I always thought I'd be a teacher, but really deep down I never knew... I had way too many interests growing up. I get bored pretty easily by nature and I like adventure, so I knew whatever career I'd choose, it would be a journey. When I entered college I struggled finding a major because every degree plan I was presented with just didn't seem me. My advisor finally told me I'd best be fit for a Generic studies degree because I could choose my own courses. Bingo! So I chose Anthropology, Psychology and Business as my focuses since I knew I liked people, I liked to observe people and I would always be in business with people. It was a blast, I truly got to know myself and what excited me, Except for when I graduated it seemed I only knew what I really liked but still not a clue as to my profession.
I studied abroad in Spain my Senior year (which had given me the travel bug), and one thing I learned about myself there was when I was traveling, I was thinking and planning and creating and becoming inspired to do something to take action, to learn, to prepare, to organize just to name a few. If ever in a rut in life I knew that by traveling, I would have clear answers afterwards. I worked for one year after my college graduation until the road called my name. I knew that travel was something I had to do in order to find my direction, and it had to be done alone. In short, I had some soul searching to do.
It is hard for me to move further without giving some background on what kind of jobs I actually had growing up. My dad said, "You don't have a job, you can't drive that car away on your 16th birthday." I remember explaining, "But dad, no one hires 15 year olds," and he didn't care! So my mom drove me around from store to store, I wasn't picky, I just wanted to drive, until finally Cici's Pizza hired me on the spot! I actually loved working there, and did for four years throughout high school. It was amazing people watching and I eventually learned all the positions, which kept me interested. It was only natural that by my senior year I wanted to graduate to waiting tables, and My best friend, Mirna, had just gotten a position at Chili's so Chili's it was! I loved it! I learned how to interact with people and learned how to be a good waitress. I also learned how to bartend and by the end of my Chili's reign (until my second year of college), I ran my own cocktail lounge and bar during the daytime 5 days a week while taking night courses. Mirna, my best friend, will pop up many times in this story because she has unknowingly directed me down many of the paths I've taken! Any ways, during the four years of working at Chili's, Mirna had moved on to bigger and better things. She had started working for this very popular pub in Uptown called Idle Rich Pub. At that time, a long term relationship was ending for me and I needed a roommate. So we moved in together and little did we know we would be roommates for the next 6 years! Mirna loved her new job and I loved hearing her stories as she would stroll in at 3am and spill the the action! I loved them so much, she encouraged me to apply to a new restaurant they were opening across the street called, Tecole Taco House. So I applied and got the job. It was to be an authentic Mexican taco joint on McKinney Ave. serving up fresh margaritas and tacos. The tacos were out of this world btw! It was tough at first; I had to get used to driving on all the one way streets and winding roads of uptown that change names in the middle and trap you until you exit unintentionally; I wasn't used to working for a small business (big now) only corporate chains and this was like freedom; and the biggest of all, I had to familiarize myself with the very different clientele I was now waiting on. Instead of families, I was now serving ritzy travelers, successful businessmen/women, SMU students, sports teams and sometimes celebrities! It changed me forever. My world grew bigger and Instead of learning proper ways to speak to people, I was learning more or less how to "shoot the shit!" I got so good at gab, clever in the way I sold, appealing enough but certainly edgy. I grew into a new self that was beginning to see no limits in the world, only possibility and I learned all of this through those I served. They taught me who to be, who not to be, they taught me about regret, about sacrifice, about sadness, but they also showed me love, companionship, trust, hindsight and freedom. I learned through their experiences and adapted them based on my own life. I figured out who I was and what I was good at based on those I worked with and those I served. But this was only the beginning.. I would soon learn how to harness all that knowledge and how to use it to my advantage.
After a year of Tecole, I took a semester off and studied in Spain. As I was leaving my boss told me Tecole was closing, but they were opening up a new place in the same location to be called Blackfriar Pub. They offered to have a position for me when I got back, which I accepted. I don't think anyone knew just how popular Blackfriar pub would become. When I returned from my travels I came back to one of the busiest bars around and I came back to Bret. This time around Mirna and I rented a house on Cedar Springs and Bret had joined the Blackfriar team as a barback. This would be the time when we learned how to handle crowds, how to be efficient and how to improvise. This was undoubtably one of the most exciting times of my life, but the adventure was just beginning...... read more next week!