Fuck Yes…

There is an amazing article I read… Thank you Facebook Sharing.

Fuck Yes, or No By Mark Manson.

Pure genius. Not because it’s revolutionary, but because it’s what has always been true. It’s slightly juvenile in the sense that it is aimed at relationships and the courting process, but still holds more weight than many other things… I’ve thought about this article quite a bit lately.

As much as I would like to say I’m motivated to have a relationship, I find that most of the time I’m in a state of ‘Meh’… I used to think that something was wrong with me when I couldn’t quite figure out what someone else was thinking or feeling. Hence, I turned to straight sex in my past. Now, I turn to plain old ‘ignore-ance.’

For whatever issues I’ve been raised with, this spills over into so many other areas of my life. Jobs, goals, family, … even cars. I go so far and soon realize “This isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing”… and if I catch myself in time, I’ll escape and move along.

This idea of ‘Fuck Yes or No’ is something that I wish more people could understand.

Why on earth should it be ok to pursue something that doesn’t pursue you? I’m not religious in the traditional sense, but I tend to have faith in whatever happens, happens. Truth is, it’s worked out pretty damn well. I still get hurt feelings and my pride gets roughed up a bit but ya know what? Who the fuck cares? If I was able to go back in time and tell myself ten years ago that I would have done everything I did, I’d call bullshit. And if I wouldn’t believe it, how the hell do I expect anyone else to believe that I could do it all over again? And who has the balls to stick around while it happens?


Let’s Fly Away…

The popularity of my blog has waned since I finished up my 365 run last year. I had another weird motivation to write something tonight as I was driving home from work tonight. It’s not really anything to do with a new year resolution… It’s about taking a look inside to what we are most passionate about. For anyone that cares that is…

I was on the Harley quite a few years back when I found something that for some reason I’m still looking for today. It was a post deployment gift to myself. Sixteen thousand dollars of pure sexiness. Of course there are faster bikes out there but there is nothing that can quite compare to over 1500 cc’s of power that erases every care in the world.

I found it at around 130mph on the backroads of North Carolina. A fire was lit inside that I wish I knew how to share with others. After finally ending a toxic relationship and making the leap to join the military in the middle of a ridiculous war, I finally knew what it was to be alive. Everything everyone ever says about the freedom of the open road is true. Solo or not, it’s something I think all of us need to experience one day or another. That feeling is creeping up on me more and more lately.

When you find yourself immersed in the murkiness of a life that you may not totally enjoy, nothing seems to make sense. Friends betray you, lovers leave you, family may shun you… maybe work or your social life just doesn’t seem to be what it should be. I see too many people wasting away their lives on other people’s dreams. Other people’s standards. Other people’s expectations. It’s time to break free.

You know you’re going to die some day right? When you’re finished are you going to be proud of what you’ve done? Was it worth it? Did you waste too many days dwelling on how you want your life to be instead of making it what you want it to be?

No one is going to hand anything to you. You may have people hold a hand out and offer some company along the way but the one who can make you feel the fire inside is you. We can’t stop dreaming or hoping for something better. We shouldn’t waste our time on what some would call the devil’s work. Fear, loathing, depression, apathy, jealousy, envy, egocentrism….

Get off your lazy ass, take a look at those around you… Some people are talk. Some people are walk. Decide who you want to be around and fucking do it already. Quit relying on what everyone else thinks is the cool thing to do. I can’t count how many times I’ve been coerced into doing something I really don’t want to do and I end up regretting it almost every time. It’s partly the reason I have so few friends.

I wake up every day now to an empty pillow beside me so I have to fight to find reasons to keep fighting the good fight. I’ve done my share of bad deeds to make enough people loathe me. I get it. But ya know… when you live your life according to the expectations of others, you end up looking forward to the day it finally comes to an end.

It really is time to start living for yourselves and for the people who really matter. Truth is, you won’t see who really matters until you’ve seen who has walked with you through the hard times. Maybe it’s my own advice that I’m trying to convince myself of, but I’ve done so much with my life and experienced so many things to know this truth… Keep on keepin’ on and one day… You’lll see…

My Not So Secret Love Affair…

I’ve written of this before but tonight I decided to revisit the romance I’ve experienced and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget. My first time was when I was 14. I barely remember what was going on but all I knew was life would never be the same again. It only lasted a half hour but that was all I needed. I had been working my ass off for the next few months just so I could do it again. I did it four times before my parents found out and I was ‘discouraged’ to say the least. It wouldn’t be until many many years that I would be able to do it again. And let me tell you, there’s not much in this world better than this…

“Big Bend 2, Runway One Eight, Clear for Take-Off”

I had been in plenty of military aircraft (and jumped out of them) enough times that nervousness had no factor in it. It was pure love. Aside from the cocky instructor on my right, I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place that has given me as much joy. Then the first big drop came from the crazy thermal action alongside the lake right after take-off. My heart said, “Yes Dave, this is it!”

