An ordinary life

Behind the bar at Octane. Photo credit to Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark.

Behind the bar at Octane. Photo credit to Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark.

A year is a surprisingly long time. At the beginning of August last year, I was on the verge of starting my first non-temporary office job. I had never seriously considered a career as a freelance writer, personally blogged or mixed a classic cocktail.

After spending several months in a cubicle, I was restless, lethargic and generally miserable. Tutoring and freelancing were the only paid gigs that reflected what I’d learned during my time in school, so I focused my energy there. At a certain point, it was too much. I’m pretty good at pacing myself, but six hours of sleep couldn’t replenish the amount of energy burned each day.

Then I got an offer I couldn’t expect — a chance to learn the art of craft cocktails from one of my favorite bartenders in Birmingham. Two years’ experience writing about cocktails had given me a taste of the industry, but not the deeper knowledge I needed to cover the topic in depth. My full-time job wouldn’t accomodate this change, so I put in my two weeks’ notice.

Yes, I quit my job to tend bar. Yes, it may sound like a quarter life crisis. No, it was not a bad idea.

So far, it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I have learned how to properly stir/shake a cocktail, explain a bar’s worth of product and actually taste wine/beer/liqueur/liquor. Historical cocktail books became my reading materials, and my drink flashcards became a permanent fixture in my purse.

I love it. I love it all, and through it I’ve become part of the up-and-coming food and drink scene in Birmingham.

With my recent career and lifestyle changes, I’ve been considering splitting this blog into sections: writing, mixing and running. All three are topics I love, and each brings a part of my life into balance. However, the division into three separate blogs might be out of reach both financially and time-wise. For now, I will categorize posts based on these topics.

Today’s title comes from a yoga instructor’s discussion of the importance of an ordinary life. Obviously, my definition of ordinary has drastically changed over the past few months.

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8 Comments

Filed under See Clair Mix, See Clair Write

8 responses to “An ordinary life

  1. Love this Clair! I still need to come by and experience your new mixology skills!

  2. This is really inspiring, Clair! Kudos to you. What a fun experience, and I’m sure you mix a mean drink! 🙂

  3. Congratulations on pursuing something you really love and not doing what settling for what is expected! Best of luck to you! I look forward to reading about your adventures.

  4. Joy Lampkin

    Clair! Hearing this really inspires me…. Can’t wait to hear more about your journey. -Joy L.

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