When I was eighteen, I got my first job in the United States. I worked as a waitress in a major chain restaurant. I really didn't like the pressure or the pace of the job, but I needed to make money so that I could go to college. I remember being incredibly nervous every time I clocked in. Not only was I insecure, my boss was a total jerk.
"Are you stupid, Michelle?!" he would shout "If I have to cancel ONE MORE ITEM, it's coming right out of your check!"
His constant sneers and insults sent me home crying more times than I care to count. It was not the best way to establish my work ethic. As a matter of fact, his hurtful words and painful mockery made me more insecure than I had ever been.
If that was even possible.
But a long time has passed since then. Twelve years, to be precise. In that time, I have managed to push myself through college, get married, move to a different country, be a news writer, radio producer, television director, theatre director, teacher, counselor, marriage therapist and more. I had every dream job that I ever wanted, I traveled the world with my husband, and eventually settled down and had a beautiful little girl.
I went from being an insecure girl to a confident woman.
Just the other day I had to come back to Texas to and do standard maintenance on my car. I was led to the customer service desk where a representative was waiting to service my car. Little did I know, that sitting behind that desk would be none other than- yes, you guessed it- my cruel EX-boss!
"Good morning, maa'm-" he started to say.
Then, the look.
"I used to work with you," I said.
"Yeah, I remember... So, how's life?"
I gave him a brief recap of the whirlwind of events that have shaped and molded me. Life had done a lot of turning since I last saw him, and I know he could tell. I was no longer the insecure little teenager who feared his every word. I was the grown woman handing him the keys to service my car.
"Please make sure that the oil is changed and that all the fuses are working properly, " I ordered "I don't want any warning lights turning up. Call me when it's done."
And just like that- in an unexpected turn of fate- I found myself walking away with a spring in my step. The world had changed, and I could hold my head up high.