For the next few weeks it was hardcore studying, chair-flying and immersion into everything aviation. My first solo was in quick order. Unfortunately it took about a zillion landings before the instructor finally jumped out of the plane and let me at it. I never had a problem getting the plane on the ground safely, it was really a process of perfecting it more so to cover the ass of the instructor that signs off. Along comes the first solo. I took to the sky with a love in my heart that no engine stutter or wind gust could shake.

Many hundreds of landings later, check-ride after check-ride and amazing flights along the way I was at the end. I had just passed my instrument check ride and was a few weeks from taking the commercial ride. There was only one check ride I failed… damn plane that I hadn’t flown before gave me a secondary stall about ten minutes in. Gillespie looked over at me and said “Are you serious?” I was dead on the altitudes, radio calls, everything…. That was the one and only time to date that I had experienced a secondary stall. Unfortunately, FAA says some things can’t be overlooked.

After a crazy-stressful instrument ride where I was a thousand feet above my final fix and a half mile out yet still managed to nail the ILS, lady luck was on my side. The chief pilot, who gave me that check ride looked at me after we landed and said “There were two times during that flight that I almost failed you, then you did something amazing and redeemed yourself.” He didn’t actually say if I passed until we got inside and everyone was waiting for the answer. He reached over, grabbed the paper and with a smirk on his face signed off ‘Passed.’

So on to the commercial ride. The last flight at the school. After this, I had one more annoying math test and I was set free. I don’t think I could have been more happy with my last flight. My spot landings were about as perfect as anything. I was even challenged (ungraded at this point) to land dead-stick with no instruments. Not even an airspeed indicator. The check pilot adjusted himself to turn towards me as he blocked off the instrument panel and killed the power. He says “I don’t think you realize how good you are. Now land this plane on those numbers.”

I turned towards the numbers, listening to the whistle of the wind to keep my speed. I came in a little high so I slipped in. 65 knots in a full deflection slip to lose altitude. He was about to rip the ‘oh shit’ handles off if there was any but I had never felt in more control. There was a fence about 40 feet before the threshold that he didn’t think I was going to clear. I aimed at the fence, got my speed up and at the last minute used the last notch of flaps to lift up and over. I straightened out from the slip, full back on the yoke and got the most amazing ‘wert’ from the wheels. Dead on the numbers. Nose wheel dead centerline.

“Take Us Home.”

The final landing at Grant County was actually a bit sloppier. He was used to a different style of soft field landing so he gave me the ‘What The Eff?” look when I came in with more power than his students ever used.

We got back to the ramp, hands sweating, heart racing. He was the kind of guy that always had a list of ‘things’ that I could have done better but he didn’t bring too much attention to it. When he turned to me in the plane he paused. I thought “Oh Shit.” He held out his hand and said “Congratulations, you’re a commercial pilot.” I almost felt like I was going to cry. Not really because I was relieved of the stress of it all, but because I knew this was it. When would I see my love again?

I have neglected it for far too long. Only taking a few flights here and there. I keep my license right in the flap of my wallet and see it every time I open it up to check my phone or grab my debit card.

It’s time for me to find a way back to my love. My happy place. Let’s Fly Away.

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return”

Well shit…

I’m realizing it’s really time for something new to happen in my life. Hopefully I’m in some sort of control of what happens.

For the last many months I’ve been trying to wrap my head around some craziness that has occurred in my life. I’ve also realized that there really truly, is nothing stopping me from doing anything worthwhile except for… myself. No, really…

The Dog House Saloon in Fayetteville, NC was where it all came together. Well, most of it. Some of it came from the once in a lifetime love affair I had with a Colonel’s wife. Anyways. I’d drag the Harley out of the garage most nights and ride straight down to have a few cold ones. Coors Light was my vice at the time. Maybe it was the fact that I had a for-real Harley that I got treated like family there, but one of the best things about that place was when I walked in, I didn’t even have to ask for a drink. Daniel, Sarah, Chris, Tara Lee, Clint…. and Ame… Oh, Ame… You were the butter to my bread when I was able to drag you out for company… Or karaoke… Or just kickin’ it listening to cover bands all night.

