Posted in Events, Family, Food, Friends, Games, Personal, Photography, Relationships, Travel

Chapter 28: Weekend Bash

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Four days ago, I reached the next chapter in my life: Chapter 28. It was amazing, despite the weather being rainy and stressed out early in the day. Anyway, Saturday was my actual birthday, and to me… the most boring part was just to wait on a certain time to get my birthday dinner started (Touré being there made it less boring, but waiting for the time to pass by was just ever-so-boring!!).

Later in the afternoon, we gathered up with one of our brothers to Applebee’s. It was pretty good, but the really fun part started as soon as we left. We decided to meet up with the others at Galloping Ghost Arcade (Almost everyone didn’t show up until a little after 8, due to last minute changes).

20171118_181525I decided to go there for once, cause it was a time for a change.

20171118_182454They actually have 500+ games now, and the raised the entry fee price (Not by much, however).

20171118_182733My darling soulmate

20171118_182756My brother Darius and I

20171118_183032More classic games!!

20171118_185317They have the interactive games up and running now

20171118_185325Next time, I’ll try these games. They look pretty cool

20171118_191328Touré and I 🙂

20171118_191416Another shooter game.. I’m a huge fan of these games! I also played Deathsmiles, Nemesis, Gradius II and III.

20171118_202919This is a new game.. I can’t wait to play it next time I come here!

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20171118_211300I actually played this game. It was so fun.. they actually have it in 2D and 3D. I decided to go for 3D this time.. man, was it fun!

20171118_2142593D glasses

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20171118_211447Once Josh came, then the party started going crazy!! He and Touré were playing Pong.. or should I say, “Ghost Pong”!! *Thank you AVGN!!*

20171118_214122Josh and Darius playing Sailor Moon.. which I didn’t even know about it until I came round to see them play

20171118_222819The last part was a HUGE surprise: Not only did me and Touré’s sister Shirley came (One with the grey scarf, right next to me), but our other sister Stanesha (Behind me) and our brother Nick (Tallest one in the back) came as a surprise!! I was in tears (On the inside).. that made the surprise party so awesome!! I hope next year will be as awesome as this year!!

*Ahem* now onto the next day: The day after my birthday was just another usual day.. I went to church, got home, ate, and decided to wait until a few hours later to meet up with Josh and my other brother Matt for this awesome WWE Survivor Series bash in Chicago. Once we all met up, we decided to carpool and head to Lincoln Park to this bar and grill.

20171119_170138Hello Lake Shore Drive.. I’m back (Sadly not yesterday when I turned 28, but still.. I’ll accept it).

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20171119_172547Matt, Steve, Rachel, and Josh, and I

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20171119_183831If you’re wondering where we were having the party, it was at Duffy’s Bar and Grille. It was very awesome! I hope to go there again! If you ever get a chance to go to Lincoln Park, I highly recommend Duffy’s Bar and Grille. Side note: You’ll have to be 21+ to enter.

20171119_184411The food was really good!

20171119_193531Fu.. sion.. HA!! Lol DBZ reference.

Anyway, this weekend bash was just totally awesome.. better than last year’s (Although last year was pretty good as well). What will chapter 28 bring for me this and next year?

Well… we should see. For now, I’ll just enjoy it.. one day at a time.

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Posted in Events, Friends, Relationships, Travel, Work

Transitioning Into A New Reality, Part Three: The Final Goodbye

“I have something to say to everyone: Today is my final day working here. I just want to thank you all for an amazing (Thinking: ..but horrible, stress-inducing, somewhat unbearable) 8 years of me working here. It was a hard decision, but the time has come for me to move on. All of ya are like family to me, and I appreciate all of ya have done. I will miss you all (Thinking: ..but I will def NOT miss working here. Thank freakin GOODNESS I am leaving here for good! Yes, yes, yes!!). *Tries to hold back tears* Thank you all, and don’t worry.. I will visit ya. I promise. Goodbye everyone (Thinking: ..and good freakin riddance to working here!!).. I love  and miss you all”.

Person 1: “Don’t go”!!

Person 2: “You’ll be deeply missed”.

Person 3: “Don’t cry, cause then you’re gonna make me cry”!

Person 4: “I’ll miss you. Good luck with your journeys and your new job. Promise you’ll visit us”?

