Behind the Cheese - The Kinda Dark Side
Hey, all! I hope you're having an incredible 2020 — it's been great over here so far. Our restaurant has been doing better than we expected during the quiet hours of the first part of a the new year for hospitality businesses. We get it. It's time to lay low and pull it all back together after overdoing it during the holidays. THAT IS FAIR.
But we also realize from personal experience that THAT IS DIFFICULT.
In case you're concerned about A N Y of the pressures of the world… I hope you know that you're amazing and FULLY capable of whatever it is that you dream of (THINK REAL HARD — I KNOW YOU HAVE A SWEET-ASS DREAM AND SO DO YOU). And I hope you know that every damn single one of us has been told NO before. Or hasn't even been given the respect to be told NO. Just ignored, put into a corner, and expected to smile sweetly and perform for crumbs.
2020 is the year we raise two middle fingers and two middle toes in the air and say "NAH, NO THANKS" to that nonsense. If you sense your home or work situation is IMMORAL or UNETHICAL, you have every right to speak against it. Just speak. It's okay to speak. If you have the right person in place to speak to, you will at least reap the therapy from it and at best, you get to impact change… One of the single most important things you can do. Start a ripple.
I spent a whole lot of this evening laughing with my husband about our separate and admittedly stupid pasts and a small portion of it with me sobbing about my inadequacies. I'm just gonna lay 'em out there for YOU ALL so I can maybe, just maybe, move on, feel like I'm kinda smart and capable. I DESPERATELY want to put to bed [MURDER VIOLENTLY] all of the reasons I don't feel good enough. Here they are:
I didn't finish college. I HATED college SO MUCH. I was terrible at that style of learning and every time I would accomplish something big (TOP GRADES IN SENIOR-LEVEL LITERACY CLASSES DURING MY FRESHMAN YEAR AT A JUNIOR COLLEGE, for example), I would be told it wouldn't transfer. I hated it. I hated every second of it. It doesn't mean it's not for you, don't use this as an excuse not to go to college, GODDAMMIT! But. It wasn't for me and because of this I felt incredibly inadequate for many years. And I was consistently reminded of my inadequacies by certain friends for-basically-ever. Here's the thing - college isn't for everyone but it's not NOT for everyone either. But either choice doesn't devalue you. You're amazing regardless of your choice and you will manage to hash out life as it's supposed to be hashed out - I promise. (PAUSE for me to take my own damn advice).
I'm super-duper-crazy tall — FOR A WOMAN. I'm only 6'1". For some reason, this was problematic in my teenage years and young adulthood. I ducked and slouched and dipped my way through a solid decade and a half. I STILL can't sort out why my abundant height was ever an issue, but it was for a short time (pun intended). my height (and my tomboyish style) was the BIGGEST LAUGHING STOCK of my tiny high school for a year-ish I think? Nearly ten years post-graduation, I had a dude remind me that I didn't deserve to be pregnant and married because of my height. To put this in perspective for you, he was 3 years older than me — this lil sweetie-pie was A DOZEN YEARS removed from high school and he still gave lots of shits about… embarrassing me for being tall? I guess? I've never totally sorted it out and that's coo. I'm good now — high school ended up being FUN. AS. HELL. I ended up with one BFF as homecoming queen and the other as prom queen. Not to mention befriending as many people as I could along the way and realizing how kickass EVERYONE was. I was relatively well-liked I guess? because I was just nice and interested. I'm pretty sure people only liked me because I was nice and interested. JUST BE NICE AND GENUINELY INTERESTED, FOLKS!… and also…. develop a sense. of. humor. We're all entitled to a sense of humor but we don't all claim it - CLAIM IT, DAMMIT! Also. Just a quick reminder, when high school ends, it ends. NO MORE SHITS GIVEN.
