Back to Jamaica Confessions

I am so grateful to be home in Jamaica. Yet in the midst of being home, a few unexpected challenges have been vying for my attention. To summarize – I graduated from the Blue Hill at Stone Barns Front of House Apprenticeship in Restaurant Management and Service (FARMS) in March of this year. For those who are unfamiliar with the restaurant or the program, Blue Hill at Stone Barns is an award-winning, fine dining restaurant in Pocantico Hills, N.Y. I feel I should mention that we recently won the James Beard Foundation’s award for Most Outstanding Restaurant, and we’re the 49th best restaurant in the world i.e. we’re kind of a big deal 🙂 . As to the FARMS program, candidates are trained in every front of house position, learning to communicate the connection between food, farming and service to our guests. It was a rewarding, difficult, tearful and joyous journey. My time at Stone Barns was absolutely precious and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat – the tears notwithstanding. I stayed on at Blue Hill until April, but alas, I had to leave. I came home thinking I’d spend a month here, relaxing and doing a bit of research, before my next endeavor.

Cue the unforeseen challenges vying for my attention: the start date of my next endeavor was (understandably) pushed back to October. I have to support myself in the meantime.

Now, that’s a very simple sentence; the execution of that idea is a bit more troublesome than it might seem. Big things, like editing my American resume to look like a Jamaican resume and learning to take Jamaican public transportation (the bane of many Jamaicans’ existences), are difficult. Little things, like finding all-natural products for my hair and making nutritious wholesomely grown/ sourced breakfast decisions, are also difficult. Almost everything I expected to be easy is now difficult. So, I end up running around in circles of complaint and frustration. Most times I eventually get back to the ‘grateful to be home’ part. Other times I just fall asleep way too early and hope for a better day tomorrow.

Truthfully, in spite of all the difficulty, annoyance, frustration, awkwardness, and discomfort, I am so grateful to be home. Patience in the process. It’s also time to stop running around and get to work! 🙂

How to Decide to Own Your Life [and Make Granola]

As Jamaicans would say, mi get style.

I started this blog not only to provide details on and some context for Jamaican- American experiences, but also to put myself out there. Yet in doing so, I’ve encountered some of the most entrepreneurial, innovative, enterprising, dedicated, and forward-thinking people in the world today. All within the span of a couple weeks. In short, I got shown up.

I began to think, what the heck am I doing with my life?!?  

So, in 12 ‘easy’ steps, I came to the decision to make my life what I want it to be:

  1. Realize you’re doing WAY too much, and think what’s the point of all this any way.
  2. Have a mini-meltdown when you realize you have micro-management issues.
  3. Talk to your mentors! They’re awesome people!
  4. Make granola! (Thanks Laura!)
  5. Eat said granola with local, organic yogurt from your co-op and blended organic frozen fruit (YUUUM!)
  6. downloadTweet, watch TED talks, read articles, and be reminded that you’re doing a lot, but again, what’s the point of it all?
  7. Have another mini-meltdown, #overwhelmed.
  8. Cultivate the desire to watch Hancock, ’cause he turned out well right?
  9. Sleep off 7. AND 8.
  10. Make more granola!!!! (Again, thanks go out to Civilized Caveman and Lauren from Oatmeal with a Fork!!!)
  11. Sit down, stop moping, and seriously think about what the heck you want your life to look like and why. #3in1
  12. Own that life.

Twelve relatively easy steps? I had a good laugh at myself along the way 🙂 .

But on a more serious note, we all get told to be the change we want to see. Hopefully, there’s a moment in your life sooner or later when you realize that you actually can be that change. Regardless of limited resources, obstacles or fears. You can build your life the way you want it to be if you’re willing to put in the work.

I’ve been reading articles and tweets and watch videos from great forward-thinkers, young and old. Maya Penn, Tereza Nemessanyi, Chelsea Krost, Danny Rubin, The Levo League, The Daily Muse, Buffer. You know what they all have in common? They have a dream, a concept, a desire. They are working to bring it to fruition.

I intend to do the same.

Make your life happen. And eat some granola 🙂 .