Person 5: “Don’t go.. we need you to stay here with us”!!

Person 6: “We love and will miss you too”.

Me: “Now don’t ya cry.. ya gonna make me cry as well”!!

*Hugs and tears flow down many eyes*

These last two weeks has been very emotional. I dreaded this day, but at the same time, I felt…

Calm.

Like, I knew this day would come, but I was prepared for it… physically, somewhat mentally, but not emotionally. I will miss everyone working here.. including the new people. What I won’t miss though, is working here. The location? Eh… probably not, since it’s almost in the middle of nowhere. This is my final day working here, and so I say..

Goodbye, and good riddance. Goodbye Crete, and hello Shorewood. Goodbye everyone…

*Tearfully* I’ll miss you all.

Posted in Events, News, Personal, Work

Transitioning Into A New Reality, Part Two: Preparing My Final Two Weeks

“We hate to lose you”.

“I’ll/we’ll miss you”.

Those pharses are what possibly will haunt me throughout my final two weeks working at my first job. So many memories, hard work, sweat, and tears, put all into my eight years working there. Now… it’s all coming to an end.. an emotional, but most satisfying end that I ever had to go through for the very first time.

“I just wanna let you know.. that I just put in my final two weeks. I didn’t get the transfer, cause of *Insert reason here*. Sadly, working both here and the new job won’t be possible, cause they intercept with each other, and I’m not gonna quit my new job. I’m getting a lot of hours there, more than here. I just got a raise last week. Plus, I love where I work at. I’m not giving that up. So with that said… My final day will be *Insert date here*. I will miss you, but don’t worry.. I’ll visit”. I told two of my coworkers, in secret. Thankfully, they both understood, and told me how unfair it was that I had to go through all of that, just for, well…

Nothing.

There was nothing I could do last week. It was one way or the other, and I chose the other, yet better route.. which was to work the other job, and to give up  two of my four of my days to someone else (I had to call off the first two days, cause I couldn’t find anyone to take them. I had no other choice). I now know how everyone else feels when working here, and why most people quit this job. I’m really hoping my big brother gets a chance to leave out here before the holiday season comes, or at least.. before 2017 ends.

Now it is time for me to say goodbye to my coworkers, supervisors, and managers (More like family) that I worked within the final two weeks of working here.

Stay tuned to the final part of this emotional reality that I’m transitioning through. It’s kinda stressful, but I’m making it through.. somehow.

Posted in Business, Events, Personal, Travel, Work

Transitioning Into A New Reality, Part One: Letting Go Is Hard To Do

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Where have I been for the past few to several weeks? Well, here’s what has been going on:

1. I’ve gotten a new job (Yay me.. after 3 years of job searching, it finally paid off!! Thank you Jesus!!) 3 weeks ago, and so far, I am LOVING IT. Also, I got baptized on the same day that I got hired. It was a good day.

2. Trying to juggle between two jobs (Yes, I’m still at my current job, but that will actually change. More on that in a few moments).. it’s kinda hard, but so far, I have been doing a great job of it.

3. Church, and spending time with my soulmate. We’re getting ready to do Scrooge the Musical again, so it’s gonna get even more busy for me.

4. Family stuff, as always.

Finally, 5. More traveling to and from both jobs.  More on that in a little bit.

So yes, recently I’ve gotten a new job at Starbucks (Finally.. got my new job).. well, not directly in Starbucks, but in Starbucks.. inside of Target. Here are the up and downsides to this new change:

Upsides:

  • So far, I’m loving it.. I get to create, try, and make drinks!! My new coworkers and managers are awesome!! They’re like family here.
  • I get to hand out stickers to children (They love it when I actually do that)!
  • I get paid more than my first job (..and I got a raise last week too!)
  • It’s in a very nice and safe neighborhood, near other food places, Walmart, and more. I’m actually familiar with the area, cause I know relatives that live at and nearby there, so if I have to work in the morning, I can stay with them, and save gas.
  • I don’t have to leave my job to get food for lunch and stuff, cause there’s a Pizza Hut right next to where I work! Score!!
  • More hours to work than my other job… almost to a full time job, mostly, and overtime.. this is mostly perfect!
  • I get to wear my graphic shirts (As long as they’re mostly red.. any type of red, actually, if I’m on the registers) and any types of shoes (As long as they’re closed-toed). Since my main responsibility is at Starbucks, I have to wear black (Which I don’t mind at all, cause I have to wear black at my church. Plus, I mostly have black shirts to wear, which means.. I don’t have to shop for work clothes.. except for red shirts and khaki pants, which I got that out of the way). This is.. perfect! Now I don’t have to worry about wearing dress shoes everyday!!

