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Silence is not an option.

July 11, 2013 in Coping, Fears, Life, Restaurant Industry

Our lives begin to end

photo credit: pinterest

before you dive in, start here.

Read this quote again, isn’t that how you feel, right now?

Isn’t that what brought you to this website? You feel like your in silence with how challenging and frustrating being in relationship with someone in the industry can be?

Can you relate to the words “Our lives begin to end….” ?

Isn’t THAT also true? Wasn’t there a part of you that felt like a part of you, or your relationship was about to end… because you felt “in silence” with what you are always managing, and didn’t know how to get through it?

And if you’re in it for the long haul, are you still suffering in silence?

Let’s face it… the shitty parts of this relationship can be utterly unnerving.

The days/weeks/months on our own, the lack of consideration on our restaurant man/womans part when something changes quickly during their shift, and it’s hours before we hear from them again. The inability to fully be present while they’re at home because they’re mind (and hence their eyes and fingers) are constantly checking their email on their phone? The days when you REALLY don’t want to cook when you get home from work, another day of having to figure it all out, by yourself, makes you question your decision to be in this type of relationship in the first place?

Sometimes this type of relationship just plain sucks.

Add to that, that for YEARS, there has never been an outlet for us. There has been no place to go to relate to others in the same situation, to rant, to be comforted, to be helped back up.  I honestly cannot imagine how significant others of pre-internet times got by. I once heard a pre-internet significant other sort of comfort/defend herself when I said that these types of relationships are not easy, by saying it wasn’t that bad and that there was no sense in complaining about it because there was nothing she could do about it. Gosh, how that must’ve been SO TRUE for generations of significant others who had no place to turn to, somewhere to go to feel like they weren’t crazy and when they turned to their friends/family (in 9-5’r relationships) just confirmed that there was a need to be silent about how hard it is, because noone really understood.

Talk about isolation.

You could’ve been one of those lucky significant others who lived in close proximity to your other halfs husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, and created friendships to relate to that way, but still, everyone deals with things differently and maybe how one person deals, is not quite how you would.

THANKFULLY, that’s why I created this space. So I could find you. So you could find me. So we could find each other. To release the flood gates and allow the silence of those who came before us, suffering in silence to be set free. Thankfully there are more of us who are sharing their experiences online, bringing it to the mainstream, and connecting with our fellow significant others as a place to go to when they need to remember they are not crazy or alone. 

I can feel the decades of silence pouring out in our comments, our posts in our private Facebook Group, our moments of desparation when we simply need to be seen. The outpouring has been going on since the MINUTE I launched this website on Valentines Day, 2011 and it’s not surprisingly, why those who are new to this website, find themselves relieved to find a place to feel safe to not be silent. It’s why, in June 2013, this website was seen in 103 countries.

We’re talking a GLOBAL silencing here.

That said…. The only way we are going to shift how WE see ourselves in our restaurant relationships, and how we will be able to help others in the same place is to NOT be silent anymore. 

Now, before I go on, I’m not talking about protesting on the Capital or boycotting your loved ones restaurant. No. That’s not going to help us. We need to share, when asked about what it’s like being connected to this industry, to be honest. Share your experiences, educate those who have NO IDEA. The perception is that it’s all glitz and glamour and YOU know what it’s really like. 

Why not share it?

As someone who believes that change comes from within, I felt the need to share what frustrates me because I KNOW I’m not the only one. I’m sharing my experiences, NOT because I’m brave, but because the only way I’m going to find help, is to SAY SOMETHING. The only way I’m not going to feel alone is to talk about the things that make me feel lonely.

And also, I’m not talking about BASHING the restaurant industry or our other halfs or their superior either (even though you might want to sometimes), it’s about speaking up, using your voice and even sharing how strong a person has to be to THRIVE (yes, you can use the word endure, it does feel like enduring sometimes) in this type of relationship.

Even though, there have yet to be a man come forth from their silence, I KNOW YOUR OUT THERE TOO!!! I know you’re reading this along with your fellow women significant others, who are needing to be supported. Even MEN need get their frustrations OUT!

Men, let’s break the silence!! 

And finally, and most importantly, I want to talk about the silence we feel from our restaurant man/woman NOT to speak about what’s frustrating us. I’ve heard from so many of you that your chef husbands think this website is FUNNY. Like, ha ha, amusing. I’ve actually told others what I do (I’m the creator and resident life coach of Married to a Chef, supporting significant others in the restaurant industry, because MOST people have no idea what it’s really like.) and they say “Oh how cute (or funny).”

Really? Cute?  Funny?

Of course they think it’s cute.. they have NO idea. They’re still in a deep trance that it’s all non stop VIP events, and guest appearing on some Food Network program.

It’s up to US to tell them why NO… it’s NOT CUTE.

It’s up to US to share how it’s somewhat similar to the wifes of policemen and fireman (minus the constant danger, but sometimes I wonder)

And to our restaurant men and women who want us to keep our mouths shut… to NOT speak of how challenging this type of relationship is for fear of them being judged for being an absent husband, a narcissist, an uncaring human being (I mean, wouldn’t most people think we’re being neglected with how alone we feel sometimes????)

