No Doubt, I’m All-In

I’m just a girl, punching some letters, wondering; what this post will be about: an excellent fart joke, the memory of the time I won Homecoming queen, or how much I loved dealing poker.

How about we start with poker?

Dan, a mostly all-the-time alcoholic that stashed six-packs in the bushes, taught me to deal in 2005. He stood behind me on my first day, likely drunk, and barked instructions and corrections at me like an internet troll while I could barely make eye contact with the players on the table.

But trial by fire is a fantastic way to break into something intimidating. Because if you don’t sink, you swim, and at 21 years old, coming home to my roommates and flinging $200 worth of cash on the couch meant financial prosperity I’d only dreamt of.

As I saw in my degenerate gambler co-workers, fast money spends quickly. But thankfully, I saved it. Which ultimately led to buying a house at 28 and a year-long road trip around the country at 30.

As you can imagine, being in an environment where I saw bottles crack over people’s heads was not conducive to health and security in the long term. So the day I closed the casino chapter and started my journey as a mental health counselor, I felt tremendously grateful for the hard work I put in to change my life’s trajectory.

Do I want to sling some cards around now and then? Sure. Do I miss having stacks of hundred-dollar bills stashed in my bathroom closet? Of course.

But that my casino past is now a distant memory is something for which I am incredibly proud.


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