Downsides:

  • I gotta commute 45 mins-1 hr (Depending on traffic) to and from work, since I now work near west (Compared to 15 mins to and from my other job). To me, it’s not all that bad, but that will all change once I move near my new job (Hopefully within the next year or so).
  • Along with the time I gotta travel to and from, I now have to pay for gas every few days (Depending on how many days I have to work). It’s gonna get annoying overtime, but once I move near my job, I won’t have to worry bout it so much.
  • Juggling between two jobs for right now… yea, it’s kinda not so bad, but considering the hours that I gotta go to and from both jobs (1+ hour each), it’ll only be temporary, until I can transfer to the one near my other job (8 mins to and from)… right?

Nope. As of a few days ago, I just found out that my transfer request has been canceled, which sucks balls. I was hoping that I could continue to work both jobs, until I get my first review, but… sadly, it’s not gonna work, as my other job intercepts with my new job.

Sadly, I’m gonna have to quit my first job and work my new job.. which I don’t mind at all, actually.. thinking it long and hard recently. I wish things could’ve worked out for the better, but… in the end, I have to do what’s best for me, and the best thing to do.. is to let the other job go. I hate to do it, I really do…, but as the saying goes: Breaking up (..or in this case, letting go) is hard to do. It’s better this way.

Stay tuned to part two, and see what happens next when I give out my first resignation letter to my first job.

Posted in Food, Friends, Personal, Photography, Travel

To Chinatown, and Beyond!

I really want to go to Chinatown again, and this time.. explore more of it with friends! The place is beyond amazing! Before I jump ahead to it, here’s what happened before the trip to Chinatown took place:

20170903_142824Today, my childhood friend Crystal and I decided to head to Chicago to attend the City Church of Chicago. The last service started at 5, but since we got there hours early, we decided to go to Whole Foods Market to try out a few foods. We first went to the one downtown, and tried some Mochi (Japanese ice cream). I gotta admit, it tasted weird at first (She also said the same thing as well), but it was very good! I had chocolate, she had red bean.

20170903_150318Afterwards, we decided to go to another Whole Foods Market, this time.. in Lincoln Park (Shown above). This one has an arcade, and a bar!

20170903_150536Sweets, sweets, and more sweets.. they’re expensive, but hey.. they’re good!

20170903_150547Macaroons! We never have them before, but they are indeed good. Crystal had the raspberry flavor, and I had espresso (It was right next to the raspberry macaroon.. and I didn’t know about it! Surprisingly though, it didn’t taste like coffee. It tastes like chocolate).

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20170903_151555Wine corks

20170903_151749I LOVE Mochi!

20170903_154029This is the arcade. They have classic games from Galaga to Dig Dug, and modern games from Street Fighter to Metal Slug (They have Metal Slug 1-6 here, yay)!

20170903_154155I wanted to play Metal Slug 3, but I accidently chose Metal Slug 4. Still… it was fun to play!

20170903_154956Crystal and I. We had a blast at the store! Next stop: Chinatown.

20170903_161514Chinatown

20170903_161607I seriously know where I want to go for my birthday this year! They have a karaoke bar here!!

20170903_161952One part of Chinatown. It is amazing here!

20170903_162753I really, really, SERIOUSLY LOVE and WANT these dresses!! There’s a clothing place there that has more of these dresses! When I have the money, I’ll buy one!

20170903_163028This is the store that had the dresses.. and other stuff, like books and such. We also went to a candy store before heading to evening church. Church was pretty cool.

Anyway, I can’t wait to go to Chinatown again! Hopefully before my birthday, so I can get a dress for my birthday outfit.. and again, for my 28th birthday.

