Don't Sell Yourself Short
Over St. Patty’s Day drinks at the bar on Monday, I was filling my sister in on my new job. She had a bunch of questions, never having worked in a kitchen, and one that struck a chord w/ me was when she asked if I liked the fast change of pace the kitchen brought as opposed to the desk jobs I was used to. I was more than a little surprised w/ my answer: I was loving it.
I was never one of those people who didn’t want to be holed up behind a desk all day, who thought spending their days in a cubicle equated to a misery worse than a wine hangover. Bring me cube living, bring me my 10am yogurt and 3pm snack time crawl; I live for routine and there’s nothing more routine than working in an office.
Add that to the fact that I used to watch Hell’s Kitchen on the reg and Gordon Ramsay scared the ever-living shit out of me and you’ve got yourself a girl who thought office life was the bees knees. Until she was in an office that was a misery far worse than a Franzia hangover. So she traded in her kitten heels for non-slip clogs and decided to give it a go in the kitchen.
(this girl is me, btw)
It got me thinking; you never really know what you like and what you don’t like until you’re doing it. Sure, you can make a list of all the deal-breakers in your future mate, but what if someone comes along, everything you want in a potential partner, and you didn’t know until three perfect dates in that they have a kid? Is “no kids” still a hard and fast pre-req? It’s easy to make generalizations like “I could never do that” or “I would never stand for that at work/in a relationship” until you’re actually faced w/ said circumstance.
I never thought I worked well under pressure until I was thrown into pressure: Restaurant Week three weeks into the job, the power just went out, all the tickets are coming in wonky and the station you’re helping is severely under prepped. What do you do? What can you do, except roll up your sleeves and say "game on, bitches." It wasn’t Gordon Ramsay shouting expletives in my face and throwing my risotto in the trash, but it was definitely the most stressful situation I’ve ever been in. And you know what? I could handle it.
When I got into running about two years ago, my iPod was my lifeline. To this day, I don’t think I could ever run without it. And then I remember Broad Street two years ago, how I ran ten miles with the best running buddy I could have asked for and didn’t even think to bring my iPod.
When I watch one of those HGTV shows about flipping a house and see how a sudden roach infestation causes more panic than forgetting to DVR this weeks’ Walking Dead, I cringe in disgust and think how I could never live in those circumstances; until I remember that apartment Beth and I lived in a few years ago. So I had to turn on every light in the apartment when I got up at night to use the bathroom, so I had to put my sneakers on so I’d be ready to stomp those little shits when I saw them scatter, big whoop. Looking back, it was just my life. Now I watch a show like that and I’m like, fuck no, I could never live like that. Except I managed to live like that for about nine months because I had to. It’s amazing what you can do when it’s your only option.
Bottom line: you’re more resilient than you could ever imagine. Don’t write off a person, job, experience just b/c you think it’s not a good match. You don’t know how it will play out until you give it time to actually play out. And if it ends up being not the ideal fit, it’s not the end of the world. It’s the end of a chapter in your life and you’re that much of a stronger person for having that experience under your belt.
At least, that’s what I tell myself for having lived at Roach Motel 6.