However… The tall thing kind of bled into a lot of life experiences after high school. I was surrounded by my G O R G E O U S friends and it felt like no one found me attractive. Which now, seems lame-ski and archaic. But regardless, they likely didn't. I wasn't the Christina Aguilera / Brittany Spears (ALL HAIL BRIT BRIT, I LOVE HER FOR REAL - THIS ISN'T SARCASM OR IRONY) prototype of the time. And it SUCKED. I could never find validation. I could never. freakin. find it! I just wanted to be reminded that I had value. But towering over someone or looking someone straight in the eye when they really didn't want to be towered over or looked in the eyes was a REALLLLLL buzzkill. And even if it wasn't a buzzkill, I killed dat buzz right away in my assumption that no one could ever find value in a… (are you ready for this lame-ass shit??)… woman over 5'9". This followed me like a God damned ghost through the age of TWENTY. F*CKING. FIVE. Seriously, Chels-of-the-past!? You were always too good for your own nonsense.
Before I hit the ripe ol age of 25, I dated a few "upstanding gentlemen"?… They might actually be really good guys now (regardless of the PURE douchery I witnessed with them). I'm not going into any detail because I'm so embarrassed of my poor choices that I refuse to reveal anything. But it was bad. Mean/borderline abusive things were verbalized and beyond. These men CONSTANTLY reminded me of what was wrong with me — something my husband has NEVER done in the last 10 years of experiencing my neurotic tendencies first-hand. My insecurities led me to the WRONG. MEN. PREVIOUSLY. Isn't this SHOCKING?! You've never heard this story before? HAHAHA - JK. We've all seen a bad relationship or 10 million.
Eventually I dove into the professional? world. That question mark is totally on purpose. Professional? Never confuse yourself into believing that anyone who is more "professional" than you is more worthy than you (I once had a friend try to convince me of this 'for my own good' as if I couldn't navigate the mean streetz of corporate Iowa). I've always been a worker. I just like working. I hate being sedentary. I want to pour everything I have into anything I'm doing. I had a teacher tell me I had A.D.D. and I've had lots of family members who preceded me who had O.C.D. I come by this behavior and intensity naturally. BUT. No matter how hard I worked, no matter how flawless the work was, no matter how close my connections with the clients and my coworkers were, I wasn't the person they were looking for. I was always missing something. And it nearly killed me. I did everything I could until it practically broke me. I tried to "fix" my way into an unattainable and unrecognizable mold. -BARFOLA-
Then we moved back to our hometown. I folded into myself and only spent time with a few trusted people - bad idea. I would go to soccer practice and preschool with the best fake blinders on you could buy. I was tired, SO TIRED, of being hurt. And I survived. And years later, I found out that one of my now-best-friends really wanted a friendship witme. Are you effing kidding me? I could have spent another hilarious year being friends with this person!? SHOUTOUT JESS!
So before I get into the nitty gritty of how heart wrenching owning your own business can be, I must remind you that every day holds these fears and actions: disappointing family, disappointing friends, disappointing people you don't even know, disappointing people you'll never know exist, disappointing your staff, REALLY disappointing your staff, disappointing your vendors, lying to yourself about how many hours you're gonna work, unknowingly lying to your spouse about how many hours you're gonna work, juggling finances, sacrificing your health so your business can remain healthy, returning to the restaurant THREE TIMES to pick up/drop off/sign a bunch of shit you thought about all day but somehow managed to forget about while you were leaving… AND THE LIST GOES ON.
But here's the real sick shit. The real dark place. I LOVE my business. I am SO. PROUD. of this business. But I know this - I am entitled to N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Every time you email me with a request for pricing, every single time my doorbell rings in that restaurant [BING BONG], every time someone reviews the restaurant positively… I feel that love as if it's my kid accomplishing it. I don't take on any of the accolades. They're not mine. Chelsea came up with this idea but a BILLION+ other things made it happen. And those billion+ things/people/places deserve the credit. And I feel like if I take even a small bit of that credit, I'll lose it all. I must remain BEYOND HUMBLE in order to sustain this business.
But I wish that for a day or two, I could feel PRIDE & JOY for what I have done for this business. Without fear of wrath for my pride. I just want to stand in the sun of what this darling little business has accomplished. For a solid 48 hours. Before someone complains or I do something stupid that will knock me back down to reality.
Thanks for the vent-sesh, friends. Rest-assured that if I get a ton of negative comments, I'll delete this bitch and live in shame.