Yeah, I know that headline will throw some of you for a loop. Lol. But, it’s true. In my mid-20’s, I waited tables and bartended at a local bar and grill. I found I was an awesome waitress…. I loved serving people, I loved chatting with people and I could consolidate with the best of them.
But I stunk as a bartender. For one, I have terrible cooking skills, remember? And I wasn’t much better at mixing drinks. Lol. And two, people like to tell bartenders all of their problems. And I like to hear solutions, not problems. Often the problem was they were at my bar and not at home. Lol. So, I glazed over a lot and I think it was obvious to the patrons. I have no poker face.
What I remember most about bartending though was one woman who came to eat dinner every Friday night at the bar. She was a school administrator of some kind and I’d guess her to be in her middle 50’s. She had bright red hair and she was so articulate. Most of all, she was INTERESTING.
She told me one Friday night that since she worked for the school district, she had every summer off. And every summer, she forced herself to take a new job or learn a new skill or do something different than she ever had before. Once she took auctioneer’s lessons (is that the right terminology??). One summer she worked at a floral shop. One year she got her real estate license, another summer she learned a foreign language. One year she learned to ride a horse. I found her fascinating.
So funny that almost 20 years later, I still think about that woman on occasion. I wonder what interesting things she has learned to do since I saw her last? She must be in her 70’s now, but I bet she is still full of LIFE and ADVENTURE. I wonder if she knows that studies show learning new things and stretching your BRAIN leads to a higher life expectancy? I wonder if she knows she was an inspiration to me? I wonder if she knows that I thought she was BRAVE? Average people never do anything outside of their comfort zone. Exceptional people rarely stay IN their comfort zone. She was exceptional.
I felt the need to share this with you all. And I hope it inspires someone today. It still inspires ME almost 20 years later. When she could have taken a 12 week vacation every summer, she stretched herself instead. I would venture to say that someday she will look back on her life and feel like she really LIVED. And what else could we ask for?
I mostly wanted to share with you just to tell you that you never, ever know who YOU may influence with your story and with your life. Don’t keep it a secret. Share yourself. Share yourself in person, on social media. People need to know YOUR story in order to write their own.
I can’t tell you that woman’s name who sat at my bar. But I can tell you she affected me. And for that, I am grateful.
Blessings to you,