As the current chapter of my life draws to a close, and a new one about to open, I can't help but think of the new relationships and experiences I have encountered and know that I'll never forget for the rest of my life.
It was summer of 2010, I was a server at an Italian joint in Cedar Rapids, IA. I was making money, but that was the only thing I liked about the job, I didn't like smiling while getting yelled at for not cooking this guy's steak well-done enough; running around the front, legitimately stressed out and in the weeds, but unable to get any help while trying to keep from breaking down. In the server world, no matter how much you say you're a team, there becomes a point in a busy night where its every man for himself.
I was one of those people that went into work, dreading it.
I realized then that it was time for a change, I wanted to do what I enjoyed. So I took my chef aside and asked him that the next time they had an opening in the kitchen that I wanted to be considered. Of course there were no openings at the time, so I was a little let down, but I didn't give up.
By November, I was set to have my first day in the kitchen. I was so excited that they were willing to give a person with no kitchen training a chance. I was so excited...I was an hour late for my first A.M. shift.
Its been 5 months now and I think I can finally handle things, I have made friends I'll never forget and will hopefully see or work with in the future. It's the hard times that bring out the greatest friendships, our boys overseas come home with friends they'll still talk to on a regular basis in twenty years. Especially with the implementation of social media, it is that much easier to keep in touch with someone across the country or world, phone numbers change, but facebook names stay the same.
In this world its all about who you know, throughout the many jobs I will have taken so many names and numbers of people I respect as cooks and hopefully, one day, I will make a few phone calls to recruit my all star team, or at least I hope they will do the same for me.
In the last 5 months I have grown so much closer to my fellow employees, they're my only friends in this city and I don't want that any other way. I will miss the bonds that have been created on Friday or Saturday nights, deep in the weeds and just wanting to catch up.
Where's this next chapter going to take me? Am I falling for the 'big city big dreams' cliche?
I would like to hope not, I hope that I have what it takes to tackle and succeed in the big city.