22 April 2013
Let me start with this: I’ve never nor will I ever judge another’s life decisions. To each is own and for their own respective reasoning.
As we grow up, our parents have this “vision” for our lives and where they’d like us to be when we get to be their age. Of course we all have our own vision of where we want our own lives to go, but almost 75% of the time, our live go in another direction. Now, I never really knew my parents vision of my life other than that they wanted me to either attend college or enlist in the military and get a “good” government job. The idea of it all sounded like an amazingly successful life to a young boy. As I grew older I tapped into many activities and learned about many career fields, colleges, and military branches, also played a few sports. Even played an instrument, the clarinet.
Many times I saw myself growing up to be a mechanic, an athlete, in the military, a racer, wrestler, even just filthy rich. Yes, I dreamt as a little boy dreamt. I hardly hung around those in my age group as a child. I mainly grew up around my cousins, I was the baby on both sides of the family. There are 5 years between me and the next grandchild on both sides. Always wanting to go out with the cousins, watch movies they watched, listen to music they listened to, etc. Did I mention I am an only child? Well yes, I am, and I am spoiled but not rotten.
Growing up around older folks molded me as a growing boy. As I grew older, I became an old soul. Family would say I was my grandfather whom had passed during my mother’s pregnancy. I had many wise persons around me, learned of many things to do and not to do, an to not be a follower. As I went through middle and high school, classmates always saw me as the scared one. DAMN RIGHT! They didn’t know who my mother was, that lady is crazy. And yes, I’ve told people that many times, even teachers. Skip class, skip school, play with guns, fire, curse, yeah that wasn’t tolerated. Having sex in school, out of school, or elsewhere for that matter, I did none of that. I did curse though, hell who didn’t?
Once I graduated high school, oh it was a done deal. Yea I began to wild out, but not to any major extremes. Many drunk and high nights, more drunk thank high and never anything more than marijuana. I did two semesters at Bowie State University, afterwards I began working full-time for the government. Continued to work, eventually moved into my own apartment, two years, purchased my own vehicles, lived my young life. Changed part-time jobs numerous times, eventually laid-off from my full-time job. Took care of my lovers, friends (or lack their of), but struggled for me. Moved back home, depressed, lost, stressed, etc. Many many days and nights I shouldn’t have made it home alive, if not in police custody. Tried one semester at Prince George’s Community College, flunked. Completed, successfully, bartending school and I’ve never enjoyed a job so much.
Yes, being in the Food/Beverage industry you take the risk of making $5 one shift to making $500 another shift. My happiness is very important. Many look down on the industry as a full-time job or career, but in many instances a bartender can make twice the salary of a college graduate with two degrees in half the time. I’ve networked, socialized, been introduced to celebrities, been offered many jobs in and out-of-state, made money, made good friends, I feel very rewarded.
I am not ashamed of my life decisions. This industry has not changed me, if anything, it has built me to be a better man for myself.