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Okay, that was rather a longer gap than I prefer ...

First news, I guess, is that I got a part time, minimum wage job at the beginning of November at a locally-owned chain of food/everything stores, working in the "hard goods" department, which is basically everything except food and clothing: housewares, hardware, sporting goods, toys ... Needless to say, the toy section of any large store at Christmas time is not the place to learn about the Christmas spirit.

It's a bit embarrassing, given what I did before (which is something of an insight into my value system), and besides, even working part time I feel I have less personal time than I did with a regular 9-5 job, partly because it's mostly second shift and partly because the schedule changes every week. There's no way to plan, so I sort of wallow on my days off, trying to adjust.

On the bright side, I lost 15 pounds in the first month. :-) You try walking continuously for six or more hours after years at a desk ...

Other news? I've been making some progress coming to terms with the events surrounding getting lost when I was six. For one thing, I wonder whether the trauma of my reaction, which was probably deeper than most people receive when getting lost and then found again, might not have been because I suspected that my parents might have wanted to lose me ... Not what you would call a trust-building experience, then. After all, once that idea had taken root, how would you accumulate evidence to the contrary?

And, finally, I'm not really any closer to being certain "what I want to do with my life", though I'm more certain that it isn't work for minimum wage any longer than I have to. Hey, there's a normal feeling! :-)


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A weekly schedule that changes is a hard adjustment! Retail is one way to test your patience :/ My first job was working in a hardware store. Actually I learned a lot.I learned I can fix my own toilet and I also learned why take that job from someone else?

I don't get the feeling you dislike this job...putting the embarrassment of the major job adjustment/change aside that is another normal feeling. Am I wrong?

Good work on discovering more about the "event". Hmm...do you feel closer to feeling...found? Secure?

I feel figuring out what you don't want to do is as important as knowing exactly what you want to do. Well, that's how I figured out what I wanted to do.

Hey, thanks for filling in the gap. I feel better :-)

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I'm not cool enough to get a job at the Gap. :-P

Seriously: no tattoos, no piercings, and no hair.

I'm not really closer to "found", well okay, I'm a step further along the road, but it has helped me in some way just to be able to get an insight into that kid's young head.

A lot of disconnected things make more sense if, in addition to fearing that he had done something terribly wrong by getting lost, he also had to deal with the doubt that maybe he hadn't, and that his parents were trying to lose him. If only the first were a possibility, I might have been reassured sooner, but since the two options are contradictory in many ways, no real reassurance was possible.

One of the things it shed light on was my tendency to run away from the marriage in ways that could be described as "getting lost". After a fight, I more than once just set off walking; "away" rather than towards anything.

If the marriage was my way of never getting lost again (making my own family and putting myself "in charge" of it), getting lost deliberately might have functioned either as a wake-up call that the solution wasn't working or worse, as a form of torture, reliving how bad being lost had been in order to force myself back into the marriage. Behavior that didn't make any kind of sense, before.

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I always find it amazing how our behaviors are so often symbolic and often have deeper meaning than meets the eye. And we get to unravel the deeper meaning of the complexities of our own minds.

I've worked 20+ years in retail (if you count a previous job). It does have its moments. I think, for me, working in retail has really improved my ability to interact with people and it has given me confidence. I hope your new job goes well!

Always wishing you well, Mark.

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