I think it is really important to understand how crucial your daily routine is to your overall sense of well-being. Whether you realize it or not, routine is the choices you make on a daily basis of how you go about your day when you wake up in the morning (or the afternoon). What you ought to be doing and what you actually do can sometimes lead you into a sense of imbalance whether you’re consciously aware of it or not. We all have to work and earn an income, and this I completely understand. However, the job we hold is a daily choice. I encourage each and every one of you to strive to achieve a position in something you love to do. Loving what you do for your job will ultimately turn work into play, so choose wisely!
I’ve worked plenty of crap jobs before, trust me. I had jobs in the past that were totally lame, extremely hard on the body, didn’t pay enough, no insurance, or less than minimum wage! There were times while working I would struggle to wake up in the morning (or afternoon) and just want to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep. Once I was able to identify the elements of my daily routine were no longer serving me, I was able to walk away from them and start something new. If you’re thinking about leaving one job for another, make sure you score the new job before you quit and always leave with integrity. This will help you out in the long haul by maintaining a good reputation as a dutiful worker.
It wasn’t easy to make the decision to walk away from the amazing bar tending gig I had back in New Jersey before I moved to Hawaii. I loved bar tending and feeling like the nightly host of a giant party with all of my local friends and family. It was the best times of my life in New Jersey.
Walking away from an awesome bar tending job probably made my decision to stay in Hawaii even more challenging because I wasn’t leaving a job I didn’t like. I just knew there was a better quality of life for me. Once I took my last vacation to Hawaii, my stay became permanent. It happened on my last night out on the town in Waikiki. It was day 9 of my trip and I was scheduled to fly home on day 10. I had only applied for one job, my dream job, working at Turtle Bay Resort.
I never got a call back after my first interview. I was spinning. Sturmar and I were chatting at Duke’s in Waikiki where I was having cocktail, contemplating my next move in life, and I was getting extremely emotional about it. That’s when the bartender at Dukes told me a story about how he was from New York, came out to Hawaii for a vacation, and now he’s a bartender at the most popular restaurant in Waikiki for the last several years. I guess this must’ve inspired me, because in that moment after quickly finishing my Mai tai, I was running around Waikiki filling out applications at every ocean front restaurant on the strip. I got a lot of places that told me, “Come back on Tuesday!” It was a Thursday and I was scheduled to fly out on Friday afternoon. I kept on trying and trying to speak to any manager I could. I knew I had the experience to land a job somewhere and I felt the most determined I had ever felt in my life in that moment.
Sooner or later, nighttime had arrived and I was starting to lose hope. I told Sturmar, “There’s no way I am going to find a job during the busy dinner rush.” But luckily for me, the stars had aligned. I laughed when I first saw Ocean House Restaurant and said to Sturmar, “Hahahaha! Look how beautiful this place is! Imagine if I got a job here, it’s so pretty!” After talking to the host, she told me fill out an application and wait for the “president” in the lobby. Score! I was so ready for this moment. When I met David for the first time, I remember how warm and welcoming he was. He’s an incredibly calm and charming gentleman, the kind where you immediately see his professionalism in the way he carries himself. Although I never let him know at the time, David made me feel confident that I was making a good decision to cancel my flight, quit my bartending job in Jersey, and start over. David said to me, “I believe in you, and I am going to give you a chance.” I remember almost crying when he said that. He said, “However, you must start here as a busser in order to earn a position as a server.”
At first, it honestly hurt my ego that my new job position was a “busser” but I learned so much from taking that position in fine dining for my first 6 months on Oahu. I am so grateful for the lessons I learned while working at Ocean House. The first thing I learned was that I had an incredible amount of courage taking a job offer like that to replace what I had already established back home in New Jersey. The second thing I learned was how to be humble. Just because I had a bachelor’s degree, had 10 years of restaurant experience, and had a passion for the food industry, did not make me a great busser. I was a terrible busser. The plates were heavy, I had to hold them the proper way with proper etiquette (I couldn’t hold them how I wanted to hold them), and I would drop and break things constantly. I did not enjoy hauling the slop buckets, mopping the floors, and washing the remaining dishes at the end of the night. Bleaching and scrubbing the white walls of the slop room was another challenging duty. Another duty was making sure that during service every customer had at least half a glass of water while also trying to run downstairs to kitchen to make more bread for the entire restaurant. Fine dining bussers in a busy city restaurant work extremely hard, during and after services. But as newcomers to anywhere we go in the world, we gotta start from the bottom and we got to start somewhere. Ocean House happens to be consistently busy because of its prime time location overlooking gorgeous Diamond Head and its epic sunsets. I made enough to pay a cheap rent after an initial investment in an almost broken used vehicle. It wasn’t so bad though. I learned a lot about used car parts, and about the value of a quality insurance policy, and that medical bills from eating too much yeast gets expensive.
