My Own

The restaurant job. Sigh… The feel was similar, familiar. Comforting, actually. I was woo’ed by them for three weeks, a high point being a fantastic meal at the chef’s table and an then invitation to work there. At first I was thrilled, really excited about the idea; being part of another great restaurant with a very talented rising chef (who if you haven’t heard of yet, you absolutely will in the coming year). Then just a few days ago things began to feel… off. Just… off. Questions weren’t being answered, the left hand didn’t seem to know what the right hand was doing and I wasn’t feeling confident that it was the right move for me. Which was a strange and sad feeling. Was it the restaurant or was it me? Something had changed. I’d always wanted to be around talent, especially talented chefs. I’ve been drawn to chefs for years, even dated a few. They interested me the way vintage cars interest certain people. So what was happening there?

Well… I received a full time job offer from my good friend at the scooter shop, in a completely different line of work. He too had been wooing me, and was completely content to wait for me to make my mind up, even committing to only part time work for him. It’s a line of work revolving around a hobby which I do love but know nothing about in terms of the business that allows for it. But my friend has total confidence in me and has taken me under his wing to get me up and running as a functional member of the team. I drafted a gracious, appreciative email to the restaurant chefs and owners and with a certain amount of uncertainty, hit ‘send’. Several hours ago, I received a response from the Executive Chef (the one you’ll be hearing about) telling me he was sorry and asking to meet with me.

After a long talk with an aforementioned former chef I once dated, he insisted I was over-thinking it and should be happy to take the opportunity to get away from the restaurant industry while I could. As if it had been a punishment all this time. But it’s not, I do love it. I was having a hard time articulating to him why I feel almost guilty about turning the down position (whatever position it would have been).

Then it occurred to me, and I unknowingly alluded to this in my email, that in spite of all the wonderful learning and experiences I’ve gained from my time in the industry I think it’s time to be an observer. To appreciate the experiences with fresh eyes rather than the nitpicky ones that come from so many years inspecting service. To be able to relax and enjoy a particular dish or glass of wine without critique… how glorious! It’s time to be a civilian once again (if that’s even possible after so many years). It’s time to have nights and weekends off (glory be!) and not base my personal clock on a five-hour skew from the rest of the world. I’m pretty excited about that.

I imagine actually, that when I move out and because I won’t be working in restaurants anymore, that I will cook a lot more than I have the last year or so which is huge. I miss my own kitchen, my own space. I miss cooking for friends that drop by. Hosting out of towners. Padding around in socks and pajamas. Falling asleep on the couch and not being woken by arriving roommates. Coming and going as I please. Decorating as I see fit. Not worrying about what’s going to get broken and damaged by someone other than me. Roku. Yellow walls with white trim. A new shower curtain. I’ll be healthier. I’m already happier. Onward. Upward. Come with.

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