and how I’ll just revise plans as I go.

Or like, my birthday. I had always had the intuitive sense that I was, if nothing else, mentally ahead of my peers, and now I’m too sure. Woohoo. 19.

I find I worked even harder today – be it bland enthusiasm or naivety that lifted the mental weight to think I won’t be there for the next few years so my not yet developed sense of adulthood is telling me that new places are more exciting than this. But I don’t hate this job. In fact I love the service. I love making people feel special and being in a place where the standards are high and getting the huge rush when things are chaotic and you’re always one step from a landmine of security and more hospitality bullshit – I love it. I love feeling accomplished and learning as I go.

I’m alright though, so long as I look at it like you might look at something on the surface of a pond. It’s not too clear and you know it’s not opaque in the sense that the face on the water will ripple and die away but if you will it to. Maybe I’m living with my head in the clouds.

But all I can think about is how every day I wake up listening to the same song over and over again and never feel bored, and how I feel remotely disturbed when I remember I have been wishing time to go back, to keep going back…and that if time were a sliced bread, then if one was to ride a bicycle straight across and move one millimeter off track you will eventually dip into either the far past or far future. You just don’t know it with the one millimeter.

That and to the poor fellow who confessed so straight forwardly with a heart of gold, and I fight back the sense of anxiety to panic and back away. No! Don’t push me. Push me enough to walk away. Don’t like me. And all I suddenly recall are the older fellows that had once made me swell like a balloon and then depleted me to the size of a pea. I deserve it. Is that why? But I can’t help myself to think that I still haven’t ‘arrived’ at the sense of completion I (or did I, again?) set for myself. Such silly, foolish encounters with improbable and most likely impossible things. When do we ever stop?