I remember sitting there one day with Daniel and I said… “I’m going to open a place when I get out.” I was never so sure of anything in my life until that point. Well, mo-fuckers…. I did it. It was a humbling experience really. I got support from people I never expected and I also got hands held out from people I never expected. I lost my soul in that place. It was the moment I’ve written about before in this blog… I sold my .45 to quell those thoughts from coming to fruition. Though I wasn’t a high volume place, I was always running out of food, short staffed and I found myself starting at zero every damn month. What could have catapulted me to the next level was spent on keeping people off my back. It’s surprising who has your back when such things are on the line.

I’m determined to open another place. Or multiples of places. As much as it’s about the money, it’s really about the passion you find within yourself to do something. I can’t quite preach the ideals that I think will carry me through to the next big thing in life, but I can do my best to wrangle up the demons that seem to keep me from progressing.

Somewhere, deep down the fire is still alive… and I’ll be able to tell a bad-ass story someday.

My story…

Playing Your Hand Right

This is a blog I found while getting started on this WordPress journey of sorts. Taylor Ocean is his name and there is an eerie familiarity between his life stories and mine… Sans the drugs, SWAT raid and crazy car wrecks… For my modest amount of readers, I suggest you check out his blog, and maybe even check out his book on Amazon.

His stories will more than likely offend many, and literary structure nazis would have a heyday with his prose. Personally, I think he’s got some real balls for doing what he did, telling his story as candidly as possible. I read half his book already tonight and pressed with the fact that I’m due to be up for work in a handful of hours, I’m going to save the last half for a well planned night with a few fingers of whiskey by my side. Kudos to you, man.

So this brings me back to some realizations I have about my life. I need some better stories… Well, ones that I can tell on this open forum. I’ve held thirty something jobs since I was thirteen years old, passed up an opportunity to go to the Naval Academy, passed up college after high school, passed up enjoying my twenties… Got my (then) girlfriend pregnant… (Actually, during post break up sex), got hooked up with a girl eight years older than me, bought a house with her, almost became dad number three to her kids… Spent years working my ass off for her and sacrificing so many opportunities of really good income… I left her cheating, alcoholic ass. Managed a pizza parlor, became a garbage man, then joined the Army at the age of twenty four. Went to Airborne School after basic training, (insert a ton of Army stories here), got deployed twice, (insert more Army stories here), got out, rushed home for reasons I still can’t accept, opened a restaurant from scratch… Ran it, grew it, loved it, hated it, sold it… Became a truck driver, then became a tree worker, onto becoming a tree climber at times… Oh, and I lived on a sailboat for a few years… Then flight school… Got my commercial pilot license free and clear using the GI Bill, learned all about the new age of how entitled kids are nowadays, finished flight school, enjoyed the sailboat before I finally sold it, drove trucks again for a few months then moved to California. Decided to continue using my GI Bill benefits to attend a joke of a school. Name is withheld until I finish this session. All in all, that’s where I’m at… There’s a lot of people in between all of that who have made their way into my heart and I will never be able to get them out. Others I wish I could go back in time and ‘un-meet.’ This can’t be it for me… It’s not my time to begin writing my story. I’ve lived my life for myself and I’m ashamed of that.

I’ve been pondering more than people can ever imagine about what to do with my life right now. I’m thirty three years old and feel like I’m twenty at times. To say the world is my oyster is an understatement right now. I’m trying to live a life of normalcy for a while to help finish the affairs of a lifestyle I chose to live and quite honestly despise. Debts are to be paid, demons are surely waiting to knock on my door again real soon, and life will probably kick my ass beyond recognition real soon.

Here’s my dream… Finish this shit life I’m in. Save up some money, open another restaurant. Make it damn good… Better than I had before. Open another… And another… I want to employ people and give back to people who support me along the way. I want the feeling I’ve gotten a few times in my life where I actually want to get up in the morning. I want to go beyond a simple restaurant. I want to build something to inspire people. I want to live a transparent enough life where I don’t have to pretend in front of anyone. And when someone asks ‘who the hell are you?’, I can say ‘I’m Dave-Motherfuckin-Smyth.’ Hah, well, maybe not in that context all the time, but the passion will be there.