OF COURSE THEY WANT US TO KEEP QUIET!

While this is their passion, this is a BUSINESS. They want to keep their jobs, keep their dreams, keep their reputation intact… so OF COURSE they don’t want us coming in and saying “Well, actually, my husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend DOESN’T walk on water.”  while their eyes bug out because you might reveal their innermost secret.

THEY’RE NOT PERFECT!! THEY’RE STILL FIGURING SHIT OUT AND MAKING MISTAKES ALONG THE WAY!!!

*Sorry for the strong language in this post, but I feel it’s necessary.

They didn’t create the unwritten rules of this industry. The glorified “Chefs are Gods, they do no wrong.” rule that they willingly bought into and we are all mandated to keep the myth going. Try to cut them some slack (TRY) that I’m sure that in some little way, they wish it could be different too. I’ve mentioned before, this is a well oiled machine that’s been running a LONG time… they either hold onto what keeps it going… or they will inevitably be thrown off.  We have the power to make a subtle shift by sharing our experiences and beginning to share a new paradigm. The “I love being married to a chef and it’s NOT because of why you think.” paradox. 🙂

Let me ask you a question… Have you ever thought that in my postings… that I have publically BASHED my husband?

I want to say no. I am talking about such a broad stroke, that these scenarios, our frustrations can be discussed with chefs, with those in the restaurant industry around the WORLD. This is a UNIVERSAL experience we are all having with some small specifics thrown in. We are all more alike than different.

That’s another reason why staying quiet will NEVER help anyone else. Even if it’s someone on the other side of the globe from where you are.

YOU can help your fellow significant others. Start by speaking out, not by publically revealing your other halfs flaws (even if they’re most likely something at least 1000 of us can relate to) but put your teacher hat on and EDUCATE when you speak.

You just might make the difference between someone who is REALLY struggling to find the way… and leaving them to suffer in silence.

YOU found your voice here… now it’s your chance to pay it forward.

SILENCE IS NO LONGER AN OPTION.  

*One way to speak up… be a guest poster here. SEE HERE.

 *Another way is to contribute to our mission and get the perks of being a part of your larger, global Village. SEE HERE.

*Finally, another way is to create a local meetup group of significant others so you can meet with and release some of that pent up frustration you have inside. Trust me, it really helps to see someone in person in order to feel like you’re not crazy for feeling the way you do. (If you do create something like this, let me know, and I’ll promote it.)

Six Valentines Day Messages of Love

February 14, 2013 in Celebrate!, Everybody Else, Expectations, Life, Relationships, Valentines Day

Spicy Heart Paprika Tortilla Chips

Photo by Snixy Kitchen
http://www.snixykitchen.com/2012/02/09/spicy-heart-paprika-tortilla-chips/

I know.

95% of you will NOT be spending this DAY O’ LOVE  with your other half.

He or she will most likely be cooking up a storm for the masses, who are looking to profess their undying love to someone else.

In reality, your restaurant man/woman will spend the evening weeded, as the flurry of Valentines Day diners allow their restaurant to turn one MAYBE two times tonight.

This is a very successful (meaning profitable) day for the industry worldwide.

Hopefully you’ve been with your other half long enough to sort of navigate through the wave of hearing your friends, co-workers and family oooh and aaah about how they’re “getting jiggy with it” this Valentines Day.

Hopefully you have come to understand that it’s not their FAULT, that because it’s the second most popular day to dine in the restaurant world, that he or she will not be making an appearance to hand deliver your VERY deserving flowers or chocolates or … insert your own gift here.

Finally, maybe you’ve even taken it upon yourself NOT to feel sad and blue, not sequestering yourself at home in front of the TV but have made plans to do something proactive with your evening. If you have children, maybe you focus your energies there, making sure they can feel your love on this day.

That said… no matter how you manage, navigate, accept it…let’s face it. It still stinks.  

It will always stink. There will never be a moment when you’re ever like YAY! I LOVE THAT I DON’T GET TO SPEND VALENTINES DAY WITH MY HUSBAND/ WIFE/ BOYFRIEND/ GIRLFRIEND!!!

No matter how much work you do to understand and accept WHY you are not with your beloved, it will never fully remove the twinge of sadness that you wish you could experience the days worth of swooning and swirling of LOVE that the day inevitably brings to so many.

(Insert your name here), It’s OKAY.

I am here to support you on this day by reinforcing six (6) Valentines Day Messages that I know you DESERVE to hear on this lovey dovey day. Consider this a reminder of how VALUED AND NEEDED I KNOW YOU ARE!!!

Pretend you are hearing this from your other half, okay? I am going to write it as if it was coming from your restaurant man or womans mouth. Consider this EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER WANTED TO HEAR, from your love.

