To my first job


Lydia Bolger

My best friends and I during one of our shifts.

Six months ago, spontaneously, my best friend and I applied for a job at a sandwich shop, working our first days a week later. Six months after, just as seemingly out of nowhere, I received a text stating that, without knowing it, I had already worked my last day. 

Surprisingly, I didn’t make a colossal mistake that resulted in my dismissal. Unfortunately, the unfair and arbitrary world of business just happened to decide that it was time for the restaurant to close its doors. Naturally, being an emotional teenage girl, this resulted in an unreasonable amount of tears on my part.

I reacted similarly when my mom took down my brothers’ and my baby photos off the walls to be replaced with more recent pictures of us, or when my best friend’s parents even made the suggestion of getting a new kitchen table. The concept of change has haunted me for the entirety of my life; I consistently try to conceal myself from its unfamiliarity.

I realized, however, that was the only driver of my fear: unfamiliarity. I had a vision of what my last day at that job would be: one final, and most likely dramatic, goodbye before I head to my first day of college. However, in one text message, a fraction of a moment, that part of my future was altered completely—showing me everything else must be just as fragile.

Although, after divulging in self-reflection and searching for the meaning of this change, I found it. Familiarity creates undisclosed problems. My first job was all I thought I would know until I was a fully functioning adult—capable of making career-path-type decisions. This was a sign that I need to experience more than that. 

At my first job, I met people capable of showing me a completely different perspective on the world. People who I aspire to be like in so many different ways because they taught me lessons that I absolutely had to learn in the past six months to be who I am now. 

These people, who were strangers only half a year ago, taught me that life works out. Because of them, I’ll always celebrate Christmas extravagantly, I might get a tattoo, I will never again judge a person by their appearance or their past, I know more about taxes, and I’ll try to talk a little bit more when I meet new people. 

Maybe it’s time for those individuals to become my past because there are new people in my future, waiting to share their lessons with me. 

Maybe it’s time for those individuals to become my past because there are new people in my future, waiting to share their lessons with me. 

At my first job, I experienced the wonders of the world within the barriers of four walls. I watched some of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen during my evening shifts, and when the sun hit just right during the day, I saw pristinely painted rainbows scattered across the counters and walls. 

Although I’ll miss these moments of purity and serenity, the world has so much more beauty for me to experience, maybe even within the walls of another establishment. The sun will set no matter where I will be, and there are rainbows scattered everywhere. 

At my first job, I was given the best possible introduction to the real world and what it holds for me. However, I’m glad that I’ve been able to conclude the purpose of this chapter in my life. This place, these people, the memories made all served their purpose excellently. I’m at peace with the idea of change now, all because of a sandwich shop and the contributions that it made to who I am now.