I’m half way through my gap year and I can’t help but feel completely lost. I have a degree, I’ve been abroad and now…. I’m bartending. Yes, I love my job, I wouldn’t be there if I didn’t. From the women who come into the bar dressed for Vegas and order drinks with the most inappropriate names to the customer who folded a dollar into the shape of an origami fish and gave it to me, I enjoy it all. While bartending you to make decent money dancing around behind the bar having fun one night and the next night you’re making money while having serious conversations about life. Don’t get me wrong there are the occasional nights I want to quit and throw in my– bar towel. There are times when I don’t want to hear one more person ask for a “strong” drink, when I have no more patience for the creepy guy hitting on me. No… I don’t want to smile more. Please take your drunk ass somewhere else. But at the end of the week I have more good times than bad, more to be thankful for, and more that keeps me coming back.
Now that I’ve been at this for six months I feel as though I need to take a step back and look at what I’ve been doing. Check in with myself. These last six months have been…. odd. With finishing my degree in Morocco, I feel like I had so much up upward momentum. I worked up to getting to Morocco, I worked up to finals, and finally I worked up to graduation. Now I have this weird feeling of having peaked. And no not the frat guy living in the glory days, peaked. I have this unsettling feeling that I will never have an adventure or a success as great as Morocco. I think what I’m feeling may be what motivates many people to get their master and if I’m being honest it may be what motivates me to get mine. But what’s to stop me from getting this same feeling once I graduate again. This feeling is what pulls me to explore. Not that I want to top Morocco. Which isn’t possible, any junkie will tell you the first time is always the best. But I want to continue to push myself and my boundaries both physically and mentally. I need to keep this in mind. I need goals, I need to move upward, I need to push myself in my own direction and continue to peak again and again.
When I think about it, it makes sense that I’m working a lighthearted and laidback job instead of going out and finding a career. With bartending I still have time to plan the future and I can still draw a wild card and do something crazy like move to New Zealand for a year. I can still move. I don’t have a mortgage or a rigid number of days I can ask off within twelve months keeping me in one place. I have no constraints. Beyond the one that has a hold on us all… money. Regardless of constraints or not from time to time I still feel lost in the mundane nature of working 40 hours a week. To get away from this I’m going to try to work on this more often. To create. I want to blog more and learn more about what it takes to be a writer. I’m going to plan more. January is only six months away and I have less time than I think to figure out what’s next. That’s one thing I did learn in school… I respond very well to a hard deadline.
As sedentary as these last six months have been I can’t lie it’s been amazing to live at home. Growing up I never liked living at home. No one does. But growing and being away gave me a great deal of perspective. My mom and I are closer now than we have been in my entire life. We’re team mates and best friends. My brother Tanner, who is ten, and I go on lunch dates and play in the back yard together. We plot schemes on Mom and we watch hours of Netflix. I couldn’t ask for anything better to come home to.
“Live a ‘want to’ life not a ‘have to’ life.” – Unknown