Tuesday, February 11, 2003

I'm sick. My whole body aches and my stomach isn't doing what it's supposed to do, namely, being stable. That's a nice way of saying 'diarrhea and vomiting', for all of you who didn't get that. Har. Right now I'm drinking milk thistle tea; I've never drunk milk thistle tea before, even in all the time I've known my father and his liver remedies, and it tastes herb-y and has a clear whitish color. I came home from work last night with the worst abdominal bloating and that turned into a pretty bad night, all the while hoping (for the reason of wanting to not disappoint my boss) that I would be better in the morning, well enough to go to work at the pie shop. This anxiety transformed my dreams into scenes of being at work and not being able to serve anyone, and customers building up and building up on the other side of the counter and being angry with me. Pies (mostly Tex Mex Chicken) being cooked and me not having the energy to take them out of the little metal tins we bake them in.

The last time I had 'work dreams' it was practically a plague. It was when I started waitressing. I had never before experienced that kind of on-call work, where you're constantly on the go, and where people are constantly needing you. For a week straight I had dreams that I was at work, and was trying to get some sleep --behind the bar was a common place-- and people kept coming in and sitting down. I would more often than not wake right up, get out of bed and try and find my uniform so that I could serve them, and usually would realize where I was. One time I stood up on my bed and tried to walk around, and was frustrated at my lack of mobility, caused of course by my sheets and blankets. Most people I told this to thought I was nuts and more than a little stressed out. Catriona knew, though--she'd waitressed that summer at another busy restaurant, the Lobster Galley, and the same thing had happened to her. Anyway, that week of work dreams was pretty hellish. Not only was I incredibly new at this difficult job, but I couldn't even leave it when I left shift. I had to do it over and over in my sleep, often anxious because I was sleeping naked and would dream that I was naked, on the job.

Sick dreams are pretty bad too. Most of the time when I'm too sick to get out of bed (for whatever reason--headache, stomach flu, respiratory illness) my dreams are anxious, full of horrible images or scenes.

Anyway. I didn't go to work today, and while I felt bad for doing it, really, what's the point? People get sick. A pie shop sometimes has to take the back seat to that.

Lately, because I'm working what amounts to 2 and a half jobs, while also trying to have a life, I've been realizing what an amazing person my mother is. She's created her own business, doing work that takes a lot out of her (but that she loves), meanwhile doing a major portion of supporting two kids, meanwhile somehow retaining her sanity. Coming home late, having to call a bunch of clients, having to get up early the next day, and there's me, gabbing on the phone, resenting being asked to get off, getting snarky. Suffice it to say I never really understood where she was coming from, which makes sense since I'd never really been out there on my own. And now that I am I'm realizing so much about the 'world of adults'... that's putting it in a bit of a silly term, but it makes sense.

Being sick and being 3000k from home really makes you realize how much on your own you are, and how vulnerable all you've built up is...jobs, friends, dates, obligations.
And talking on the phone for 3 minutes with your family is such a relief. Even if I'm in BC, even if I can't go home right now, it's still OK. All of it.

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