“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. ” Jim Morrison
People in the North East were still digging themselves out while the restaurant is open for business. Absenteeism was rampant in my kitchen this morning which gave me a long time alone. Your mind can’t help but wonder.
I spent a lot time thinking about my persona and how it evolved over my years in management. The one I had to create to not thrive but just to survive as an introvert in an extrovert world.
I would like to say that I am a kind , warm-hearted individual. A confidant that anyone could lean on. At least, that’s how I remember myself growing up and in my early days as a cook. .
I know the role I play now…A cold, sarcastic, and driven manager. On the surface my employees might think that I couldn’t give a damn about them. Some of the more quizzical , can see right through that. Please, Understand that the job does require a bit of firmness otherwise you become a rug for everyone to walk on.
When I leave work I can leave that persona at the door…But do I? Or do I spend so much time playing that role that it becomes my reality? Reminds me a little of a different industry.
I’m a big professional wrestling fan. Not so much of the storylines nor the matches themselves. But of the backstage stories and the psychology of it. The life of a WWE wrestler is very grueling. 250 -300 days a year you are on the road a new city every day. You work sick and hurt. And all this time you are away from your family.
In Brock Lesnar’s bio Death Clutch. He describes what the late Curt Henning once said to him about the wrestling business. He told him to “get in…To get out”. To always have an exit strategy. What would happen is that a Wrestler would hold on and play their persona for so long that they would lose theirselves to it. They would hang on for so long that they would lose Their faith, their families, and all they had left was their character.
Not saying the restaurant business is a anything like the life of a professional athlete. But it does make me think. How I don’t want to waste everything I have. Which is one of the reasons I started the Happiness Project in the first place.
Although I know it’s unfair I reveal myself one mask at a time. Stephen Dunn