We all know that I have a mission. A mission from the F&B gods.
I am across the world, away from my friends and family (which was all too real this week) and spending a fuck load* on accommodation in Paris to do one thing. Find myself. Sounds yuck, but it’s the easiest way to put it. I have just become so used to the response of “to learn about F&B” when people ask the inevitable question of “why are you here?”. TBH, yes, I am eating all different kinds of foods, taking cooking classes to brush up on new skills and drinking a bunch of wine to soak up as much knowledge as possible (also, French wine is epic and crazy cheap). BUT, in saying that, all of the physical F&B experiences almost feel secondary to my self discovery efforts. This has been on my mind a lot lately. Perhaps the real value in this 2019 adventure is not so much in the hospo life I am discovering, but in the “me” part of life. All things expat have put me in a massive fight or flight position. It is a time of extremes. If I am one thing, I am a fighter. As far as I’m concerned, the only flights I’ll be on are around the world ha.
It is as though moving to Paris has taught me more about what I like and don’t like than anything else. That is, I have become almost obsessed (in a healthy way, I think) with a search for self knowledge. Podcasts, books, mentors, meditation, little adventures. These are what I fill my time with in between supermarkets, wine and bakeries. If I am not stuffing my face with cheese and bread, I am listening to incredible people and trying to soak up as much knowledge as I can. I am a freakin piece of bread haha #scarpetta. Soaking up moments of clarity, letting moment of fuzziness play out and just learning to be ok with myself. It is all part of it. Or at least that is what I am choosing to believe.
Along the way, I have discovered many things. Here is the biggie. I am pretty proud of this one. Boom:
The first sign of self-knowledge is humility.
It might sound silly, but this truth has meant so much to me in more ways than one.
Sometimes, I know myself. Other times, I am blind to the shit that I put myself through for no real reason. Being a human is complicated and that is ok. So I suppose that means that humility reveals itself differently each day. No matter how it looks, I am forever humble. I am always ready to fail, always assuming failure, always assuming that everyone else is smarter and generally better. Despite all these assumptions (making an arse out of you an me, yes), I do the thing anyway. Trying not to apologise too much along the way.
Side note: Perhaps my hyper apology reflex is a side effect of sensitive humility? Hmm…
A key point in my journey of self knowledge, last night I was reminded of something more specific. This moment of wisdom is too perfect. It combines my quest for humility and hospitality. My boss** has started a new video series and in that he is providing tips on running a restaurant. How great?! Within his wealth of wisdom he said something that stuck a chord.
“You are only as good as your last service”.
I took that as the hospo version of “live in the moment”, or “Today is a gift, that’s why they call it the present”. Just the simple reminder of the importance of doing your best at whatever it is you do really hit me. I want to be able to make people smile. To be memorable. To be simply joyful and to have an energy that rubs off on people. Remembering that right now is the time to do all of these things is vital. It’s not up to anyone else and we shouldn’t wait until tomorrow. More than that, it is a reminder to not take anything for granted. We are only good at our work and at being ourselves if we keep doing it and continue to improve (whatever that means). Consistency is key.
Life is short, we need to appreciate it and give it our all. Nothing is guaranteed, we can’t get sloppy. Fucking sparkle.
I’ll take that with me. Forever.
Watch this space for more self knowledge and hospo thoughts and theories. They are baking now ha!
** An excellent human who has changed my life.