Everything Happens for a Reason

I got a phone message from my best sister-friend today. The girl who lives in Montana. The girl I grew up with and love and miss all the time and never see as much as close friends should. The girl I meet in Vegas every year.

I think she called yesterday. Maybe in the morning? I only heard the voice mail this afternoon.

“Hey, ladybug. I am the one out walking this time, calling you from a great path behind my house. So, you have a new job. So do I! I completely switched gears and am now an English teacher at the alternative high school. So what are we thinking at our ages? New jobs, new careers. Shouldn’t we be on cruises or something? Just want you to know I am thinking about you and miss you. I love you!”

I heard this message in the office at work, while I was crammed chair-to-chair next to my manager and one of the sous chefs. I heard this message after being reamed out by Chef for the third time in 24 hours. I heard this message after too many 14-hour days. My eyes immediately filled.

Okay, I have this thing about crying. I hate to do it. I hate that when I cry, my face morfs into blotchy eyes and mottled cheeks at the first saline teardrop. So, I don’t cry often.

And I have a rule: If you cry at work, on the job, you have to quit. That very day. No negotiating that.

Thus, I bit back the tears today. My poor lower lip.

So, after another 14-hour day, but a better mock service than yesterday, I am contemplating what the hell I am doing with my life, when Restaurant Gal Daughter calls.

At 2:10 a.m.

And I am wide awake.

I answer the call on the first ring, fully alert, because I am revved up and not winding down whatsoever from my job.

Restaurant Gal Daughter and I talk and talk and talk–about her adjustment to the new school, about her long-time boyfriend and how rocky things are, about the challenges she is facing as a transfer, about all that is very real to her at this very moment.

I thank God I am awake to hear her out, and that I can offer all the advice in my Mom arsenal.

And although we are both crying throughout this conversation, I am thanking my new boss and Chef for this opportunity.

Not to work for them. Not to be a part of their start-up.

No, today–or is it tonight–I thank them for having me work such horrible hours and be so stressed that I could not sleep, and, therefore, be 100 percent available for my daughter, no matter the hour of day or night.

I just knew there had to be a reason for all this.






10 responses to “Everything Happens for a Reason”

  1. Brussels Avatar


    I have been reading your your blog for a while, but I never commented. I just wanted to say that I love every line in it. I’m looking forward to the grand opening of the new place. You’ll do great.

  2. LB Avatar

    Speaking of tearing up – now you’ve got me feeling weepy at work. Beautiful post. Keep trying to see that silver lining – whatever it takes.

  3. First Year Avatar

    Great Post, there IS a reason for all of this 🙂

  4. Serdic Avatar

    Thinkin good thoughts for you. =)

  5. Aaron DeLay Avatar

    When I need a dose of good reality from the bad reality of life here…I click over to this…and find goodness. Thank you!

  6. Lisa Avatar

    There are no coincidences! You are exactly where you’re supposed to be right now, even if you don’t know why. But the answers will reveal themselves as you’ve just seen.

  7. last one home Avatar
    last one home

    I have been in the restaurant business for 22 years, since age 14. I have hired [and fired] hundreds, perhaps thousands of people in my time as a fine dining general manager. The fact that you have grasped the insanity, the multi-tasking, and the constantly evolving human equation of our industry as a second career and as an adult means you are a keeper. Stay in the traces, stay humble, and not only will the challenges you face now fade to nothing, but they will be replaced with the respect of your peers. Stick it out and you will be able to “have your pick” of opportunities in the future.

    PS–Tell your GM its best to sleep on the floor–one tablecloth on the bottom, one as a sheet, and a pack of napkins as a pillow–eventually you will roll out of a banquette onto the table base, and that is no fun 🙂

  8. Restaurant Gal Avatar

    Last One Home–Thank you, more than you know.

  9. barockstar Avatar

    i may be a little late on this comment but i just had to add:

    while i agree and support nearly everything you say, i think it’s just downright silly that you would quit a job if you cry on said job.
    there are times when all the stress just bunches up on you, and after a good cry the world seems normal again.

    to quit after a display of human emotion is like quitting if you laugh so hard you belly hurts… it’s just emtions, and liquid streaming from eyes due to emotions.

    i always took you for a cry at a cheesy commerical type lady.
    sorry to see i was wrong!

    everything else though, i love.

    good luck with the new resturant.

  10. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Barockstar–Never too late to comment. As for crying, I have saved it up all day for many a car ride or subway ride home. If crying is uncontrollable at work, however, then work is out of control and it’s time to move on. But that’s just how I see it for me.

    The Gal