Split personality-inducing psychosis aside, balancing two careers at the same time has been a life lesson in taking things one day at a time. If nothing else, practicing this daily has definitely had an effect on me and on my relationships.
Sometimes, this new way of looking at my life has been a source of confusion. I feel that as long as I am understanding myself, then on this road to Damascus, forthwith my feet will follow.
I find myself slowing down my thinking. Or maybe, I’m not over thinking as much. Arriving to one job, smiling, remembering what skills I need just for that day, I step forward. Otherwise, I think I would’ve seriously crumbled on the pressure of two different worlds colliding in my brain.
I’m not kidding. In the beginning, for a month of back and forth between two worlds, I thought I might be in crisis.
Let me be perfectly clear: bartending is NOT for the faint of heart. Every job has plusses and minuses and make no mistake, if you aren’t up to moving buckets of ice, or furniture, or keg barrels, or cases of alcohol, then stay in bed. Seriously. Never mind squatting to serve people off a polished silver tray in between servers staring at you waiting for their orders to be made. My entertainment job is also weight bearing too: heavy baskets laden with clothes that need schlepping from basement to stage, up flights of ancient theater steps, and back down and around again.
Ah, the glamorous life.
In this mix of learning, I’ve come across different and vastly unique gene pool of people. There’s nothing like meeting people in their real comfort zone, from a cross section of the population, than at a bar. Sometimes the regulars look at me differently behind the bar vs in front: one guy seemed somewhat disturbed when once out of uniform, I came around the bar and slugged back tequila, whilst toasting a manager goodbye.
“You just have this mysterious…uhh, something…back there…and now here, it’s like, I don’t know, you’re exotic and weird, but in a different way.” “So, I’m weird then, huh?” “Uhh…” Pregnant pause. “You can still tip me on this tequila I didn’t buy.”
After a party the restaurant hosted, a group of us went to one of the local bar hangouts. Lo and behold, sitting near the front of this dive was the owner of the restaurant where I work and some of that evening’s patrons.
One woman, not knowing that I had singlehandedly got her on her way to her current state of happy drunk, said: “Oh!!! Are you his wife??” Referring to my colleague, one of the long timey bartenders. I laughed. “No. I’m one of the bartenders from the party.” “But…you’re so beautiful!” Pregnant pause. “Um. Thank you…nice meeting you… I’m going to get a drink now.”
People say the most interesting things to me.
On the opposite end, I’ve had some long time entertainment friends clap their hands and cheer after they’ve watched me make drinks during a rush. “Wow! You look so confident!” “You fit right in!” “You’re uniform is hot.” Pregnant pause??
One thing for certain, is that this article I ran across early August has been a reminder to making a breathing space in my being a daily priority: The Five Dos and Don’ts of Happiness, by Lidiya K., writing for pickthebrain.com. I make an effort to read this article daily and depending on where my anxiety lives at that moment, different aspects of the article leap out at me.
No. 4 states “Do what you love”. Easy. Yet, it hasn’t been for me, as a person systematically encouraged NOT to follow my dreams, but to be practical and go into business and make money. If it’s really a passion, I was told repeatedly, it will always be there and will show up later. If you’re lucky and have made money being practical, maybe you can pursue it… When?? Lying in hospice care awaiting death?? Now as an adult, I’m deciding that’s not my way to happiness anymore; if there’s a practice of letting go, then, finding my way to a passion-filled life via this path seems made easier by letting go of these old ways of thinking.
Here’s what keeps coming up for me: passionate living and feeling like I’m making a difference seems inextricably linked.
The more I delve into this concept, the opening of my heart to the field or “source of all possibilities” that Deepak Chopra discusses, the more I notice doors opening up.
It’s a slow process. A daily process. Slow is good. I feel like I’m getting somewhere.