Thursday, September 3, 2015

The End of an Era: A month of transition

The following was written the day before I started my new job as a study center teacher back in late July:

As we grow older, it is only natural that our lives will change dramatically several times throughout the process but when those times are expected and even anticipated it can still be quite a big scare. Reaching thirty has been on the back of my mind lately, in fact I'll even say that when I turned twenty-nine the ticking time bomb was activated. Now I don't have the typical concerns of turning thirty; most people assume it means that you're old or have reached the peak and are only climbing down the hill towards senility or they suggest that your entire life should be put together as if you spent all of your twenties arranging everything in a nice package that screams "I'm an adult!" Dare I say that I am embracing thirty, now being a bit wiser to the ways of the world and finding myself still full of ambition makes be believe there is still an entire life time a head of me.

That being said I am hitting a different crossroads in my life and many people I know in "the industry" (AKA restaurant/service industry) should understand the daunting feeling of coming to grips with what it is that your doing with your life. I began this journey in the biz to simply get me through college, to provide me with the flexible schedule and fast cash that every student needs to balance both work and school. Yet they don't tell you when you start that yes, you too will become that crotchety old bartender with that jaded look on her face if you don't remember that time continues to march on even though your job seems like the never ending ground hog day of fun busy shifts and making cash on the spot. I will never discount the many bartenders I have worked with, called my friends, or even just enjoyed as a guest; for some, they have it made and are living the exact life that they intended. But I can't help but recall the many times I've wondered to myself, "how long can I put up with this game?" "How many more times can I handle someone calling me sweetheart, baby, miss, mam, waiter, anything but my own name?" "At what point is my body going to say, 'ok your getting a little too old to be working until 4AM every night'?

There is a certain charm to the bar life, you have a flexible schedule and if you play your cards right you can work it any way you want it. You can work everyday and makes tons of money or you can give all your shifts away and take a vacation. Last minute bachelorette party invite? No worries, someone is dying to pick up your friday night shift to make that cash!  For the most part, you can set your schedule. Oh and how about that forty hour work week? Oh wait! It is likely that you can make the money you need in three or four shifts that usually last between four and six hours. Plus, it is fun. No lie, most of the time bar tending is a blast and you get to restart your day every time a new person comes in with a clean slate to make it or break it. You can schmooze and play sweet and increase your sales and tip with a good attitude or some silly gimmicks that work almost every time. Being smart or clever can make all the difference and can give you the edge to take them for all they've got. You make great friends, some who stick around in your life forever, because you're together so much you feel like family and your rely on each other when the work gets hectic so you learn to find
camaraderie to get you through it. To make the monotony fade, some places will mix it up and let you get dressed up for holidays or theme parties, so you end up bar tending dressed as a unicorn-whose to
say you won't enjoy it? And lastly my absolute favorite part of the job is making friends with the people who come to your bar. Whether they be fleeting or long lasting friends your rolodex will be full of friends and acquaintances that may end up helping you someday down the road. They may even end up your new roommate, or they might hire you as a photographer for their wedding, or they might tell all their friends to come in just to see you and will increase your clientele ten-fold.  There are so many benefits in making real connections with people in your everyday life, you will be so surprised at how much richer your day to day experiences can be. But there comes a point, when you have to ask your self if it is still fulfilling your need to be challenged. If the answer is no, then it's time to make a game plan and bust out of it.

I have had such a blast during my bar career, I have learned so many things from the greats who came before me who taught me how to work the crowd and actually give good bar service.  When I truly ask myself what I want to put out in the world, my legendary mark, it is not whispering back "pissssttt....get people drunk". So over the past 6 months, I"ve been busting my butt to put my degree to work. Through many hoops and obstacles I've leapt and filled out more forms that I care to count and I am finally able to walk through the first door to a career in education. Starting this big girl job means a lot of things to a lot of people, my parents are so proud and I'm sure finally feel like Im taking adulthood more seriously and my husband couldn't be prouder and is ecstatic to have me on a regular schedule with him so we can spend more time together. This is such a blessing and I am finally feeling the fruits of my labor over all these years. But I am still terrified. Terrified of the complete overhaul to my schedule and my job actually requiring me to continue developing my skills rather than the stagnant day to day repetition of making drinks. We shall see if I can hang....


