When I was in high school, I got busted for shoplifting at the Piggly Wiggly. I know it wasn’t a big deal, but I still felt really guilty about it. I promised the manager I would never do it again, and he was nice enough to let the matter drop without filing charges or calling my parents. I have never done anything like that again.
I just graduated college, and just found a local position with great benefits. Unfortunately, it’s at the same grocery store company I shoplifted from years ago. I am not really sure what to do — is this something I should still feel guilty about? Should I apply for the job at all?
Angtsy in Andersonville
When I was a puppy, I used to chew on my mom’s slippers. Mom was mad, but she was also nice and taught me what things I should chew instead, so I never chewed shoes or slippers again. I have done other silly things throughout my life, but I have always been Abby. Mom never calls me Abby the Slipper Chewer, Abby the Carpet Wizzer, Abby the Toilet Drinker, or any such things. In mom’s book, Get Over it and Get Started, she says that the past may shape you, but it does not define you.
In other words, I have not been identified with silly things I did when I was younger and did not know any better. Most people call me Good Girl, Smart Dog, Great Fetcher, Sweetie, and other things that I am now. It’s the same with you, and those things you call yourself? That is your choice, too.
The nice man at the grocery store could have been very mad, but he saw that you wanted to make it right. You took that chance and became a better person. Mom read your letter, and she says she is willing to bet that if you were to run into that same store manager, he would laugh about it more than anything, and he would be proud of the person you have become. In other words, don’t let such a minor thing control your potential success. You are not a victim, you are the one in charge of who you are and who you will become. Good luck on getting the job; I know you will retrieve it!