The 54th Deadline: Choices

“Each day, we all have a series of choices we have to make that dictate how life plays out.”

So a few weeks back, I had an episode with a blast from the past. It was like I was dragged back to relive some of the worst feelings I had ever experienced as far as depression symptoms go. I left the reason for it vague at the time, but I feel like sharing a bit as to why I was going through it all again.

In a nutshell, the restaurant I have been working at is sort on the fence about “demoting” me. And by that, I mean they have been slashing my hours and really trying to pressure me. Actually, I was almost fired for being a “bad” employee. Heck, they have plucked away some of my cook shifts to throw me into the dish pit station instead.

Not that I have anything against dishes, as it is an important job at any restaurant, but I have put in my share of time, effort and whatnot into this place. I have sweated, I have bled, I have done so much for this restaurant and for the place to make me feel almost underappreciated… It hurt me.

I had a meltdown because I was on the verge of just calling my boss and saying I quit. No two weeks’ notice. No request to phase me out slowly so I could find another job on the fly.

It came that close.

Fortunately, some of my senses came back to remind me that quitting my job so abruptly would have been an awful, truly horrible idea. It is not like I have a lot of bills or debt to my name at the moment, but I still need to work.

And yes, it’s just a restaurant job. Technically speaking, I could go find a job at McDonald’s or something if I really needed it. But this restaurant has grown on me throughout this past year. It would pain me to leave it and move onto the next thing like it hasn’t mattered to my existence.

Culinary-wise, I want to learn more at this restaurant, and there is plenty of stuff to pick up. As an aspiring chef, I go in yearning to expand my knowledge. But there comes a point where I wonder if I am just being a glutton for punishment if the management at this place is starting to test my patience. One can only take so much…

But for now, my decision is to stick around and try even harder. I have had a lot of random people over the years who have brought me down, who have tried to make me feel inferior or incompetent and it would bring me the greatest joy in the world to prove each one of them wrong.

I want to prove that I am a diamond in the rough. I want to prove that I am more than they realize. My true potential has yet to be reached.

Sure, the easy out would be to quit. The simplest solution would be to walk away and just find something else. I don’t want to concede just yet. I don’t want to be labeled or branded as a quitter for something like this.

Big deal.

It happens.

It is just an opportune moment to bounce back, and I intend to do so.
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The 54th Deadline: Avoidance

“Perhaps a key lesson I have definitely learned over the years is to step away sometimes.”

OK, so let’s assume there is a bonfire right in front of you. If you were to touch it directly, it would burn and hurt you, right? Obviously, the answer is yes. So what would the obvious thing to do if it is burning you? You stop touching it.

Again, pretty obvious, right? It is, and yet I am someone who definitely has not learned his lesson no matter how many times I let myself feel the burn.

The point of the matter is, regardless if it is a fire or whatever kind of analogy you want to use, it’s the same darn thing. A lot of people like myself never learn to avoid that which is bringing us down or harming us in some literal fashion. And thus, the cycle repeats and repeats until something changes.

Don’t get me wrong. Confronting particular problems directly is important, as mustering up courage to do so can be a big undertaking within itself. However, there are certainly other cases where just avoiding what is ailing you is just as effective, if not more ideal, when it is appropriate for such a course of action.


Looking back at it all, I learned a lot about avoidance when I was an unemployed guy who was living at home with his parents after graduating college.

At my worse, I had to avoid a lot of things until I got my head back in the game. When I felt defeated and worthless because I could not find any job to bring in any income toward my name. I had to deal with a lot of lectures and straight-up yelling sessions with my dad about it. Maybe back then it was cowardly of me, but I just started to avoid my dad as best as I could.
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