I used to work in a bar, several different places at different times of my life, and I also had a brief stint as a waitress at a family restaurant, where I wore a poo-brown uniform and learned to hate all children and generally sucked. The kind of waitress, forgetful and stressed and six orders behind, that you pity and loathe in equal measure.
Still, for some odd reason, after that when I had jobs that I hated for one reason or another (and there always was one reason or another), I consoled myself by thinking, Well, if they fire me, I can always be a waitress again. I don't know why, but I saw this as my ace in the hole. I'd always be able to support myself, so there was no reason to get overwrought about the current situation.
I'm not sure when it dawned on me that this wasn't really so. Maybe it was some time after my back surgery, when I watched a waitress balancing six plates on a tray held above her shoulders like a giant flying saucer. No, I could not do this. In reality I never was any good at it, but now I am physically as well as temperamentally incapable.
I don't mean this to be a reflection on aging and loss, though it could easily go that direction. Rather, I mean to celebrate. I never have to be a waitress again! That possibility is off the table, and the other things that I can pursue--things that don't require me to pilot a flying saucer through a maze of tables while trying to remember who the hell wanted more catsup and why I have an iced tea pitcher in my other hand--these are much more exciting and satisfying possibilities.
Best of all, no uniform required.