Some of you dear readers know this already, but many of you probably do not. The “Restaurant Gal” is trying with all her might to leave the “Restaurant World” behind. I have not posted in a while, because I’ve been trying to figure out how a blog about the life of a restaurant gal fits in with a woman who is no longer working in one. The larger question, of course, is how does the life of a woman who has identified herself as such for so many years, fit in at all? And what now?
The answer to that question is something I am answering one day at a time. As a milestone birthday approaches (don’t ask,) it’s time now for me to try and make some of my dreams come true… to write for a living instead of for an hour at midnight. To finish the screenplay I’ve been blabbering about for years. To find my music again, and maybe even be lucky enough to get paid to perform it every once in a while.
In order to begin to try accomplishing these things, I knew I had to physically remove myself not just from the Restaurant itself, but from even any proximity to it. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant before, you know that getting out of it can be a slippery slope, and that you’re always just one phone call away from slapping on your apron and jumping into the fray. And when you love the people who need the help, you can’t very well say no, can you? And so, here I am, now living in Indianapolis (Carmel, to be specific,) on my Big Adventure… also known as: “The Scariest Thing I Have Ever Done in My Life.”
Oh, it’s one thing to jump in your car and move to a new city when you’re 21. I felt like I was going to take Chicago by storm back then. And maybe I didn’t storm it, but I did make a little mark in my time there. But when you’re (insert milestone birthday here) and you move to a city where you know a handful of people, it’s a whole different talk show, as they say. And let’s be clear, when I say “they,” I mean other people who actually use that phrase, not imaginary friends. I just want to clarify that because I talk to myself a lot now that I’m living alone and I’m afraid my neighbors think a crazy woman has moved in next door.
And so what is it that I do all day, as I’m chattering away to myself? Well, I’m combing the internet for freelance writing jobs, I’m networking like crazy, I’ve been to Target about a thousand times, and I’m forcing myself to go out alone and talk to total strangers. Now I talked to total strangers all the time in the Restaurant. I’m certainly not shy and I had no problem with that. But this is different. This requires all the bravery and bravado I’ve ever had to muster. But I’m doin’ it. And KJG has been unwaveringly supportive as I navigate these new waters and she navigates the waters of the Restaurant without me there to help her row.
So back to my original question.
How do we explain a blog written by a “Restaurant Gal” who no longer works in a Restaurant? The answer seems pretty clear to me now… I’m the same gal I’ve been all along. I’ll always be a Restaurant Gal in my heart. I’m always going to notice when the table next to mine needs water, or be amused when a server mispronounces a word while telling me the specials. I’ll never stop wishing that every restaurant’s food could be as good as KJG’s, and I’ll never stop annoying my dinner companions by bringing that up.
And, as “they” (you know, my imaginary friends) say, never say never. My black apron is neatly folded in the back of my drawer. That slippery slope never gets any less steep and rent must be paid. And I’m certainly not getting paid to write this little missive. But I’m hoping that others will pay me for what I love to do more than anything else in the world.
I’m closing my eyes and jumping.