Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Looking back and forward at the same time




It has been months, my idea of documenting the recreation of a kitchen has gone sour. The stories lost in the battle are bittersweet. My sheer lack of disipline and my natural penchant for getting in the life weeds has sent them to the 86 list and made room for new stories.
My time at 'the Bistro' was short lived and was my first taste of being on the business and of a sour deal. I can say the bitterness has been washed away, and I tried my damnedest to be the best I could be. I took freaking French lessons for god sake.. and I made a few solid misfit friends in the wash but alas, it was all bigger than me.
NO regrets -- but, I am thankful the the doors I left slightly ajar behind me didn't closed. The simple truth is not "no thanks I can do better but, thank you but I am not doing the best I can do for you"
Unemployment was a painful, wonderful and in the end a re-envigorating journey. The first week was spent in bed turning 34 and reading the entire 'twighlight' sereis. Cliche as it is, vampires and love stories were the perfect escape. After years of being big shit in the best fucking restaurant in America, there I was jobless, knifeless and feeling a little trodden by the 'man'. When your life is your job, you live behind the fire all day and you drink through the night just to feel normal.
With one hand on my ego and the other on my boot straps, I got out of bed. In a whirlwind of creative desire and an unhealthy pocketbook, I became a gardener, a sewer of things. I glued my fingers shut with little projects here and there and decided that never again will I let my job define me, will I let the hours and the heat and the burns be the only life I know.
Don't get me wrong I love to cook I love the fire and the ass grabbing and all the dirty little secrets that come along with being a kitchen hand, but when letters go unanswered and my mother doesn't know my current address and my friends see become orbital beings I only see through facebook updates, here is where I get myself in trouble.
There were hundreds of resumes sent into what seemed to be a black hole of recession stink. Were all the years I spent building this resume for not? When I left Frontera , I thought, I can go anywhere, but when Chefs are cutting staff to twenty hours, and they can get lifer line cook for a song, why hire a transplant from a fancy restaurant that might move on when she got a better offer or try to take over. I get it.
The months of uncertainty were the recharge I needed to make steps toward what I want to to with my life. Be and stay happy, to protect the time away from the kitchen from being trampled on by my love for the kitchen, find some love that is reciprocated and les fleeting, and nurture the knowlage I've amassed beyond knife skills and use it creatively ( with a few less hours on my feet). I think I am finding that great white hope....
My garden is growing, I've quit biting my nails, and my room is still am mess.
But I am happy.