Tuesday, October 30, 2012

El Feo

To fully explain why I am quitting the bartending industry would fill a book. 

Knowing the potential length of this post, I debated with myself last night on how to write it. How do I explain that when I clock in my heart checks out? How do I explain that the shell of a person who shows up everyday to mindlessly go through the motions is not Jill? How do I say that I just don't care at all anymore? That it is all an act and I am finding myself to be a really shitty actor these days? How do I say that I feel like I lead two separate lives--one (which I love) starts when I clock out and the other (which I dread) starts when I clock in? Worse yet...how do I say that the "clocked in" life is beginning to negatively affect the "clocked out" life? 

Let's keep it simple, I will just say it:

I just cannot do it anymore. I cannot waste my life doing something for which I have zero passion, find zero challenge,  get zero reward and possess zero interest. I cannot force myself to fill ketchup bottles, be fake nice, care if the sugar caddies are full, or answer the same question a hundred times a day. Part of what it does to me is seen on the outside as humorous sarcasm on some days, and on others as reserved aloofness. I used to get angry and irritable on the inside as a way to cope, but found it to be a waste of time and energy. Now I just feel my heart slowly dying as I berate myself for not using my intelligence and passion to do something that utilizes my strengths and helps others. 

When I pull away all the layers and tell it how it is--I truly feel like an alien at work. That's why I never send Jill to work. Jill is riding her bike all over the world in her mind. A hardened shell of Jill is standing behind a bar listening to the lonely, sad people tell the same story over and over. But even the shell is now exhausted and refusing to show up and do the same mind numbing tasks everyday.

And ugly things like cynicism, sarcasm, apathy, grouchiness, irritability, fear, lack of confidence, laziness and sadness are beginning to tiptoe into my life outside of work. I have cried my eyes out pedaling the Pugs home from work on a few occasions thinking about the life I want and the life I am wasting. I have sacrificed far too many races, rides, adventures and experiences. I neglect the people I want to see and share this life with. Why? Because every Saturday and Sunday I am pouring drinks and serving food.

That is ugly. Very ugly. 

I put on shackles in exchange for money. It's called a job. Those of us without money trees in the backyard have one. An obligation in exchange for the legal tender is a form of a shackle. Some (biking the world or sequencing proteins) are barely noticeable and some (my current set) hurt like hell.

They hurt too much keep them on any longer and are beginning to leave scars. So, in two days, I get to take them off and begin the search for a new pair--a pair that doesn't cut off my circulation, restrain me from a life that is seemingly passing me by or leave a hole in my heart.

This precious life is too short to waste. It is time to rediscover and reawaken a beautiful, kind, driven, optimistic, dean's list biochemistry major with a talent for writing, and a heart for giving.

So that’s it. I am done with the ugly. I have fought it for too long. Through my writing I share, process, clarify, cherish, vent and release things in my life. With this, I am letting go of the ugliness I let creep in over the years in the industry.

What needs to vanish from your life? (Fear, limits, a job, a relationship, etc)

You already have the courage…so do it.


  1. Howdy--I ran across your blog by accident, but I have to say I enjoyed the posts from the past few days. Quite frankly I'm surprised you lasted as long as you did in the bartending biz! Some great stories for the voyeur, but I can guess not so much for you. Perhaps you might think about writing a book about it--heck, I'd buy it. I think a lot of people would. And you could make some money purging your soul of the memories. Just a thought...
    And all the very best to you! Hope you find a shackle-less job--or at least one that you don't feel them quite so much.

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