I had finished all of my errands in record time, so I decided to treat myself to a milkshake.
The new strip mall I was at seemed to have every store you could want including a Dairy Queen, so I bought my treat and sat at a table outside.
A small car pulled up and a young girl, about 17, got out and straightened her clothes and checked her hair in the reflection of the driver window.
She was carrying a blue plastic report cover and I had a feeling, from the nervous energy she was giving off, that it contained a resumé.
She approached restaurant displaying a sign, “Now Hiring, All Shifts.”
She paused at the door, took a deep breath and just as she grabbed the handle, two customers exited and she stepped back to let them out, then let the door close. Her plan had been interrupted.
She walked over and sat at a table and began texting someone. Maybe it was Mom, maybe a boyfriend or her BFF, but whoever she connected with gave her a shot of courage, and after another deep breath, she assertively grabbed the door handle and went into the restaurant.
Remember those June days when school was drawing to a close and your parents were asking what your plans were for the summer, encouraging you to get out and look for work?
Somehow you always knew that replying, “I plan to sleep in every morning, go to the beach in the afternoon and party late into the night,” was not the correct answer.
The newspapers had ads asking for berry or fruit pickers, waitresses, gas jockeys, construction laborers or from farmers putting together haying crews.
Mom would take that page out of the paper and put it on the breakfast table, just in case we hadn’t seen it.
When I saw that young girl, it brought back memories of walking in and applying for jobs.
The boss was an ogre, the staff sneered at you, your mouth was dry and there was a knot in your stomach.
You never said the right thing and you had to say, “No, I don’t have any experience.”
Just as I was slurping up the last of my milkshake, the young girl came out of the restaurant, smiling and bouncing to her car.
She got in and immediately started texting. I assumed she got the job or at the very least some positive news.
I wonder if she knew this day was tipping point in her life.
What if she had just turned around when those people interrupted her and driven away?
We’ve all had those moments that changed our life course one way or another.
It’s difficult when we’re older to have to admit that all of our choices we made in life, make up who we are today.
We all have regrets, but the doors we didn’t open, we regret the most.
At least that’s what McGregor says.