I was beginning to feel physically better now that I was getting my body back in shape and giving it the fuel that it needed but I was still broke. Another tricky thing about medical bills is
that your provider has 8 months to file a claim with your insurance company. Every time I thought I had written my last check another claim would show up in the mail from an appointment six months ago that I had forgotten about. I was doing a pretty good job of staying financially afloat but life was so monotonous and an unexpected expense like needing new tires for my car or three friends getting married in one summer could threaten to send my checking account back into a tail spin. I began to look around for a second job. Something I could do at night or on weekends and that could be lucrative with a minimal amount of time commitment. But after a fairly exhaustive search nothing seemed to line up with my full time work schedule which was inflexible. Babysitting was not a steady stream of income and most admin jobs working a front desk also wanted more of a time commitment than I could give.
There was always waiting tables. In college I had worked the Saturday and Sunday early morning shift at a diner on music row to make rent. How I went out and partied like I did and then got up at six to go to work I’ll never know. Another example of “if there’s a will there’s a way” I guess. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing more miserable than having to hand scoop ice cream milkshakes for your friends when they roll in at noon still in their pajamas and make-up from the night before in desperate need of a greasy cheeseburger and fries when you have been up and working for five hours already.
Correction, the only thing that makes it more miserable is when you try to mix three shakes at once and don’t prop the metal tin on the magnet below the mixer correctly and turn away to ladle out some vegetable soup for table 12. That metal tin will spin like a top and sling vanilla malt in a pattern like the Spirograph you used to think was so cool in elementary school.
Did I mention you’re closing that day and will be there an extra two hours mopping your mistake off the ceiling? It’s been six years and I think I still have ice cream in my hair from that incident. And also why I drink strawberry milkshakes instead of vanilla. It’s a silent protest.
In grad school I decided the kitchen was not my element (which it still isn’t) and moved on to bartending which was unbelievably lucrative. I could make rent in a night if I hustled and I am strangely more coordinated when it comes to mixing martinis in a metal tin than milkshakes. But I wasn’t sure my body could handle the late nights, lack of a regular sleep schedule (now that I had narcolepsy) or the drunks. The only place people should have drinks thrown in their faces by foolish girls is on a soap opera. (it was actually not thrown, it was a frozen daiquiri that she thought did not have enough alcohol in it so she poured it down the back of my shirt while I was bending over a beer tub to restock it. Evidently she did not agree with my advice that more alcohol may not have been the best idea she had had all night. Especially as she banged her car keys down on the bar over and over to get my attention.)
And gentlemen after four years of fielding an array of your creative comments regarding my evidently aesthetically pleasing anatomical make-up, (beer goggles really do distort your vision people, imbibe with caution) I hung up my bottle opener for good and made a promise to myself that I would never go back. No matter how dire the financial situation.
I sighed. Darn my foolish pride. I would have to find another way.
I was beginning to give up hope when one day I opened a newsletter from the local tri club. I had actually not paid my dues this year because I knew I would not be competing but I guess I was still on the listserv for the monthly newsletter. I scrolled through and read the news about the time trial series that was going on and the picnic coming up. Blah Blah Blah. All stuff I would not be able to participate in for a long time if ever again. I was about to close the email and delete it when something in the last sentence caught my eye, the local tri gym was hiring. “Swim Bike Run is hiring cycling instructors for their new studio CycleYOU. You do not need to be certified, those interested please contact Noelle.” Huh. That sounded promising. It would probably only be three nights a week, I loved taking class, and secretly had always wanted to be able to pick the music. And seriously, who didn’t want to wear one of those headset mic’s like Britney in concert? hmmm I would need to figure out some cuter workout attire. Plus it would help me get back in shape if it was actually my job to work out wouldn’t it?
I emailed Noelle and she responded enthusiastically inviting me to come down to the store and meet her, as well as the other instructors. I confirmed that yes i would be there later that week. I mentally gave myself a pat on the back. One more step forward. Getting the body back in shape and now I might have solved my cash flow problem. I had no idea that I had not just taken a step forward I had activated a chain reaction which would catapult me in that direction.
My life was about to totally change.
But this time it would be in the best possible way.