Growing Out of Judgmental

Funny how at the beginning of a new year, our minds seem to always float back to the previous year, recapping all that you’ve gone through.

As I was getting ready for work this morning I began to reminisce about my time last year in Fort Lauderdale, specifically the last 8 months that I was there. The apartment where I was living and its neighborhood, the neighbor’s I had, the job I worked. Being as though your job is pretty much your second home, where you spend most of your time if not all of it, my thoughts swam here for a bit. I began to remember those I worked with and worked for, and I just couldn’t help but laugh. It was mainly made up of overly wealthy investors that had never worked a day in the restaurant industry, and young 20 year olds with barely any employment history. I pictured my manager friend, Dolly, who would have a mini melt-down when her managing status wasn’t being fully recognized or even slightly respected. I thought about the girls I got along with but truly only due to default. They were basically the “mean girls” of the establishment. Young fashionistas, that had no problem shunning others , never allowing for new people to really enter into their clique. Why they accepted me into their circle? I have no idea. Could have been the age difference? Could have been the tattoos or the way I carried myself? Maybe it was due to the fact that I could care less about whether or not I’d be accepted. Regardless, whether we shot the shit at work or not, I still wasn’t immune from their gossip. The grapevine didn’t take long to reach me, and like water off a duck’s back, I always kept it moving.

Those few months were spent with people close to 10 years younger than me in age and although I wasn’t ecstatic about it (I always assumed that by the age of 30 I would have been long out of the server life), it was fun for me to observe. Now, I know I’m going to sound like some middle-aged know it all, but I do remember back when I was their age, early 20’s, and thinking I had life by the balls. I thought of myself as a mature young lady, wise for her years, a hard worker who knew how to deal with life. Though, some of that may be true, most of it was way off key. I didn’t know diddly squat about life. I had no idea that although you could take steps towards always doing the “right thing”, that life could still come around and knock you on your ass. Back then it was almost a feeling of entitlement, a feeling that you could judge others for their “stupid” mistakes, even sometimes feel like you had the right to look down on them because of those mistakes. This is all before learning how most of the time you’re basing what is “right” and “acceptable” by standards placed on us by society, aka: other human beings. As I lived my life, I was humbled by the experiences I had gone through, and quickly outgrew my judgmental phase.

Not taking life too seriously was something that took me a while to learn but once I did, it was like I released my self from self imposed chains. You start to realize all the stress and anxiety you placed upon yourself by caring too much about the things you cannot change, and caring too little about the things that truly matter. I would watch and listen to my young co-workers and internally wonder when this realization would flick them on their forehead, a necessary wake up call.

I have since then moved and have fallen out of contact with many of these people, but still, I can’t help but wonder if they’ve humbled up some and have grown out of being judgmental of others. I can only hope that they’re currently on that journey, and that someday they look back to their early years and have that moment of realization. I hope that when entering their 30’s they do so with humble new hearts.

Out With The Old

It has been months since I’ve posted anything of importance on my page. I’ve been asked by people if I’m okay, if I’ve been reconsidering writing, if I’ve lost myself or my creativity for ideas. They’re all legitimate questions, I guess, for those who don’t really know me. Writing will forever be my passion and it will forever be the one thing I strive to do with my life. I will say that in the last 6 months I feel as though the Universe has been purging my life of any thing that is either holding me back or trying to guide me into a wrong direction, a direction that really isn’t where I want my life to go. Moments like these of course impact my writing and it can even lead me to going into hiding at which then any writing I do is all personal and away from public eyes.

These past six months I have been able to sift through some ideas I had been playing around with for quite sometime. I have also been becoming more grounded in the ways of how I want to be living my life; ways that best fit me and who I am as an individual, as opposed to what society may see fit for me. I have become prouder of who I am as a person and in the decisions I have made in my life. I have noticed the increase in my inner strength and courage, and have been an active witness to what a woman I have slowly become. There are aspects of my life that of course need improvement. That is obviously something that will always be a part of life, the need of improvement for mind, body and soul.

One very new self-revelation that I have come across is the the level of embracing who I am as an individual and wholeheartedly loving the being who is me. To me this is what matters above all else because this level of self love and acceptance fuels everything else. It’s what keeps the motivation going and the strength to always achieve the things that make you truly happy. Along with positive self-worth comes the knowledge of knowing that you do deserve happiness and all good things that life has to offer you.

Little by little I have been approaching a life that embraces more minimalism when it comes to the materialistic and it has in turn enriched my life in so many other ways, more valuable ways. Stress and Anxiety rarely live here anymore. Whenever I feel a hint of either, I dismiss it in my own way, be it by meditation, by simple positive thinking, whatever it is that I choose to help ease any anxiousness or stress. I feel as though I have begun to really believe the saying, “every problem has a solution”, because lately no problem seems too much to handle. I feel like after years of preparing myself mentally, I have finally gotten to that point in which I can really take a look at situations objectively and understand. I may not have the answers to why, when, where, how… the understanding comes with the knowledge of knowing that some things I cannot change yet I can still go with the flow of life and allow for certain things to handle themselves.