Well it's been a month at my new job and boy has it been an interesting transition. It's hard to wrap my head around how much is changing and how quickly it all happened. Since mid-July I have been working both my teaching job as well as my bartending job, its been exhausting, challenging and at some times it seemed that I was bound to crack but here I am in my last week as a bartender. Saturday marks my very last day behind the bar after a very long and fabulous tenure. Both feelings of joy and sadness overwhelm me as I say good bye to an entire chapter of my life. For weeks I have been flipping back and forth on my stance, "this is a good thing" vs "oh my god, my life is over and Ill never have fun again". It sounds dramatic, but going from one extreme to the other is quite the shock. There are times when my eyes are so heavy and my body begs for sleep and I look at the clock and its response is frightening, "ten o'clock?! " What a loser! But I am trying to remind my self that one, its ok to go to bed early when your tired and two, eventually I am going to get the hang of this schedule. It will be much easier to adjust when I don't have random nights at work  that keep me out until one in the morning on a week night. So in this regard, for my health, I can gladly say a sweet goodbye to the long nights and aching feet.

Over the last 6 weeks I have proven to my self that I am capable of doing much more than I give myself credit for, I am helping students with math and science when I had zero confidence in either subject. I completed all of my paper work and the many layers of leg work and learned the true meaning of bureaucracy in finalizing the process to get my California teaching credential and I couldn't be more relieved. A friend reminded me last night, that in May I wasn't sure I could pass my equivalency exam, which I needed to do just to get the process started and now here starting a career that I have been planning for since high school.  I managed to not only face that fear but now I am in this position because I finally got the courage to start my life. I've been avoiding it for some time, always second guessing myself and not believing that I could do it. But I can do it, and I can only grow from here. I know that my heart is in it, I love working with my students and every day I get better at knowing what to say and how to deliver a little nugget of knowledge.

Taking the CBEST has been a catalyst for change in my life, I faced my fear and it gave me the confidence to try a little harder and do a little more. Life is just going to keep changing for this point, I will begin my journey to becoming a certified yoga teacher in just 16 days at my Happy-U- my shala, my temple for self discovery. It is here where the transformation really began, building my confidence, my clarity, and my understanding of how the universe provides. Its funny how the more grateful I am, the more I have to be grateful for. The law of attraction continually brings  beautiful things into my life. I've worked super hard to save extra money to pay for my training sacrificing a lot of fun things/shows/trips etc. But I know that it will all be worth it in the end. Deepening my practice and my connection to my self can only help me grow stronger in every way.

It's like I was riding a merri-go-round, lots of different characters to see, a continuously changing view and surely entertaining for a time but now I am ready to get on a roller coaster with ups and downs, twists and turns and surprises around every corner. Roller coasters can be scary, but they are also a heck of a lot of fun.

And, as most of you know because I've mentioned it in my last few posts, in November I am crossing over to the dark side- also known as turning thirty. Quite a beautiful way to wrap up my twenties, with a new job and good prospects on the horizon. I am proud to say that I have accomplished much of what I wanted to before the big 3-0, and I look forward to many more accomplishments and blessings after.

Looking forward to every precious moment

If I could list them all I would, but there is only so much room. Here is just a chunk of those who I have met because I was bartender, who have remained in my life for one reason or another
 Every time I "look back" at my photos on face book I count my many blessings, for every single event led to another and through the connections I made I've created such a beautiful rich collection of wonderful people. You never know if the person across from you at your bar could end up being next best friend or your new roommate who then introduces you to more friends, who introduce you to their friends and so on and so on. And this is how you network and build meaningful relationships that last.

* As you can see as you filter, there are a million excuses to wear a costume

* As you can see, there are a million excuses to wear a costume


  1. Yes! I made the cut! Bat bitch twins!!!
    Love ya girl!!

  2. Truly inspiring. I'm so happy for you as you start this next chapter and for all the children who's lives you will touch!

  3. Congrats Tara... Such a well written post. So happy for you. :)

  4. This is just beautiful. Proud of you:). Congrats on your new career and cheers to an even brighter future! I'm glad that we met on your crazy path the success! You're an awesome soul. Good memories! Live it up, Tara!


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