Sometimes, things just don’t work out. Life doesn’t seem fair. In reality, life isn’t meant to be fair, and life isn’t obligated to give you what you want. It’s a painful realization, but it’s life. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.
People move along with their lives around me and I just don’t understand how they are doing so well. It seems to me like everyone is doing great, and I’m living under a rock. They smile, laugh, whatever. They have friends and families who are always together and having a great time! It’s frustrating to feel so out of the loop sometimes. I do what I can, I try really hard, but in my mind, I’m never measuring up. Anyone feel me on this?
My name is Carrigan Thomas, and I am a brown haired, brown eyed, short girl. I am a little overweight and I am a little lonely, I guess. I’m 20 years old, almost 21, and I am going to a community college in my hometown (that I have almost never left) Galveston, Texas. People might think that a town on the coast like Galveston must be a blast to live in, but here’s another reality check: Galveston is tiny, there are tons of tourists, and unless you love sand in an unusual way, you avoid the dirty beaches. The water is brown- that’s right, brown! There is a constant view of ships from the seawall, and the seagulls will eat your French fries. While the town is charming and historical, you can only evacuate due to flooding and hurricanes so much before it becomes a drag. Rebuilding after storms like Hurricane Harvey and Ike is depressing at the very least. The sun is ultra-strong, and I’m very tanned, but so is everyone else!
I have been attending Island Community College for about a year now. I took a little break between high school and college to get my bearings, and now I feel like I’m behind everyone else. Granted, people only post the good things that are happening in their lives on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I don’t know what’s really happening to anyone, because they all left. Life I said, Galveston is only so charming for so long. Most people use University as their first bail off the island as soon as they graduate. Most of them ran off to Houston or other big cities. I like to blame money for me staying home, but really, I was too afraid to leave home, no matter how dreary it can be here sometimes.
The biggest problem is that everyone left to school and I have hardly one friend. My best friend is in Houston at Rice University (which is amazing) and we don’t talk much, just a text here and there. Her name is Janie, and I miss her. She got me out of my shell. She was kind of crazy, and she is so pretty, with red hair and green eyes on a tall, thin body. The guys loved her, and she loved partying, which got me some social time too. Ever since she left it’s like I don’t know how to function. I hate to admit I cried for days when she left.
Anyway, I spend my days now doing schoolwork and working at a convenience store on the seawall. My mom says it’s good for me, to get out and work and interact with lots of people, but I’m mostly stretched thin by the end of the day. Tourists can be really shitty, and I tire of the constant stream of attention I’m given. It feels great to go home and relax. It’s stressful to work and go to school. But all in all, life is okay. I’m fine with how it’s all going.
I heard the ding of the computer when I finally hit “clock-out” on Thursday evening. It had been a long week. My off days were sometimes isolated within the week, but I was promised that I would have more days off in a row when I had asked about it. I had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off. Angelina, the owner of the shop, was always kind to me, but I knew it was hard for her too. She was a friend of my mom’s, and she and I were the only ones who worked the storefront. A man named Hector handled stocking items, moving around heavy things, and I think lately he has been working the register for Angelina when I was out. It wouldn’t be surprising to me, at least.
Angelina was a woman my mom met at a BINGO hall when she was raising money for the animal shelter. Although she didn’t care for cats because they “smell” and “tear up the furniture”, she was apparently charming enough to convince my mom to come in for a game. They got to talking, and somehow, she began coming to our house every Sunday after church for lunch. It’s been a few months that this has been happening, and I know my mom enjoys it. Angelina was a much older woman, with curly white locks of hair. I think that she reminds my mom of my grandma. She has had health problems since we met her, and I think that hiring me (whether she could actually afford it or not) has been a blessing for her. I couldn’t imagine her working all the time.
I waved goodbye to Hector who barely gave me a look before I walked out the door onto the sidewalk. A storm brewing north of us was causing the tide to swell and the wind to blow. People blew by on multi-person bikes, trying to get back to rental facilities before the rain began to pour. I got on my own bike, parked behind the building, watching formations of pelicans flying by in the wind as I rode down the seawall. They flew so precisely, in groups of four or more. Feathers slick and bodies shooting through the cloudy skies. Maybe I didn't see the bad in things, just the good, I thought. Surely there must be an odd one out, somewhere, just like me. Right?