the agony of being undefeated…

by danggoodfood

I’m going to go nowhere with this now.    Without thinking too much i will write.  About the oohhs and plenty of ahhs that I have had thus far in the kitchen.  You know when there is excitement to something it often wains but never ends…sudden change or impact will eventually pulsate life back into that, that what once got you excited.

I always said I would never write about the bad, and that meant that I would never write negatively about anyone or anyplace.  With that being said, I can however write about my disagreements with the unfairness and imbalance that there is in the kitchen…versus the front of house.  It’s mostly a money issue here, there isn’t much fairness when it comes to money and working in a restaurant.  Hostesses, and most front of house staff will end up making so much more money than those that are back of house.  Where is the tip out system??

Should I ever be punished for doing what I love.  Money is not the issue here.  I am grateful for this job and this bright and full filling opportunity learning so much at this eager time of my life but I also know how difficult it is to make this switch and to feel the economic burdens.  So I suck it up.  I’ve focused too much in my past about making money, and I never left work as exuberant as I do now.

As the sun gleams brightly just outside my window and the warmth breathes against my back, I am given slight chills when I think about the uncertainty with my career and future.   It’s not a hesitation or fear it’s just ….just…well i still can’t figure it out.

I had a wonderful day at work today; I remember when I asked my chef if I would be able to stage there just one day…That day, I said to him “I have no glamorize thoughts of glory or fame of becoming a TOP CHEF…I just want to hone my knife skills and learn as much as I can about the line…”.  We both sat and shared stories about why he got into cooking, and why I wanted to.  It ended with a handshake and a call a few days later.   I have spent my time there wisely and yes I have gained more knife skills, I am faster and more efficient and even though I still can cut a nail or a finger once in a while, eventually the healing time in between has lengthened.  I take my skills from one place and use it for the other…I left work with a huge air of confidence.  Never arrogance.

While all of this is endearing to my heart, nothing is ever more satisfying than knowing that within the past couple of months I have made all of this possible with determination, and the support from some of the most important people in my life has helped me extremely.  People have often referenced the furrowed brows colliding on top of my forehead as being a look of annoyance, my roommate has stated that it’s actually a look of determination.  “You look like your on your way to conquer something.”  Maybe I am…though conquer is not the word I would use.  A goal is a goal, I want to ACCOMPLISH and feel success and satisfaction…conquer isn’t the word . I don’t want to conquer land, a people, a kingdom nor do I want to conquer the world.  I want a life without regret.

Yesterday I went on a bike ride.  25 miles.  NONSTOP.  On my city bike, turquoise with a cute basket.  As my friend raced in front of me in her spandex gear and helmet I held on tight to my rickety bike as cars passed me by.  The wind howling and pushing me sometimes forwards, sideways and blowing not so harshly for me to turn back.  I huffed and I puffed and I pushed and pushed…through it all I said…no no you’ve gone this far… My yellow scarf blowing, my basket shaking, my jeans sweating and my sweater flopping through the wind.  GO GO GO GO GO…!!

The slight uphill, the narrow roads, the sweat beads…and the aching and numbing knees and thighs… from San Francisco to across the bridge through Sausalito through the highways  and all the way to a wonderful oceanic view of San Francisco in the lovely town of Tiburon…then back to Sausalito.

Throughout the ride back…I envisioned myself getting off that bike, with one thumb up “SF BOUND” the thumb would say. My burning thighs were telling me to hail down the next truck with an empty truck bed climb in and head home.  I didn’t.  Could it be in my blood? Is it the Vietnamese resilience?  Could it be due to proper breathing technique?  Things will or will not get worst and or harder.  I just have to think…One day at a time Tina…I learned from Daniel the other day to never look back while I was on my bike, because that could cause an accident on my bike.

The night I lay still on the hospital bed I had received massive head trauma, a slight coma and some seizures I lay rudely awakened.  That day as I raced down that hill on my snowboard, in the year 1999…my mistake was looking back at my competition.  My head was swollen that day and so was my ego.  I learned to never look back.  So yesterday on my bike ride when I was towards the very last stretttttttttttchhh I looked forward to the horizon, focusing intently on the road ahead of me, heart pumping and hair not so flowing.  I tilted my head down and began to breath heavily and pushed forth.   The days when my mind will tell me “I can’t do it”  I look forth to that distant yet vividly bright future…and to that never-ending light that shines towards my goal…whatever it is.

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