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.



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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