Monday, November 14, 2011

Thoughts from the Underbelly: Part 2

I wrote the following passage when I was at my lowest point in my corporate career. When I was finally ready to say good-bye to my cushy corporate life, and embark on a journey into the culinary underbelly.


I simply enjoy the tireless work ethics of these 20-somethings who regularly cook some of the best food I've ever eaten. I share in the same appreciation of good food, and visual artistry. I admire how they take what they do seriously, and they take pride in how things get done. The idea that if you do something enough times, you're going to get better at it. These people are in essence, professionals; they're unique and they're good at what they do. They should be respected for this. I challenge any pompous schmuck who doubts this to work service at a busy restaurant and it's almost a certainty they will be offended by the dirty chatter and sorely ache the next day.

Ironically, this self-deprecating journey shouldn't be about anyone else but me, but it seems to affect everyone around me. On some level, I feel like I've let some people down, while inspiring others to go out on a limb even if I'm fully aware it might break. The ones that have inspired me will always have their place in my journey, and will be a constant reminder of how far I still have to go. I need to be humbled, and reminded that I'm not the know-it-all little shit I thought I was. In this industry, you can leave your ego at the door, or risk having whatever's left of it carved out by a 9.5" sujihiki. 

If there's ever a time, or if there's anything I'd like to take seriously, it's this. I want desperately to be good at something, but really, it's an arbitrary goal that cannot ever be achieved anyway. And that's fine with me. To me, the journey is more important than the destination. It's who you become once you reach your destination that defines who you are, and how others see you. 

Of course, I don't tend to live a life on the line, but I need to be humbled, my ego broken, and I need to learn as much as I can about good food, and surround myself with people who can support whatever dreams I might aspire to pursue. I've seen people's life evolve in the short amount of time I've been there, changing opportunistically as well as through self-motivation.

So it appears that the countdown has begun, at least for now. Hopefully this time it will stick, and I can finally allow myself to jump into the unknown once again. It surprises me that even though it's worked out great all the previous times, that I still find a way to dispel the confidence I might otherwise have. It's not the way to go, and I know it.

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