Well I did it. I survived another Black Friday working retail. I have a lot of mixed emotions about this retail holiday this year. My sister and I have been going shopping on Black Friday for the last 12 years in a row and this was the first year we didn’t go together. She’s 9 months pregnant and I had to work at 4am so that kind of put a damper on our tradition this year. It’s not really the shopping that I look forward too, but the time I get to spend with her just enjoying the season and each other. For some reason, this year we both just weren’t happy with what Black Friday has become. The sales weren’t that great and there wasn’t anything we just HAD to have and it seemed like all of the fun and excitement had been sucked away. I hope it will transition back into something more enjoyable and less about all the grumpy people grumbling about anything they can that might go wrong. There is a slight chance of that, right?

Since October I have been doing a lot of reading about what it means to be an Empath and how to cope with my emotions a little better. I have been trying to compartmentalize the emotions I have been feeling that aren’t mine and distinguish them from my own. It’s been a bit of a slow process. Lucky me though, I work in retail and can have plenty of practice in large crowds. Today really put that to a test. I have been up since 3 am and as hard as I tried when I got off work, I just couldn’t turn my brain off enough to nap. The amount of people that I interacted with today and the different emotions I’ve felt has been interesting to say the least. It is exhausting to try and protect yourself from the emotions of those around you when you are highly sensitive to them. Impatience, frustration, and anger were among the top of the list for the customers in our store today. This, I am realizing, is why I had trouble trying to nap when I got home.  I am so keyed up with all of these feelings, that I couldn’t settle down.

Constantly trying to block unwanted emotions while working with hundreds of people is just crazy. I need to learn how to do that better. My body aches, my head hurts, and my anxiety levels have been through the roof today. I know it is common after a long shift to be tired, but I am so glad I know why I am so much more than just tired. Black Friday shopping isn’t for the faint of heart, neither is working retail on Black Friday. Especially for someone like me. Here’s to hoping I can learn to better block myself and get back to enjoying Black Friday!