She answers the phone on one ring, a rarity during the witching hour. She asks the usual questions. How was your day? How are you feeling? How are the kids? She’s always thoughtful like that.
We talk like adults- real adults, not the “fresh out of college, deer in headlights” adults or the “I’m 34 living in my parents’ basement” adults. We talk insurance and copays, oil changes and rent checks. A few stolen moments soon grow into a conversation best served over skim with a shot of espresso.
After a prolonged time of pleasantries and banter, she admits something that I’ve always known about her but have never heard her say. “I love my job, baby, even after all this time.” There is was, clear as crystal: the declaration of a happy life. “It’s been thirty years, baby, and I still get excited to go to work. It invigorates me thinking of learning new ways to save lives and being given the opportunity to teach young ones like yourself. I just love my job.” I was speechless.
Sheepishly, I admit, “I’m not there yet. I cry a lot. I have panic attacks and could cut my anxiety with a knife. I’m scared; I second guess myself. I just don’t feel that way yet.”
Her reply was simple, heartfelt but simple. “It takes thirty years to get to thirty years. Like all great loves, it takes time, and your time will come.”