You feel that static in the air? The sensation of beginning fresh that comes with a new year and the boundless opportunities waiting to be uncovered. That notion is one that I feel regularly now that I've been blessed to see 26 years come to pass. Each passing year reminds me to be grateful for what I've achieved in my career as a hospitality professional, the mantra or word that encourages me to press forward when things get tough, and a continued understanding that the tapestry of my life is not finished yet. This is my ode to 2023.
I chose to pursue a career in the hospitality industry without the intention of monetary gain, rather, I sought to connect with people in a way that felt transcendent: through service. This flowery ideal is beautiful to some, yet foolish to others. This isn't an industry that is designed for us to have a sustainable life or have our vocation also be our passion. It's not easy to turn that passion into capital, and I have HUGE respect for all of us trying to make it happen in hospitality. Mariah Carey humorously, but poignantly, said during a concert that she's "doing the best with what I've got". In 2023, I want my fellow professionals to be at their best & then some and see a return of fruit like no other from their labors of love.
A word I kept landing on last year was "grateful". I wanted to be satisfied with what came into my life. From new experiences to minor accomplishments and even the failures. I'm grateful for every moment of 2022. This year the word I keep coming to is "encouragement". So much of what I want my brand and my voice in the hospitality industry to be is one that provides support to others. Whether that's through collaboration on events, consulting on new & existing beverage programs, or just sharing what my industry friends are up to; I want to be the cheerleader this industry needs more of. I've fostered many relationships over the course of my career, and each are special to me. I want all of those in my community to succeed. I'll be the one to encourage them when they need it most, and hope that they return the favor when it my turn to hit a bump in the road. I've used the imagery of tapestry to describe our journey through life in previous posts in the confessional series. Only God is able to see the magnitude of the finished work, but the tragedy of being human is that we can only see it from the back. When navigating a career in an industry that isn't always rainbows & butterflies, it's easy to call it quits before the tapestry is finished.
Prepare, prepare, prepare. Someone once told me that luck favors the prepared. One must make the necessary preparations in order to be ready for their "a star is born" moment. More than ever, I feel ready for what is to come. Gosh, how I long to halt the universe and go back in time to tell 15-year-old me how happy he'll be to be alive.
If you needed a reminder for your journey this year: here it is. Cheers to what I believe will be the moment you've waited all your life for.