I've started writing this post a hundred times. I don't think I can adequately express how much that little second job changed me, but I'll try.
I used to be pretty timid. I didn't do much. I was a wife and mother and a worker bee. Not that there's anything wrong with any of those things, but I had committed to them so early, I had committed to the "right" path before I learned that the American dream in and of itself is stifling.
Money got tight. We (my ex-husband and I) had just bought a house and just had a second baby. We didn't really understand credit and the thought hadn't crossed my mind that one day my student loans would start hassling me to pay them. All we knew was that we needed more "stuff" and while our heads were above water we couldn't touch the bottom of the pool anymore. So I decided that, since he was better with the kids, I would get a second job. I was in luck; our little podunk town only had one of the Big 3 chains represented and a second had just opened. I applied. My interview was two questions: Do you have a car? and Have you killed anyone with your car?
I liked delivering. I started this blog. I thought it would be fun to document all the wacky people that I delivered to and I thought it made an interesting statistics experiment. That was October 2008.
Then, things started falling apart and I took on more and more shifts. Partly because I didn't want to be at home, partly because the extra money gave me a taste of freedom and I couldn't get enough of it. New Years Eve 2008, I made a stupid life choice. I slept with one of my managers. I won't go into details because they're not important and I was extremely foolish. It's funny how grown up I felt at 18 living my adult life and how much I know now that I really had no idea how to handle myself or relationships. I hope I've grown up since then.
I moved in with Other Chick Driver and started living the life of drama. Work was drama. Coworkers, family, friends, roommates, roommates friends, lovers. Drama. I tried to focus the blog on the funny things, the ironic, the things that kept me sane, that reminded me that in general life is absurd.
But the driving is what kept me going. There's a lot of time to think, there's a lot of time to play out conversations that should have happened and time to let out conversations that shouldn't be played out in the real world. I spent a lot of time talking to myself in the car. I spent a lot of time singing really really loudly to songs on repeat. I took a lot of detours over my favorite low water crossings.
Some days I hated customers and consequently humanity. It seemed perfectly logical that customers that didn't tip lacked empathy and courtesy and therefore lacked the building blocks that qualified them as people. Their arrogance in seeing themselves as being above the obligation to pay for my service gave me a reason to hate them.
And some days I loved customers. When they were tipping well, I loved them. I smiled and thanked them and brought them extra sauce cups when I could.
Now, I see it all as evening out pretty well. I look back fondly on my Saturday mornings spent sleeping off a hangover under the driver station.
I moved out from OCD's at some point and changed stores to be closer to my new place and my primary job. The drama dropped to almost zero as far as work was concerned (despite my talent for making mountains out of mole-hills). I don't have a bad thing to say about working at the new store (except the sulfur water, yuck!) . People came and went, I was outside of the drama for the most part, and pizzas got delivered.
Somewhere in there, maybe a little bit back at podunk store, my absolute love of pizza was sparked. It saw me through separating from the Ex, being heart-wrenchingly apart from my children, losing several friendships that I had put a lot of energy into, learning that crushing on guys is completely different after highschool, learning that dating after highschool is brutal, and that I will always be a work in progress, there is no ending point. The pizza was there through it all. All I had to do was fold boxes, cut the pizza, put pepperonis on one slice at a time, check out the delivery, drive, smile at the door, accept my pittance, drive, and repeat until I was anesthetized.
Somewhere in there I made new friends. Most of them were internet friends but they were more real to me than most of the people I knew in real life. I met some of those friends in real life. One of those new friends got me back into scifi. I can't say it was single-handedly, the disposition was already there, but he inspired me and took me on a trans-dimensional emotional roller-coaster.
Back to the love of pizza...
I'm making pizza now. In the middle of learning that dating sucks, I actually made a friend out of one of the boys and we started going on Pizza Adventures. Our first one was to a little local pizzeria where I had my first Margherita pizza and my first pizza out of a wood-fired oven. Later, I got a job there. I'm now making pizzas instead of delivering them. I love it so much. I look forward to every shift. Just last shift I finally figured out getting pizzas into the oven in fairly round shape. I'm now making them round(ish) about 75% of the time and getting them in intact about 90% of the time. My dream is to one day run my own pizzeria.
I am a new person, still battling, still learning, and it all started with the decision to get a second job, random internet surfing, the Twitter "Follow" button, and pizza.