Putting thoughts down into pros has never been my strong point. Which is probably why I’ve strained away from writing these blogs over the past year, even though it was one of my goals to keep them updated. The fact that I find them so difficult to write always puts me off. It’s not that I’m short on things to say though, trust me, that’s not one of my difficulties!
About a year ago to the day I finished writing a blog entitled “Falling Out Of Love”. It was hugely critical of the restaurant industry and a damning indictment of all that was wrong with cheffing and in particular “chef culture”. Something that had once burned soo strong within me, and I had fallen out of love with. In that blog, I tried to explain why I was so lost within the industry. It was at times brutal, damning and at the time felt just.
Smoke Tin Kitchen is completely irrelevant to this I might add. I’ve always felt the same way about this business as I do now. But what a difference a year can make to one's perspective and I like to think I've always been alright at admitting when I was wrong and I’m not too say I’ve been wrong.
A year ago today, I was working in the same place. Nothing has changed, except for everything! My responsibilities are the same, the people are the same and the place hasn’t changed. What has changed though is my perspective! A year ago my mind was consumed by worry. It kept me awake at night and led me to anxiety. I’d worry about the unimaginable and imagine it happening. My mind was never on work even when I was at the job 12-14 hours a day. There were so many things going on In my life my day to day job just sat right at the bottom at my thoughts of what was important. It was almost impossible for me to concentrate on work. Because of that, I felt unmotivated and that every second I was there was a wasted second. I didn’t publish the blog in the end, even I felt it to harsh to post. It was such a sad state of mind even if it was representative of how I felt at the time.
So what’s changed? Well, basically everything. Without too much detail, my life is very different now and this personal change in circumstance has led me back to why I loved this profession in the first place. The sense of community and love for the work-family I have around me now is unrivalled at any time throughout my cheffing career and I’m enjoying work more than I ever have before. So much so that now the thought of going full time with Smoke Tin Kitchen in October makes me feel sad that I will be leaving this incredible community of people. When I was down I was dismissive of this place and the local environment and culture. Needless to say, this is one of the many moments in the last year I have been truly humbled and had to take a looooong hard look at myself. All for the better! I’m on a good path now. Focused on the qualities that make me a better person rather than any other aspect of life. And I truly believe if you take care of your self and represent yourself in the best possible way everything else will just fall in to place. And if doesn’t you can do no more. People at work who I suspect were once a little fed up of me call me “the new John” and I feel new. Ready for the challenges of business and life ahead. With a fresh positive outlook on life. I’m ready to deal with all that’s happened in the past most importantly an excited for all that lies ahead. Here’s to the future whilst keeping those positive people around you close by. Amen.