Posted in Business, Events, Family, Food, Friends, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel

Morris Ceurrlo Conference

20170901_172130*Me, waiting for the other choir members to get on board*

Yesterday and last night was just wonderful! The choir and I went to see Morris Ceurrlo and other special guest from different countries and cities speak live at his conference in Rosemont. Let’s just say that I couldn’t wait to go to Rosemont again! I haven’t been there in a few years! I also can’t wait to go there next year with my babe and brothers!

20170901_171608So I went to the church with my childhood friend (We were actually early, cause we got there at bout 4:30-4:45. The bus didn’t come until bout 5:15-ish. Once it came, we all got on board. The bus was just amazing! These are the seats, by the way. So luxurious!

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20170901_171727They have tables and seat belts! 😀

20170901_172002Miss Sheryl  actually wanted all of us to check out the menu from Giordano’s after we leave the conference. I never had it before, but it was kinda expensive.

20170901_172229Crystal and I. We’ve been friends since grade school. 🙂

Anyway, as soon as everyone got on board, we were off. Destination: Rosemont is a GO! 😀

20170901_183340While we were on the road, we decided to warm up and prepare for the conference by singing a few songs (Yea, we were singing there. It was unbelievable.. almost EVERYONE there stood up when we sang Lord You’re Holy and What A Beautiful Name. A few were on their knees, praising Jesus and just crying. It was wonderful).

20170901_183751Lol funny board ad.

20170901_184106You know you are close to the airport when you see the airplanes flying a short while after they took off. This was near O’Hare Airport, by the way.

20170901_184234If you’re traveling to Illinois, I recommend going to Rosemont.. it’s a nice place, and there’s TONS of hotels and restaurants here.

20170901_184321DoubleTree and Crowne Plaza hotel

20170901_184523We made it to our destination: The Hyatt Regency O’Hare hotel.  I actually stayed in there before for ACEN (Anime Convention) a few years ago. It is a very nice hotel.

20170901_185516Conference schedule and special guest speakers. Our pastor, Steve Munsey, was one of the guest speakers.

20170901_185716Before the choir got on stage to sing, we decided to look around and check out some stuff.

20170901_193853After our performance, we took a peek at some stuff, from Israel, and other countries.

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20170901_194135“Jesus, you are great. You do miracles. So great”.

20170901_194927We actually had a chance to hear Morris Ceurrlo and one of the speakers, John Francis, speak. It was a wonderful experience.

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20170901_214158After we left, we went to Giordano’s.

20170901_214621We sat on the balcony, but it was chilly. Sadly, we didn’t stay long, and decided to head someplace else to eat.

20170901_220118We stopped at a ton of restaurants. Some went to Culver’s, others went to Steak and Shake. Raquel, Ebony, Shani, Crystal, and I decided to try this pizza place called Little Angelo’s. The food was great! I highly recommend trying their food out, especially the pizza! A few of the youth praisers went there as well, so it was indeed fun!

20170901_225415After we ate , we went to Cold Stone Creamery. Being my very first time here, their ice cream is yummy, but kinda expensive.

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20170901_225546I had this: Confetti Cupcake ice cream. It was too yummy!

20170901_230147Last picture: Me and the girls before we went back to the bus to head home. I had a blast with them!

After we had our fill with food and ice cream, the choir and I went back home. We didn’t leave Rosemont until close to 11:15-11:30-ish. Everyone was tuckered out. Most of them went to sleep on the way back. I gotta admit, the ride back home was soothing. I almost dozed off a few times. Raquel, Ebony, Shani, Crystal, and I didn’t get back home until close to 12:30-12:45. All in all, I had a blast. The conference was wonderful, and the trip was amazing!

What an amazing day to start off September.

Posted in Business, Events, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel, Weather

Traveling Escape: The Money Museum

These past few weeks have been nonstop crazy (In a bad way…), especially the past week. I had to deal with my anxieties, plus deal with major family issues (This also added to my anxiety attack as well. I hate it.. I really hate it). Thankfully I’ve been getting a break from it all (For a tiny bit, but family issues remain. It hasn’t really worried me as much, cause a. I got God on my side, and b. I know she’ll be fine. She’ll get better soon) by relaxing and spending some time with my babe and choir family. Speaking of which, there’s a conference in Chicago that I’ll be singing in along with the church choir this Friday, so I’m preparing for that starting tomorrow. I’ll sure to get pictures that day.

