It's the end of an era.


It really is the end of an era. I started in the restaurant industry at 17 so excited to get a job busing tables at a local restaurant. From there I was serving and bar-tending my way through university.I explored jobs in retail, in social service, and of course yoga but I until now have always had my trustee serving position to make ends meet. The thing about being good at serving is it is hard to get out of it, the money, the relative ease of the job, there is no work to take home, no thoughts of tasks done and undone that linger in your mind. It is intense while there but as soon as I would change my shoes and walk out those restaurant doors all was over until next time. There is something very sweet about that kind of work, plus the pay, if you are good, is hard to beat.

Serving was at one time the best job ever, in the summer I had my whole day to go to the beach, nap, hangout with friends, whatever I wanted, then worked my ass off for a few hours and made wonderful money. I used to be whirling around taking more tables impressing them all with a smile and never writing down the orders. Fast forward a few years and my body is tired of serving and lately so is my mind. My days now consist of getting up early, walking my puppy, teaching yoga classes all around Kelowna, taking care of my home, cooking, running my own company, and then at the end of it all going to the restaurant. I have cut back on my restaurant shifts and was only there a few times a week but it seems the less I am serving the more I am over it.

I have been at this restaurant for 7 years almost since they opened, it is like a family here. I have been treated so well, not just from the owners but by so many of the regulars that it made serving  lovely... For the most part. As one last plug,  you should go, the food is delicious and the restaurant is adorable, L'Isola Bella thank you for all you gave me.

Fear was holding me back from cutting the ties, knowing that if something came up I could scoop up a few more shifts and all would be well. At some point the things that got us to where we are can be holding us back. That was the bistro; my security blanket holding me back from being all in as self employed.

That all changed yesterday. As I said goodbye to regulars and wiped my last table I felt a wave of fear and nostalgia rush over me. It is happening, after 10 years I am leaving the restaurant life behind.

I once had a photographer tell me that he called himself a professional photographer over hobby photographer the day that photography paid his bills, I have had a hard time saying I am a professional yoga teacher but with all other titles drifting away my truth is; I am a professional yoga teacher.

See you on the mat, and be nice to your wait staff.

~with love

Chelsea Ray