Yesterday my father signed off on the sale of his business. It was never a "family" business but it certainly was a family affair. After almost 15 years, the local pub will now belong to someone other than my dad. It has so many emotions tied up with it for me, that it truly is bitter sweet.
At age 21, I begged my father for a job bar-tending. It took some convincing since he and I hadn't always had the best relationship. He finally agreed to give me a shot and I was determined to be the best employee he had! There was something about working for my dad that made me want to impress him the most. Growing up we both dealt with each other on a "business like" level. I knew that working for him, would not afford me any type of extra privilege, in fact, it just meant that I would have to work that much harder for his approval. After a year or so of working for him, I moved on to a marriage and children. I had spent my fair share of Sunday afternoons inside a dark and smokey bar.
Years later I had reached a cross road in my life and wanted to taste the night life that I was sure I missed out on. I ended up in the one place that I felt was somewhat safe and comfortable to unwind. As my future career plans shifted I once again found myself asking my father for a job.
For three years I lived a double life. Mother and full time student during the week, and party till early morning girl on the weekends. Large amounts of cigarettes and alcohol were consumed but it also supported me and my two children so I could return to college and get my BA degree. I met my husband there and many great people. I also have seen the dark side of many others, and the hours and drama associated with alcohol really began to take a toll on me. Add in the emotional component of working for ones family and I was soon burnt out.
Its been a few years since I have been a regular back there. I've saved my visits for a few occasions in which I thought it was my family obligation to attend. When people asked why I didn't buy the business from my dad or how come he was selling it, my only answer is "its a tough business". There are not enough words to explain how the atmosphere can suck you in and change who you are or who you want to be.
Looking back my emotions are bitter sweet. I am raising a toast to a place that gave me my new life and reminds me of how far I have come. I am thankful for its place in my history and happy that it is where it will stay. "cheers to the Back Track" and I will finish my cup coffee now.
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