Monday, July 22, 2013

Mid-Summer Nightmare

I was racing, rushing and frantic.  The tickets were pouring out: three Key Lime Martinis, four Blueberry Mojitos, six Rum Runners and so on. I was tearing the tickets and throwing down drinks as fast as possible, but it just wasn't nearly fast enough.  To make matters worse, a woman with a dominant figure and obtrusive posture stood over my shoulder; watching and waiting.

She was studying my every move: my pours, the way I mixed and muddled.  Her ominous presence was similar to that of the Grim Reaper.  Like some dark, shadowy threat, she waited for me to slip up.  But then I looked up for a moment from behind the bar and realized where I was: I was on a film set.

Cast and crew scurried about from one side to another, dragging along lights, ropes, tripods and props.  Then a hand slammed down on the bar, wide-open and urgent.  Back to work  I told myself.  This was some twisted nightmare.  On the one hand, it felt like a sweet dream: feeling a pull to join the cast and crew on set.  I knew I could be a huge asset to the production and it felt so right to be there.  On the other hand: what a sick nightmare!  It was like a cruel joke, to still be behind a bar, serving drinks to all the people who were doing what I wanted to be doing for a living!!

I woke up this morning with a stomach cramp.  Ugh, that was a strange dream. It was like my subconscious was shouting out a glaring reminder of what my future could look like if I didn't keep trying to pursue my dreams: my everyday dreams.

I have heard of many other people having a serving nightmare. Through the years working in restaurants, it is a common occurrence. Did the order come out wrong again!? I'm so in the weeds! It's the horrible feeling of never being able to catch up.  And it's not a fun thing to dream about after already exhausted from a long night at work.

But are these server nightmares actually serving a purpose?

I'm beginning to think that they do.  Most people I have encountered throughout the past few years of working in the service industry were all pursuing something else.  They had various dreams: musicians, police officers, teachers, writers, artists, massage therapists, actors and so on. And waiting tables was what they were doing while they waited for their various ships to come in.

Maybe these nightmares are in fact serving our dreams in some way.  Keep going. Keep moving. Work smarter and harder. And don't let the haunting and anxious visions of your dreams become your lifelong reality.

I imagine that when I am doing what I am passionate about, I will have nightmares about that too.  I suppose when you work really hard at anything, you get a little obsessed.  But nightmares can push you closer to your dreams, if you are able to sleep through the night.

I'm curious. Do you have nightmares about your job too? Do they serve you?  Or are they just a cruel reminder of the threat of failure? Perhaps both? What do you think?


Dark and Stormy

Gosling's Black Seal Rum
Ginger Beer
Served on the rocks in a highball glass

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