I’ve got a lot of “newness” coming into my life. After months of breaking down an old foundation and getting rid of the past, the old, and everything that no longer serves me, it is now time for the rebuild. I have so much more creativity due to this newness it’s time to give back, because with new opportunities, new adventures, a new way of living comes new stories, new troubles that will arise that I will find solutions to and then will later be able to give my own advice on.

There is an excitement that I haven’t felt in quite a long time and I embrace everything that is coming in to my world for the first time.

The Hourly Side Of It

Many close to me know that it has been for quite some time now that I’ve had an urge to leave the food and beverage industry in pursuit of change. Working in restaurants is something that I have been doing for most of my life now, more than half of my life to be exact. Although serving and bartending can be extremely lucrative, for me it had gotten to the point where it was a mindless job. Now matter what bar or restaurant I began working, it was all the same to me.

I got my chance to switch up my occupation but it wasn’t easy obtaining this new job nor has it been an easy transition.

I went on three interviews for this place. The first two were just days apart. By interview two I was stoked. I figured if they called me in for a second interview they would for sure hire me.

They never called me back. A week had passed and I had heard nothing from the place I had interviewed with. The confidence I had walked out of there with had pretty much vanished and what stood in its place was the feeling of worthlessness. I had always been able to land any restaurant job I had ever interviewed for but when it came to doing something different with my life, it seemed as though no other type of establishment would hire me.

I went on vacation for a week to go visit family. Throughout that whole time I kept thinking to myself how much I was really dreading going back to my serving job. Honestly it wasn’t as though I was working for bad bosses or that I couldn’t tolerate my co-workers. I did truly enjoy working with the people I worked with. The clientele was a bit more upper class than I would have liked, but even that I could tolerate. I just wasn’t feeling the service industry anymore. I decided that I wouldn’t let this job I had interviewed for get away from me that easily. I made a decision that when I got back home I would email the business a “follow up” letter. What would be the worst that could happen?? That they would respond and tell me, “I’m sorry but the position has been filled..” or simply not respond at all. I could deal with that. At the very least I would know that I had truly tried.

I arrived home on a Monday afternoon and within minuets of arriving I had sat at my computer and composed a lovely follow-up email. As soon as I sent it, I closed my laptop and tried to forget about it. It was just a few hours later that they responded. They wanted me to meet with the owner of the company the very next day. I was thrilled.

The following day came and as I got ready for this interview I reminded myself that this could go either way. Either she was going to love me and hire me or she was going to be unimpressed and I’d never hear from them again. I tried to keep high hopes while also knowing that I had to be realistic in this situation. What was the situation? The fact that my resume consisted of mainly restaurant work and hardly anything else. The truth of the matter was that if she did hire me it would be a huge risk on her part due to the simple fact that I had no experience in the field I was interviewing for. Either way, I went in with my head up high. Hopefully she would see that although I had no experience in what I was interviewing for, I still had wonderful qualities and attributes that I could contribute, while also having the capability to learn quickly.

Interviewing with her was easy. She was very down to earth and natural to talk to. She asked about my work history, told me in detail about the company and what she was looking to build within her team. To be honest, it hadn’t felt as though we were on an interview but more so just chatting. By then end of it, I walked out not knowing if I had gotten the job but feeling as though I did. Still, I kept it realistic. I had left the two previous interviews walking on clouds and never got called back so why would this be any different?

The phone call came two hours later. One of the managers I had previously interviewed with called to tell me I was hired. I was to start the very next day. I was ecstatic. Being relentless and not taking “no” for an answer had really worked out in my favor and I was happy to have been given an opportunity to prove that I was capable of doing the job even if I didn’t have much experience.

Fast forward to a month later and the thrill and the excitement has almost diminished completely. Starting a new job is hard. Starting a new job that you have no clue about is even harder. Add to the mix, the fact that I went from making nightly cash to now waiting every two weeks for a paycheck that pays a fraction of what one used to make, and now life is one big ball of stress. I will not lie, I have my good days, when everything seems fine and dandy. Those are the days I make no mistakes doing my job while also having a good time with my coworkers. Then I have the days that everything I touch I seem fuck up.  These are the days that I feel like I am not good enough to do what I was hired to do. These are the days in which I feel like “why did I even bother to force myself into a situation I was clearly not qualified for?”

The grass is not always greener on the other side. I now understand, that because I had been serving and bartending for so long, I had taken it all for granted. The money, the scheduling, the connection with my customers, all of that I overlooked and now that I’m on the hourly side of life, I crave it all back. Will I stay at this new job that I struggled so hard to get? In all honesty, I will answer by saying no. I was good at what I did and I made money doing so. It won’t be long before I find my way back to what once was. For now I will suck it up and make the most I can out of this frustrating situation, because let’s face it, why make it more miserable than it has to be? I have learned a lot about myself  by pursuing something that was out of reach, out of my norm. When you go outside of your comfort zone, you may not always strike it big but you will always learn something about yourself that you never really knew or ever paid attention to before.

I have no regrets on any of the decisions I’ve made that have landed me where I am at this moment in time.  Everything I do and experience adds to the value of my life. It all serves a purpose and although at times it may be frustrating to go through some of these adventures, they are none the less adventures, and isn’t that what we live for in the end?