Speaking of Chicago, I actually went there yesterday to clear my head, and to check out this Money Museum that’s in LaSalle.

20170829_094053Cupcake Frappuccino… I recommend anyone to try it. It tastes like a cupcake.

20170829_112226After two hours of preparing to go downtown, I decided to go ahead and head to the train station in Harvey. When I got there, I was kinda shocked to find out that one half of the ticket machine (That you can only pay with cash and coins) was gone. They do charge more if you don’t have your ticket with you when you get on the train (I think $5 more), unless you tell the conductor on board that they ticket machine is out of order, or if there’s no ticket machine. Also, I almost missed the train, but they were running a few minutes late, so that was a sigh of relief.

20170829_112613This is only one of two trains near me that I take whenever I go downtown. Oh, and did I mention that they increased the parking rate in this station to $1.50 instead of $1? Yea… I decided to go ahead and find out about it before boarding the train. Thankfully I did just that two hours in advance. Oh, and they took out the old parking rate machine too. They installed a new one, so it’s pretty cool. I’m still kinda mad that they took down the old cash and coin ticket machines. They only ones they have left are the ones that you can pay with a credit card. Oh well…

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20170829_113409..and off we go, to downtown Chicago!

20170829_114406With my music right beside me. Next stop: Van Buren St.

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20170829_120319I made it, hooray…! Next stop: The Chicago Fed Money Museum.

20170829_122145Next to living here, my other dream is to work at a financial company in downtown Chicago, whether it be the CBOE (Chicago Board of Exchange), or the CME Group… I’m still bound and determined to make it happen.

20170829_121526Oh, and I found this too along the way. I really wanna try it!

20170829_122458The museum was right across the way.

20170829_122541Finally… and luckily, it’s not too far from the Van Buren Street train station.. most likely down the street from there.

20170829_122628When I first got in, the security guard guided me in. She was very nice and helpful!

20170829_122825Look at all of these coins! The tour guide told me and the other guests that there’s at least $50K+coins under there. Also, this used to be an elevator too.

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20170829_125133Behold…

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20170829_125204Oh, and I got this shredded money packet as a souvenir (Also, I didn’t know that Cube of Cash was in the background until after I took this picture)!

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20170829_125316I used that as an example.

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They do like a 45 minute (?) tour every Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. I gotta say, it was very nice.

20170829_133830You can actually take a picture with this as well. I didn’t do so, cause I wanted to take it with my friend(s) and/or babe.

20170829_133953I gotta say, this was very awesome to go to! I highly recommend taking a tour through this museum if you’re in downtown! It’s free as well!

After the tour (I kinda stayed a bit, cause it started to rain), I just went on out and walked around.. took some pictures, and cleared my head. I needed it.

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20170829_140642It’s still called the Sears Tower to me!

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My phone was almost dead due to low battery, so I decided to head home. All in all, it was a much needed deserving trip, and I’m glad that I finally went to go see the Money Museum for the very first time. I’ll be back there again.. hopefully soon.

Posted in Books, Business, Friends, Games, Personal, Travel, Weather

Otaku Hobbies

A few weeks ago, I actually went to this comic book store called Otaku Hobbies in Indiana. Let’s just say that I would highly recommend going there again. In fact, there’s a huge event going on between September 8-10, so if you’re an anime, video game fan, or just love comic books in general, I highly suggest you go check it out!

20170712_110149I actually went with one of my best friends, and it started to rain once we got there.

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20170712_110453Toon Link, Link, Zero Suit Samus, and Samus Amiibo (That Samus Amiibo is one of rare ones, so I ended up grabbing it. I’ve been wanting it for the longest!!)

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20170712_110853I wanted to get Touré this Reaper figurine, since that’s one of his favorite characters from Overwatch. I couldn’t though, cause it was so gosh darn expensive… sadness. 😦

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20170712_112032I also wanted this Chun Li figurine too, since she’s one of my favorite characters from the Street Fighter games. Maybe next time…

20170712_112034Ken figurine!!

