Home is where your heart is

Dear Spokane,

It has been almost a month now, since I left you, and there hasn’t been a day where I’ve regretted my decision. I needed to leave you and everything that you had become and hoped to become. I just couldn’t wait anymore. I outgrew you. I wanted so badly to try to make a life work out and I tried, freaking hell did I try. At the end of the day, I had everything to give to you but you had nothing to give me. You will always be in my heart as the place where I grew up. The place that I called home for so long. I don’t plan on coming back. I will continue to grow and flourish while you attempt to keep up and no matter how much you grow and progress and evolve into a more vibrant city, I will always be far ahead of you. Don’t worry though, I was never anything to you anyway. In an entire city where I managed to lay low and become somewhat “infamous,” I always felt and knew in the back of my mind that you didn’t know what you had. You didn’t understand the potential that I held and even in the right places, I was still snuffed away and kept hidden away. I gave you my blood, sweat, tears, mind body and entire soul and I ended up a broken man and a shadow of who he once was. I needed to leave. There is nothing there for me. I could have tried again to make it work. I could have continued to break myself in the hopes and dreams of growing into prominence, but I just couldn’t do it anymore. Not in Spokane. Not where the heartache and sorrow outweighed the hope and potential. You had your chance and wasted it. Maybe it was the wrong timing for me to come back, but either way I’ve worn out my welcome and the thought of making it work again just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. You’ve also made me so jaded and hateful towards my own industry that I know and love. You made me forget that at the end of the day it’s just food and what’s more important is the people. Without people to come eat the food, then we don’t have jobs, restaurants, or an industry. We have nothing.

Seattle is nice. I’ve been learning to enjoy it more and more every day. It’s by no means perfect, but no city is, but it’s becoming more and more a place that I can see myself growing. I always wondered why I shunned away from moving to Seattle whether it was from my rejection from the university in high school or that the city took some of my best friends away from me. Either way, none of that matters anymore. I am here now and every day feels like a blessing. For the first time in my life I take the bus to work and try to savor every moment of it. I’ve never had much of an opportunity to be a passenger in my life. I’ve always done the driving and always needed to pay attention to what’s ahead of me. Now that I have a couple hours a day to myself, I try to take in the scenery and just observe what’s happening around me. More and more I see others on the transit nose deep in their phones, which I still do on occasion, but I find it more enjoyable to be able to watch the passing skyline while listening to an album that I’ve been meaning to listen to. It’s quite an experience when the music syncs up with what you see around you. There is plenty of time to watch something on my phone or attempt to read, but it’s not all the time where I get to literally enjoy the sights around me.

This move also signified a new chapter in my life. One where I can work on becoming the person I want to be and close the chapter on the person that I used to be. Change is always healthy and inevitable. If we don’t grow, adapt and evolve then we get stuck in our own tracks, left to grow with not space and eventually suffocate. I’ve started a new job that caters to the skills and experience that I have and the only difficult part is putting them together as once single job. I’d be lying if I said the transition from a kitchen to an office was easy. I was born in the heat and the chaos of the kitchen and that’s the only life I’ve known for the past 5 or so years. I am learning as much as I can everyday while trying to stay focused on the set of projects that I have instead of continuing to start new projects just for the sake of multi-tasking and keeping busy. I am learning more and more on how to work with, for lack of a better term, normal people. People that don’t function on caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol to get through long 10-12 hour shifts. People that don’t already multi-task everything they need to do for the day while planning for the next day. These are people that don’t need to see the result of all their work at the end of the day. There is a lot more patience and care. The result might not be seen for weeks or even months, but they still manage to focus and celebrate when the goal is accomplished. I think the main different that I’ve noticed is that in the kitchen, I have control of all the parts and all the ingredients therefore I control the outcome and can manipulate the speed and rate at which it will be done. In my new position as an R&D Chef, my kitchen is an office (for now) and the ingredients are more macro. They are people. To produce the product, you work with lots of different people that invariably are the ingredients to the success of the product. In this “kitchen” though, I have no control. I cannot manipulate the rate or speed at which the process will happen. Everything takes time, patience and a little bit of kindness for there to be success. This is definitely a change of pace and a completely new type of challenge for me. Fortunately, I love a good challenge and if at the end of the day I’m bringing people and experience of good food, then I’m still doing my job as a Chef.



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