As is my preferred way of doing this...it is after 9pm and Thurston is sacked out in bed next to me. I find irony in the fact that just as I start to feel comfortable in my life, I find myself back on the precipice of change. Tomorrow is my last shift at Twiggs. This is a place I have felt warm and safe for nearly the last 3 years (of which working the last year and half). I am distinctly aware of the fact that change breeds nervousness, anxiety, fear and sometimes grief. In leaving Twiggs to reestablish myself in accounting, I feel as though I have given over to the practical, pragmatic me that does not give a whit for the creative self that wants freedom, socialization, and unlimited possibilities that come from someplace besides an isolated office or cube, counting somebody else's representation of productivity. Then, I look at what some would consider my most enduring and meaningful creation. My son. I think how he isn't an early morning person, how he cries when we have to wake at 6.30am so I can drop him at school at 7.15am for me to be able to work at 7.30. I think of how he is joyful and eager to learn with just a simple extra hour of sleep on the days when we don't have the 6.30 wake up call. How we argue so much less when we have wiggle room with bed time. How our time together is more pleasant, creative and meaningful when neither of us are so tired and stuck to a strict timeline for our life. Then the change seems appropriate, even justified. I believe enough in myself and my skill set to believe I am capable to do the job I have been hired to do at Congregation Beth El. I fear leaving my friends, my surrogate family, the people whom I have entrusted some of my deepest personal stumbles and moments of intense happiness of the last 3 years. I am scared that I have given my love and friendship and that when gone, I will not be missed. I am at a loss of words to express how this small community stepped up to hold my hand, offer me work, and help me find purpose in the midst of personal upheaval and turmoil. I shall always be grateful to those people at Twiggs who have helped me through such a challenging time in my life.
Amy...who actually gave me the job. A regular, in her shop, joking about how crappy the job market was for people in the finance industry. How joking can turn serious in about 30 seconds flat.
Jesse...who knows many people in my various communities (over time), held my hand, hugged me, and told me to be strong and when I struggled to remember how to be strong...told me to take from my anger to keep standing. In turn I tried to remind him that he is loved and valued as a whole person, but the funny thing is that every time I told him that, I heard it for myself as well.
Christy Lea...The most generous person I have ever met in my life. The person who helped me realize how to forge new close relationships after the devastating loss of Melanie to her tragic situation. She reminds me regularly how lucky I am. I am lucky and grateful to be able to count her as one of my closest friends.
Teresa...Although she recently has left Twiggs, she was there to offer a hug and sweet sincere words. The original gestures offered to a regular customer, turned into another close friendship at a time when I thought that kind of closeness was lost to me. I now miss her as well, as she has moved to another state to try to full fill her personal dreams. We communicate almost daily still.
Mitch...He took over as manager when Amy left. Amy's shoes were a challenge to fill. Although he is very different from Amy, he won me over the first time he asked for a hug. Mitch has time and time again in the last year proven to be a person that takes the time to look at a person and their life and give it consideration, rather than just simply a work unit/employee. He is generous, kind, intuitive. He has a funny sense of humor and a philosophical slant that I absolutely enjoy. He and I can talk on various subjects and I never get bored or find myself wishing I was else where. He has been personally generous to me above and beyond the call of duty. In addition, he has made a point of trying to have his own relationship with Thurston. More over, Thurston loves spending time with Mitch. This gesture carries intensity of its own and cannot be denied in my mind.
Ian and Emily...I call them "the dream team" . They are bakers in the back of the house, they feed off each other dynamically as they work several hours together in close quarters. Their silliness knows no bounds. Their levity can change a day entirely for me. Funny thing is that both of them have a serious side. They are both quite pensive individuals with opinions that I think they would usually prefer to keep to themselves. It was at the Twiggs Christmas party that I realized that I really liked Emily. I was watching her interact with her young daughter. It was that person I wanted to know. Slowly, with my usual prodding & nosiness, Emily seems to be showing that person to me. I hope that this burgeoning friendship gets to continue. As to Ian...well he and I ...we have another commonality besides just Twiggs. He races under the Adams Ave. Bicycles flag. These communities in common make it even easier...add the fact that Ian obviously loves food, writes and has a sweet sometimes silly sense of humor. I feel a connection with him that I take delight in. In small gestures that I believe he isn't always aware of, he demonstrates his thoughtfulness and kindness that I think all to many men these days, try to sublimate within themselves. I hope this piece of Ian never changes. I am hopeful for a lasting friendship with him.
Bernie and Dan...The ultimate thanks and gratitude lay with them. They own Twiggs. If they hadn't taken some of the chances they have, this post would be pretty meaningless. They provided the means with which all of these connections have been possible for me. For this, I am always grateful.
There are others who have passed thru the doors at Twiggs, whether they are old employees or new employees, all have had impact on me and my experience in the last 3 years. I have friendships with Shaun, Marissa, Shanna, Victoria, and Dusty because of Twiggs employment. There are regulars who, because of living and working in this community, have become dear to me, and I am not sure where I would be without all of their friendships...Linda, Joe, Tony & Jen, Robert, Carlyn & Matt, Yvonne, Eric just to name a few.
This post has been written with my face flooded with tears. Although all of these people will still be here, it is me that once again chooses to change. In times past, my change has meant losing people. My fear has justification born of experiences in the last 3 years.
For any who read this and have known me for many years, this job has been like working at Jimbo's again. There is nothing in my life that I would ever change about having worked at Jimbo's. I worked there 22 years ago, and although none of us work there any longer, literally the people whom I call my BEST FRIENDS all are from that job. Diana. Daena. Chemynne. Blake. I could not imagine my life without these people. These four friendships have endured living in separate states, relationships, joys and tragedies.
Perhaps then I should have hope that these people that I have worked to forge a connection with at Twiggs will be among those very few I call my BEST in the next 20 years of my life. Love and blessings to all my friends whether old or new. Thank you for all that you have given to me.