At the time, I was just learning from Sturmar about Zen and how to tackle each duty at work like a martial artist. The methods he taught me unquestionably worked so I definitely improved my skills once I worked on myself and practiced my approach to managing all of my work habits. I set a goal not to make mistakes during service. It was a challenge at times. Humans are so imperfect and just one wrong dosage of the wrong kinds of thoughts can send a fork falling off of a plate or dozens of other kinds of slip ups. It takes a strong mind to juggle dinnerware around a giant restaurant.. quickly, and without sound. Just dance with this idea for a moment. Now dance for 8 hours, in Waikiki, the notorious prime time vacation city in the middle of the pacific ocean.
The third thing I learned while working at Ocean House was about my own resilience. It was so difficult getting to work every day. I lived 80 minutes away from Waikiki because at the time I was staying on the windward coast! After driving for 80 minutes, I would then have to find free parking on the Ala Wai or the Ala Moana Center and then skateboard another 10-20 minutes to the restaurant in city traffic. Skateboarding is what saved me. I became attached my board, it was part of who I was in the city. I remember how liberated I would feel skating down Kalia Rd at 1130pm every night on my journey back to Hauula. Skateboarding to work kept me in great shape for surfing since I was missing out on a lot of water time due to my long commute.
I also learned at Ocean House about how important team work is. Ocean House has the most diligent group of workers I had ever had the honor to work with and learn from. We had such a tight crew that would spend a lot of time hanging out after work at the local Japanese karaoke bars and night clubs.
Life felt pretty sweet working in Waikiki. However, my body, my vehicle, my time, and surfing were suffering from my daily labors. I had to sacrifice so much to work in the city and live in the country. I couldn’t fathom moving to Waikiki, it was a place I felt I always wanted to escape. It’s awesome to visit but I am not balanced living the city life. I knew I needed to act fast and work closer to home base, somewhere in the country, but the options are so limited on the North Shore. Most people must commute to town to find work. Once I was finally able to muster up the courage to move on from Ocean House, I applied at Ola at Turtle Bay and this decision changed my entire life. I’d like to mention also that whenever I leave one restaurant job for another, I always strive to make sure that I have done a good service for them and leave with integrity. By doing things this way, I was able to get an outstanding reference because Ola doesn’t hire too many people too often. Somehow, I succeeded in my one chance to get hired there. It was sad to bow out of the best restaurant in Waikiki, but I am so thankful to be where I am today because my quality of life, surfing, and free time have flourished in the past year.
After choosing to work at Ola, I have now worked on the North Shore for almost one year now and it has been the best year of my whole life. I am currently a lunch server at Ola at Turtle Bay where I feel absolutely blessed to serve quality Hawaiian food right on the beach. If you’re ever visiting the North Shore or staying near Turtle Bay Resort, stopping by for lunch at Ola is a must! We have the best burgers, salads, tako, and fresh caught seafood on the North Shore. Stop by today for free smiles and country style Aloha!
I hope everyone has a happy workweek, and hopefully whatever you do in your life is something that you love to do! I love serving others and putting a smile on people’s faces, that is why I am a server in a restaurant for my bulk source of income. I am definitely not rich and I don’t make a whole lot of money, but my quality of life is very rich. I live close-by to my job and I get to surf every day and live by the countryside. I worked really hard to get to where I am today and am thankful that I was able to experience this journey.
Currently, I just launched surfgirlbrit.com one week ago! yay! and I want to thank you for having an interest in reading about who I am and the services I do. I hope to inspire others to chase their dreams and try something new! If life seems dull and unexciting, switch your daily routine and strive for something else that will enrich your future. Do what works best for YOU!
To learn more about creating a life you love, visit my big wave surfer friend Mercedes Madiana’s website and sign up for her abundance course! She is surfing at such an amazing level right now so I highly recommend signing up for her course NOW! She’s on fire! You go girl!