  1. I NEED YOU.  – Whether I am aware of it or not, whether I tell you often enough OR NOT… I need you. I know I could not get through HALF of the things I get through if I didn’t have you in my life. I know, I forget SO many things sometimes, It must seem like I’m totally oblivious to what’s going on around me on a regular basis, that’s why it’s imporant you know, THAT I KNOW, that I NEED YOU.
  2. I’M SORRY. – Babe, I know that there are so many times when I forget to call you to tell you I’m not going to be home when I told you or that I forgot to pick up my stinky shoes from where I last left them. I am sorry that I am not able to be there when our little ones are sick, because I am on the line and how I know planning a vacation seems almost IMPOSSIBLE. I know it might seem like I do not know what I’m doing most of the time (the truth is, most times I don’t), but I’m sorry for the many times that I’ve not considered your feelings when something that changes in my day, affects you too. I’m sorry I don’t stop to tell you how amazing I think you are enough, how I seriously grateful I am that you manage to continue to stick by me.  I can only HOPE that in some small way, I give you a little of what you give me.
  3. YOU ARE AMAZING. – I know it might seem like days, weeks or months of our lives becoming like one GroundHog Day after another, never telling the difference between one week to the next. SO in the routine of my routine, I can EASILY forget to tell you how AMAZING I think you are. I mean, look at’cha, you HOT potato you. It’s important you know that I think, in the good moments and even not not so good ones that I think you are AMAZING and I am so happy you picked me. Only someone AMAZING like you, has the courage and the strength to manage through my wacky career. I know that part of the reason why I feel SO LIBERATED to shoot for my dreams, and make things happen is because I KNOW that I have someone AMAZING in my corner, cheering me on. I only hope that I do for you, even a little, of what you do for me.
  4. WE ARE AMAZING – Like I said above, it’s so easy to forget how awesome we are together, when life seems to go so quickly, day after day. Sometimes I forget how you help me, and how I help you (even when you don’t see it) and how we have created this FLOW that helps us get through our day to day lives. I love who we are as a couple, a family and even more, how many more exciting things we have to look forward to, as we continue on our journey. I am very proud to be a part of your life, as your (husband/ wife/ boyfriend/ girlfriend)
  5. THANK YOU – You ready? Here it goes…. Thank you for putting up with my long hours, for my forgetfulness (whether it’s selected or not), for forgiving me for the thousandth time for not picking up the dog food at the store, for not being there when the kids are sick, for rarely kissing you good night, for not rubbing your feet when you have a bad day, for pushing me to be the best chef I know, for the times when I know I needed to hear your stern words (even if I didn’t want to at the time) for knowing what I need without me having to say it, for UNDERSTANDING that being with me in this career is not always easy, for finding ways to make life so amazing, for giving me the best gift of the most amazing family, for being the most AMAZING mother to our children, for showing me that you are an independent woman and I don’t have to always worry about you. I am SO grateful for you for this and for SO MANY MORE things… I will just settle here to name just a few. THANK YOU MY LOVE.
  6. I LOVE YOU. –  It goes without saying that you have my heart. I know I don’t always SHOW it, but I LOVE YOU and I am so happy I get to be a part of your life. I am honored that you have picked me to be your partner, your friend and your mate in this life. I am honored to know that your heart is with mine, and this overwhelming feeling that I KNOW that I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be.

Whether your other half is able to communicate this or not, I just know that they would say these things if they knew how. How I wish I had my husbands voice, saying this to me as a recording on my phone when I needed a reminder. (hmm, maybe a good idea everyone!) *And, if they already say these words freely, REMEMBER THEM when you find yourself in the middle of an argument and forget.

Please read and re-read these six messages when you need to fill yourself up. It’s SO FREAKING EASY to feel empty when life moves so fast, especially when our other half is not there. It’s so easy to FORGET that you have such a vital role in your relationship, resigning to feel like the victim because it didn’t work out the way you expected. PLEASE remember, my dear significant other, that YOU are the cornerstone of this relationship. The more you understand and appreciate who YOU are and what YOU bring to the relationship, I ASSURE you you and your restaurant man or woman WILL feel it, in turn, your relationship and your family will get stronger.

Because today, they are probably up and out of the house early (if not already) to prepare for the hundreds of deuces that are on the books tonight. They will be busy, prepping, directing and expediting, and whether they remember it or not (fingers crossed they do) REMEMBER they are able to do what they do, BECAUSE OF YOU.

Today marks the TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY of Married to a Chefs launch. YAY! I picked today to launch this website because I KNOW FIRSTHAND, how it stinks to not have any plans with my love on this day. It has brought me such JOY to find you, to connect with you and to tell you what I KNOW you deserve (and need) to hear (even when you don’t want to), as well as to help you find others in the SAME boat as you. I have barely scratched the surface with where I see us going, excited about some changes and additions to our mission in the very near future ahead, and I just want to say THANK YOU for being a part of our community. WELCOME if you are here for the first time, to find some relief.

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!

much love,
Kerilyn

TELL ME: How do YOU know you are loved and valued, not just on this day but everyday?