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I Can See Clearly Now

Tunnell of Darkness

O'Sullivan’s Pub: a little hole in the wall Irish restaurant in which I have worked a total of six months. In those six months, I have had rumors spread about me, alienations, lies told to me to heighten my workload, and laughter at my pain. O'Sullivan’s was getting increasingly toxic and I was not used to being surrounded by people that didn’t like me for no reason, but I told myself I wouldn’t let them win which would result in me finding another job. Until the 6-month threshold when it was as if my hazing had ceased, I had continued telling myself that God and the universe had put me in this environment for a reason and I need to be open to their message; that message became clear to me on what seemed like a typical Saturday night closing shift.

Just like every other pub in Delaware, O'Sullivan’s has its fair share of bar regulars. There is one bar regular that had taken an inkling to me and vice versa. This fifty-year-old man named Gabriel has gotten a reputation around the pub as being a hard ass that has connections to get anything done at his beck and call. Through casual conversation Gabriel found out that I was going to school for Behavioral Science and as our interactions increased, Gabriel slowly started to open up to me more and more. Typically, a very closed off and over protective man, it made me proud that he felt the need and want to talk to me, but this Saturday was different. Gabriel and I have been discussing the fact that he has been trying to get a house for a couple weeks now and he had his heart sold on one in particular. Having won a lawsuit in his younger years, money was not a factor in this decision making and Gabriel was unsure if the family would accept his offer of 5 thousand less than asking price after having denied his first offer; Gabriel continued on to say with tears in his eyes that he just wanted to make his mother proud after she had abandoned him as a child and promised himself he wouldn’t go above his personal limit of this final offer put in. Anticipating hearing from the real estate agent the next day, Gabriel left, and I continued my shift.

Not even 15 minutes later, as if a scene in a movie, Gabriel walks back through that door with the color gone from his face and jaw down low as he called out my name… I turn to respond, as does everyone else in the restaurant, and he yells “I got the house!!” It was such a powerful moment as tears welled in both our eyes, I embraced him and congratulated him on his new accomplishment. So many things had gone wrong in Gabriel’s life that it was finally time to see something go right that he had worked so hard for and earned all on his own; Gabriel continued by saying “I just had to come back and tell you, as soon as I heard the news, you were the one I wanted to tell… you’ve helped me through all of this and helped me to not give up, you’re 21 and typically people that age are children and here you are helping me with my life and making a difference daily for me and I just want to thank you so much for that... you’re going to be amazing at what you do, I mean it.”

Feeling his energy along with my own recent insecurities that last sentence hit home at an astronomical level. With my college education coming to an end and recent interning work, I have had a continual thought in my head that maybe I’m not cut out to be a counselor due to my own mental health issues, my lack of retainment to information, or more so lack of information given throughout my experience and hearing those words made me realize the reason I stayed at O'Sullivan’s all along. Gabriel was the first person in which I helped, consoled, and listened to on a daily basis in which no relationship was established first; having no friendship, mutual acquaintance, or romantic involvement thrown in the mix of my typical “counseling sessions” with people I know, it’s as if he was my first client. To hear him say those words to be during such an impressionable time, I will never forget it for the rest of my life and will always refer to that moment when I’m feeling down on my abilities or think I’m not helping to the best possible notion. All the rumors and heartache before this point and transition in my life were well worth this powerful moment I experienced and taught me to not second guess myself, be open to messages sent from the universe and God, gratification isn't always instantaneous, and to never give up on something I believe so heavily in.

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