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20170712_112051*Insert how bad I want this…*

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20170712_112728Pokémon trading cards!! I need to start collecting them again.. I haven’t done so since I was a kid…

20170712_112802My best friend and I wanted this poster so bad.., but it wasn’t for sale. Double sadness… 😦

Anyway, I had a blast at that store! The only reason why I didn’t do a post of this sooner, was cause I’ve been going through some stuff, and dealing with my chronic anxiety for the past few weeks. I also had a few anxiety attacks a few days ago, which is why I haven’t been blogging on here and my other ones as usual. However, I have found new ways of dealing and overcoming anxiety, so that will be on the next blog post.

Posted in Events, Personal, Work

Unexpected Hero

Yesterday was chaotic.. and I mean chaotic, to the point where I almost had a nervous breakdown at work (..and not too long ago, it just happened).

Here’s how it all happened:

It was just a normal day at work… with a bit of a twist. I somehow ended up with the first credit of the day (Even though it didn’t go through, and the customer was irate cause of the policy), but then a few hours later… complete chaos. A lady (Who regularly comes in here) goes around shopping and all, when suddenly.. an alarm goes off. I got up (I was organizing some candy and snacks at the registers), and see the lady leaving out.. with a black bag and unpurchased merchandise, right in plain view! I tried to stopped her, but it was too late. Kinda knowing what to do (..and fearing that no one, but me saw what happened), I immediately called my assistant manager, and told her what happened. Two of my coworkers asked me what happened, and once I told them, I kept my eye out on the thief. Somehow, I caught her kinda ‘trying on clothes’ (Just putting it on her to see if it fits), and what happens next? She comes back, only this time… the black bag was empty! She looked like she was drunk, by the way that she was walking. Glad my coworker caught that.

As soon as she came through the door, I greeted her professionally, and with a smile. All seemed normal, but my coworkers and I still had to keep an eye out for her. The LP and assistant manager started to look through the camera, and watched the footage again, just to make sure that my suspicions were right. I was hoping that my eyes wasn’t playing tricks on me, and that the stuff she ‘stole’ was brought, or exchanged.

Nope…

About 10-20 minutes later, before I took my break, I decided to still be professional, and told the lady to have a great day. “Thanks, and I hope you have a good day too”, she told me. Now my anxiety started to rise, and I didn’t even realize it, until after it was all said and done (The verdict, I mean). After I got off of my break, I went back to the registers and got the line down. Now I feel my anxiety is starting to get to me. What was gonna happen next? Would I be wrong? What will the LP and assistant manager will say to me? Will I have to go to court to testify my story? Tons of thoughts swelled up to my head. Several minutes later, the verdict was in: The police took the lady away in handcuffs. The LP and assistant manager came to me and started to high five me for a job well done on catching the thief, who.. was indeed drunk, all that time (Another coworker who was nearby told me). In fact, she tried to steal something else in front of the other coworker, but the coworker caught her red handed. Let’s just say.. that I was not only in shock, but in total disbelief.. not only for the lady, but for the fact that all of this was happening right before my eyes. I never thought in a million years, I would actually catch a thief at my job. I still couldn’t believe it. The craziest part of it all was that what she said before I went on break. I never had that happened before… that’s what almost caused me to cry.

“I wanna go home. I wanna go home. I wanna go home…”

That’s what I kept on saying throughout the rest of my shift. It was that bad, almost to the point of the verge of a nervous breakdown. I had to go the back of the store a few times just to avoid that. I didn’t want my coworkers to know, or to even think that I was almost having an anxiety attack. Thankfully it was nearly empty throughout my shift. I did had customers, but I had to remain strong and pretend that nothing happened.. even though it did. I had to be my usual self.

After my shift was over, I had to talk to another of my coworker to help ease my mind of what happened earlier. Of course my supervisor and LP congratulated me on a job well done. Even though that was all said and done, it was still fresh in my mind. When I got home, I wanted to stop and let it all out (..and I did, for a minute or two). I had to consider this the absolute most chaotic shift of my life.

“You did it! You caught her! You’re a hero”!

…Even though I’m being considered a(n unexpected) hero, I don’t feel like I am.. especially since my anxiety got in the way…, but hey, I guess I can actually call myself a hero, cause there’s one thing that I actually did:

Overcame my anxiety through this crazy situation, and somehow had the confidence to pull through. When times are tough, you gotta pull through, cause at the end.., there’s gonna be a rainbow waiting for you.