We moved back in with his parents and I was able to transfer to a Family Dollar in Universal City, so at least I had a job this time. He had found a job at a place installing custom shutters, an employer he would promptly convince me to move to so we could afford to move into our own apartment. At 18 I had the worst job I’ve ever held, I worked in a warehouse sanding shutters with a handful of older Hispanic women making a few cents over minimum wage. This was brutal, these older women ran circles around me; I was not made to be sanding shutters. This was also the only job I was ever fired from, you would think it was because I wasn’t very good at it, which I’m sure was partially the reason, but here is how it happened:
My husband decided to quit the job installing shutters because he simply didn’t like it. The next day I still wanted to go to work because after all, I didn’t quit, only he quit. I woke up, packed my lunch, and argued with him to take me to work (we only had the one car and I still hadn’t really learned to drive), he was hesitant but eventually agreed to take me. Since I had to convince him to take me to work, I was late. I was exactly one minute late and when I ran into the warehouse, the manager simply smiled and waved bye-bye to me, it was humiliating, I can still vividly picture that moment.
I wanted to go back to school more than anything, but we were working on just trying to get by. I found a job at a grocery store only a block away from our apartments, which was perfect because I could just walk to Handy Andy. He got a job repairing fences, but he quit after a bit over a month. We couldn’t afford to keep the apartment and he eventually got a job with his brother at an appliance store, which was in the opposite side of town, so we moved in with his brother and I transferred to a Handy Andy that was closer. Leaving our own apartment and moving in with his brother allowed us to have some financial breathing space and I started working on saving to payback the funds I owed TCC so I could get back in school.
We moved in with his brother September of 2008, I was enrolled and ready to start my first fall semester at Palo Alto in August 2009. It was not easy, I had to jump through many hoops and had to show up to speak to a counselor and financial aid on more than one occasion. I also still didn’t know how to drive, so I had to learn to take the bus in San Antonio. The first time I tried doing a trial run to get to Palo Alto, I somehow ended up at Ingram Park Mall and waited 3 hours for my husband to pick me up because I didn’t want to get even more lost. Eventually I figured it out, it took 3 buses and 2 hours to get me to class, but I couldn’t have been happier, finally a step in the right direction!
Those days I woke up early to take the 2 hour bus ride to school, got out of school and took the 2 hour bus ride to work, and had my husband pick me up from work at 11pm when we closed. When you really want something, you do what you have to do to make it work, little did I know the hard work was just starting…