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I don’t write often anymore, though I should.  I just haven’t had the time or the motivation much as of late.

My psychiatrist thought, at my last appointment, that I was making incredible progress on the double dose of my antidepressant.  Such good progress, in fact, that unless something changes, I don’t need to go back and see him until July.  He still wants me to see the therapist, but now that I don’t have a schedule several weeks in advance, or even a particularly set schedule, it’s going to be hard to work something out.

Oh. Right. That’s the other big thing.  Last week, I spoke with my bosses about stepping down from my position managing the women’s department in my store.  Honestly, I was never the right fit for that position, and I inherited a mess–one that I couldn’t make much progress fixing.  And honestly, I was getting really, really tired of constantly being told my best wasn’t good enough and breaking out in hives from the stress.  I’ve cried a lot at my desk and at home after work in these past few months.  It finally got to the point where I needed to prioritize my mental health over my very stressful job, and I think my bosses understood that.  They’ve been extremely supportive of my decision to step back, especially since the day I broke down crying in my store manager’s office after being lectured about everything I wasn’t doing to their standards.  More than anything, they wanted to see me stay at our store, even if it wasn’t as the women’s department supervisor.

It feels weird to still be working in my store but not directly on that department all of the time; I’m still technically a manager but a lot of my work now is on the operational side of things, which I’m more comfortable with by far.  I help with pricing and signing and the truck again, I process defective items for return so our store gets credited back for them, and I do online order checkins and collect items for same-day pickup orders.  Soon I’ll be working on the store’s bank deposits and helping make sure things are correct on the money side of things.  This week I’ve been doing a lot more with the asset protection team to prevent shoplifters from taking off with a bunch of our merchandise, and I’ve been part of a couple of successful stops in the last couple of days.  Of course, I’m still answering manager calls, helping the front-line associates everywhere I can, and carrying a lot of keys.

If anything, the last several months have given me more confidence when it comes to working with other people.  I’m still an extreme introvert, I still need time to recharge after work, but now I can walk right up to someone and start a conversation with them.  I’m comfortable expressing my opinions and floating new ideas to my peers.  And in general I feel like a braver, stronger, more kick-ass Boss Lady.  Hopefully this will help me achieve my current goal of being out of retail by my 30th birthday, which is at the end of November.

Some people can build a successful career in retail (my mom and my uncle are both in retail management too), but it’s not really what I want out of life.  I want to do things that will make people stop thinking history is “boring”.  I want to help a new generation of Americans understand who we are, and who we have been, as a culture.  I want to help people discover where they and their families came from so they can look back at their heritage with pride and understanding.  These are all things I can’t really do while I’m collecting hundreds of surplus plastic hangers and explaining basic math to people, all while not knowing what I’ll be doing at work from day to day or what my schedule will look like from week to week. (Shift work makes it really hard to commit to volunteering!)  For now, I’m throwing applications, my CV, and writing samples everywhere I can, and hoping one will stick sometime soon.

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