the bartender.

When I was young I was often asked the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” The question molded into “what are your plans for college?” Now, as a college graduate the question ends at “what is next?”

I have friends who would answer that question with, Disney internships, engagement in Alaska, continuing to grad school, or one more year of college with student teaching in the next semester. They all have their story to tell to that stranger who becomes a tad bit nosey.

I don’t..

My story doesn’t get the “how interesting” or “congratulations.” Quit frankly my story doesn’t lead anywhere. I am a bartender, with a four year bachelors degree worth an arm, a leg and then some. I do nothing all shift but socialize with those who need a friend, avoiding problems/life itself, or celebrating. I see everything from fights, to first dates, to break ups, to an old couple enjoying two beers as if they were still in their 20’s. I am the ear to those who are lonely, or the other end of the line for those who are trying to get something off their chest. I spend 8 hours a day listening, talking and socializing with strangers who sometimes become friends. While of course provided a very important aspect… alcohol.

One thing my answer does lead to is “are you looking for anything?” I confidently say nope, I love what I do and to me that’s all that matters. I don’t need to be making a lot of money, I just need to make the amount that makes me happy, and I am doing that – as a bartender.

I find people don’t often live this way anymore. Kids graduate college, and immediately look for an 9-5 with a 401K, because that is the smartest thing to do. Even if they hate the job they still take it because they were told you have to start somewhere. Well that somewhere doesn’t have to be a job you hate. It can be anything YOU want, and that is what needs to be realized. I meet a lot of people everyday, some I can’t stand and some I learn a lot from. If someone tells me that I am not getting anywhere or anything out of this job, then they are wrong.

I can tell people are judging me for not wanting to do more, and I can see the disappointment in family and some friends/strangers when I say that I don’t want to use my college education. In reality though, I don’t care. I am not living life to please others, or to be able to have to coolest answer to “what is next?” I am living for me, myself and I no matter how cliche that actually is, it has never been more true than right now.

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