I worked my last cooking shift today with the restaurant, while I've already started working shifts with the new job ~ which consists primarily of writing descriptions for costumes and costume accessories for the online website. I'll write more about that soon. Just now, it has been working a shift at one job, then working a shift at the other job, which has meant a change in sleeping hours and other adjustments. Add to that some excessively hot weather for the climate, where the temperatures here have been in the mid 30s celsius, or the nineties verging on 100. The weather prediction is that it will be one hundred degrees tomorrow.
Calgary is in a semi-desert, so the humidity is comparatively low compared with those temperatures as they occur on the eastern seaboard. Here, the sun is like a heavy weight on the shoulders and forehead. The air is dry and hard to breathe. It is best to walk slower, particularly if one is aged. Weather like this is very hard on people in their seventies or older. Even a younger guy like me can have trouble.
So the week has been ... stressful. Yet today might be the last cooking shift I ever do in a restaurant for the rest of my life. That's worth a note or two on the blog. There's a small pity in it, as I'm quite a good cook. I'm very comfortable and coordinated with a knife, I have an excellent nose for taste and I make excellent-tasting food.
However, being good at something really isn't a reason to do it. Being good at something can solve the problem of getting enough money to eat and live; but it won't satisfy the soul. It is better to do something we love, even if we are bad at it, than to do something we can sort of get along with, even if we're talented.
That's wisdom that most people live their whole lives and never learn ... and never realize why they're unhappy. It's a wisdom that some people learn too late. And it is a wisdom that some people, who learn it when they're young, cannot explain to older fools who cannot understand why we would choose to do something that doesn't make us a lot of money.
I've never made a lot of money. Oh, I've done decently well, 50-60 thousand a year for a time, but not a LOT of money. Most of my life I have made considerably less. Most years of my adult life, I've made an income that comes under the poverty line. This despite having many skills that I might have employed to make a lot of money ~ if only a lot of money ever mattered to me.
It certainly mattered to my parents. And to my teachers. And to some of my friends. For the most part, they all seemed to be preaching on account of some fear they had; a fear of living on the street, a fear of not being important, a fear of not living up to the expectations of other people. I remember my childhood being all about expectations ... and very little of it being about accepting that some people in this world are bound to pursue things they love, no matter what, and damn the consequences.
I am leaving a cooking job, which I was good at, to take a writing job, something I'm even better at. I am only better because I have spent so much time doing the latter. Not because when I started I had any natural talent for it. When I was in my early teens, I was a terrible, awful writer. But I wanted it soooo bad ... I got past that.
I'm glad for the choices I've made. I'm glad to be doing something, again, that I enjoy, even if it is short blurbs about this pirate hat or that flapper dress. Words are words. As J.K. Rowling wrote, words are our most inexhaustible supply of magic.
It's nice to be paid to perform magic again.