I might be the only person in the world that is actually relaxed by the sound of a busy restaurant. Where some people hear chaos, I can decipher the code of a well-oiled machine. The conversations between each customer blend into a background that works very much like white noise; it's possible to eventually ignore it and pick up on the important sounds in the room. The banter between the staff. The steam wand on the espresso machine. The clink of spoons in coffee cups. Different clinks of drinks, in celebration or welcome. What's more, it almost becomes a Pavlovian response - when I hear that noise, I must focus. A dozen or so years of conditioning will do that to you.
Maybe that's why I find it so enjoyable to write in a busy restaurant. Even this entry. I thought i had nothing to write about, but I just grabbed my notebook just in case. It's the music of a business - and I don't mean the playlist - that is the push I need to exercise the little muscles in my hand and head. It's astonishing.
That's the key. It's all well and good finding something you love doing. It's just as important to love whatever incarnation of "office" scenario you place yourself for optimal work output. It just so happens that my two skills, my two major passions, my two paycheques, both take place at the bar. When I worked at Starbucks over 15 years ago, their mission statement was to become the 3rd place. The first place is home, the second is work. The 3rd place refers to the unwinding after work before heading home. My 3rd place happens to also be the 2nd. As stressful as it can be at times, it says something when I can knock out 300 words in the time it takes to drink a beer.