Friday, February 5, 2010

All over the place

This blog entry, like most everything for me right now will be... All over the place.

It has been a while since I've sat down to write. The excuses are many. Tomorrow, tonight, this weekend when I have a spare moment. Days turns to weeks and so on. So much has happened in the last few months, good and bad, and any spare moment I have to write is quickly overtaken by the urge to lay down recharge for what's to come.

If I was to only choose a few of words for my life during the last part of this year they would be: Pressure, Inspiration, and Motivation. And like a good game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" each word has its strengths and weaknesses.

Let's start with the pressure.

The pressure is an everyday thing and to be honest, I couldn't live without it. I don't know life without the constant looming questions of "How are we going to pay the bills this week?" or "What are we going to do to keep the customers coming back?" I thrive off the hustle and I take pride in always managing to make it happen. To me 2009 was "The Year of the Hustle"! The pressure forces us to keep going. To find a way. But there is a different kind of pressure that hides in the back ground and shows itself as doubt. It's the doubt that slows you down if not stops you dead in your tracks. It's not long before the doubt leads to questions of worth and place. What am I doing? Where am I going? The fortunate thing however is that while pressure leads to doubt, and doubt leads to questions, the next thing to come along is the search for answers.

It was in the search for answers to those questions that I found the "The Inspiration".

Whenever I'm feeling stagnant I begin looking for some sort of light. Something to light my way through a dark time. I didn't really know what I was looking for but I knew what was behind me.

Inspiration doesn't always just show up when you want it so this last year saw me seeking out some planned inspiration and it came in the form of the fundamentals.

In my searching I came across many people. Some showed me a thing or two, some told me a thing or two, and some just looked at me funny. I was learning something. Then, out of the blue, I was fortunate enough to meet a very special person whom to my surprise was very honest with me about their place in the business, where they'd come from and where they were going. A pro. A gifted artisan. And now, I'm proud to say a friend. In one sentence this lovely person was able to turn my search for inspiration and direction into straight Motivation.

"Guy, I hate to break it to you but I have a feeling you're ten steps ahead of where you think you are right now." (Thanks, GDeP)

All this time I had been looking to others for guidance and technique but not looking at the person who could take me to where ever it is I'm trying to go. Me.

So what's the difference between Inspiration and Motivation? For me "Inspiration" is about believing but "motivation" is all about the doing.

In the words of Jay-Z "It's, about, to go, down!"

This year started off with me being handed a pretty little package and this spring I will find myself in a very familiar yet equally foreign environment. The days will be long, the challenge will be great, and the payoff will be a combination of the three things that I've fought with for so long. Pressure, Inspiration, and Motivation all balled up into what I'm sure will be one of the most memorable months of my life.

Chefs, you know that little bit of excitement you get when you run your knife along the steel? The sound of the knife resetting its edge. It enters your ears and moves down your spine and is almost electric. That's what I feel inside now as I go forward. If you've felt it you know what I'm talking about and if you haven't I hope you some day will.

For us, in the restaurant world, every day has us or someone around us doubting their decision to do what we're doing. Maybe over the pre-shift coffee or the post-rush beer we'll sit down and tell our kitchen-mate that we just don't know if this was for me. Maybe we'll be listening to someone say it to us. This work is a choice and for some it's the right one. For others its temporary. I can honestly say to you that I don't think I've chosen this life. I think IT has chosen me.

I'll keep you posted on my trip as it unfolds. Tickets are bought and arrangements are made. For now I want to leave it at that. Maybe I don't want to Jinx it. Maybe I'm a little nervous.

What I will say is that a very special person has pushed me along these last few months whether she meant to or not. Please check out her site The Cowgirl for a Cure Foundation. Instead of asking for help she's out there helping others like her while at the same time holding the torch for her craft in the kitchen everyday.

That's all for now. Sorry for the delay and untill next service, Stay Hungry everybody! ~G~