I’m reading an intriguing novel, Sweetbitter, the story of a young woman who finds her first city job as a “backwaiter” at a Manhattan restaurant. It takes Tess a summer to find her niche as a beverage server; it has its own kind of elegance.
As does every detail in this restaurant where employment is an investment in one’s life. On some days, Tess worries the work requires more of her than she has, and on other days, she refuses to see that she does not lack inner resources.
Each night in the restaurant is opening night, choreographed as a perfect performance, no matter the mistakes. There are no “flawed reflections” in a focused delivery, only the creation of a unique dining experience.
And then the evening ends, gone the way of great performances. Each is an investment in creating an experience with the sole purpose of giving it away. The return is the ability to do it the next night and the next….
And therein lies the key to abundance.
You have been taught to live like a prisoner.
Don’t take, don’t touch, don’t trust.
You were taught the things of the world are flawed reflections,
but they don’t demand the same attention as the world of the spirit.
It’s shocking, isn’t it? And yet, the world is abundant—
if you invest in it, it will give back to you tenfold.
(Stephanie Danler, Sweetbitter, pages 92-93)