Day 1 came to an end at 6.30 p.m. today. And I walked out of the cafe beaming. I only realised an hour later, when my cheeks began to hurt, that I had been grinning madly the whole time since I had left. And it just didn’t make sense to me. Because the honest truth is, I’m beyond exhausted. My feet are killing me. And I haven’t been this overwhelmed in a long long time.
Today, I did things I never imagined I would, in my wildest dreams. Backwards from the craziest: I stuck my hand, elbow-deep into a dustbin of wet waste, I discovered I kind of like chicken liver pate, I was on my feet from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m., I helped serve lunch to nothing less than 80 people in a span of 2 hours, I smashed a cupcake on its face and sent buttercream frosting all across the counter, I spoke to complete strangers, I felt like I had been to the gym by the time lunch service was done. And this isn’t even including the list of things I learned.
So what did I learn today?
– That staying in a dissatisfying job had really pushed me into a dark place
– That choosing to stay in it was nobody’s fault but my own
– That getting out, without knowing what to do next, is not to scary after all
– That if I’m willing to look and learn, there’s opportunities everywhere
– That if I smile, everything becomes that much easier
– That it’s never to late to learn something new
– That washing dishes in a cafe kitchen is not half as fun as it is in my home
– That somewhere not so deep within me is a control freak, that itches to jump out and straighten out processes even for people I’ve only just met
– That I can work an entire day in my favourite cafe and go without ordering a single thing off the menu for myself
– That if I keep this up for a bit, I might not need to join a gym
– That there is such a thing as being happily exhausted — it’s what I am today
Would you believe that? Today, in one sweeping move, I realised that the compulsive baking, the extreme ingestion of sugar and desserts and the like was but a distraction. It was my way of finding something worthwhile to do, in a time when nothing I was doing seemed like my heart was in it. Baking with a frenzy was my way of putting my heart into something, giving myself something to feel happy and satisfied about. At some deep level, it gave me a sense of self worth. And that’s probably why it lead me to where I am today.
Sometimes you have to hit the deepest, darkest spot in life, to discover the light at the end of the tunnel. And when you finally find your way out, the view is splendid. That’s what I learned today.
And oh, and the 3-second rule? Its really a thing.
The Apprentice Diaries, is my attempt to chronicle life at the cafe. The journey began today. I don’t know how long it will be, where it will take me or when. All I know is I’m in it for the ride, and I want to try and remember as much of it as I can. Thoughts, snapshots, conversations, frames in my mind. Maybe everyday, maybe every other day, maybe once a week. Sometimes in a post. Sometimes in a bulleted list. Sometimes in garbled gobbledygook. Bear with me, for I might get cryptic around here. But I just really need a place to put down all that I want to remember this for the rest of my life.