My reality seems to be as far from that dream as ever right now. I spend my days hoping and praying that I don’t get that call that brings me to my knees. Yet, I also wait for the other call that brings me to my knees for another reason. I’ve been acting too long. I’ve been trying to wear this facade in hopes that it’s good enough to carry me through so I can jump in the deep end sooner than later. I fear if I truly let it all hang out, I’ll lose it all… Or maybe that’s the best thing I can do right now…

Writing a blank…

I realized something on the drive home tonight. I’ve never known what is is to truly love. No, really. I’ve never missed home, I’ve never missed anyone outside of masked insecure feelings, I’ve never longed for a safe place I’ve ever known. Sure enough, I’ll get criticism for this post but it’s my blog, it’s my life and if you don’t like it click that cool little ‘x’ button on the window or do whatever it is you gotta do to quit.

As I’ve realized recently, I love being around people yet I kinda despise people. Some people. I work at a Coffee shop in one of the richest neighborhoods so you may imagine I can already tell some stories of the disgusting attitudes people spew. On the flip side, I can also tell you stories about some of the most amazing people I’ve met at this particular location. Life isn’t all about the assholes that make their presence well known. Sometimes we just have to look past it.

I’ve had a pretty good life. I lived a fairly sheltered childhood that kept me safe from boogeymen and the molesters that would inevitably take me if I strayed too far from home. I always had a roof over my head and was fed and all that kinda good stuff. I know my family loves me in their own way and that isn’t something I want to take away from them.

Truth of the matter is, I have felt empty for a lot of years. A lot. I’ve learned what guilt is and I’m not a fan of it. Suicide has been pinned on me and ya know what? Good for fuckin’ her… It had nothing to do with me. How dare someone put such a horrible emotion into someone else. I try as hard as I can to avoid even playful guilt trips with people. If someone doesn’t want to feel the way I want them to, they have every right to that. I will never fault anyone for that (or at least I’m going to try my damnedest).

There’s a lot more about my life that I have to save for the journal that must be burned after every entry. I think about things a lot when I get to the end of my day such as right now. I’m not OK with certain things that have happened to me, and I’m not here to point fingers or place blame because in the end, my life as it stands is because of my own actions.

This kind of blog entry is what happens when I truly have writers block. I tried to avoid venting about pissy people or experiences with un-passionate people. As I wrote about in my last entry, I sit in front of the blank canvas of my life and try to open myself up to inspiration. I look for it in my dreams, yet sometimes those don’t seem real enough for me.

In a dream…

I love dreaming. Literally and figuratively, but more so literally right now. I went to bed last night with the goal of clearing my mind and trying to begin figuring out what I should focus on. I will sometimes refer myself to dreams I have to look for clues as to what I really want to do.

So, somewhere in the middle of the night last night I was playing soccer at a semi-familiar field. There was amphitheater style seating with a ton of people watching us play. I remember bright vivid colors like the amazingly green grass that I can still smell right now. It was a scene like a Friday night high school football game. I was pushed into the game and ended up kicking a goal. Another player handed me a saxophone to ‘celebrate’ the point made. Maybe it was actually for wining the game…

I haven’t played a saxophone since fifth grade and I told the guy this so he said, ‘just play one note on my cue’. I think he was playing the guitar and he looked at me and the craziest feeling came over me. It came back to me instantly. I started out playing one simple note complimenting whatever it was he was playing. When he came to a break, I played quite a bit more of a chorus line. Everything felt natural. Like I was meant to be doing it all along. The rest of dream pretty much consisted of me feeling like a totally new person as I sat in the stands.

Back to reality, I woke up. The football game was probably prompted by the game of foosball that was being played a few nights ago at the bar. The saxophone idea probably stems from my desire to be in a bit more of a loungy-classical scene. The aspect of an audience comes from my deep desire to be able to perform for people. At least those are my assumptions. Maybe some psychologist would say I have some repressed sexual disfunction causing me to lash out against the irrational viewpoint I have of the world I know of. Either way, it’s nice to have some altered reality once in a while.

Though this particular dream means nothing at this point, I can’t discount my minds effort to purge this sort of thing out.

My goal in life isn’t to simply make money and live an easy life. There’s something I’m meant to be good at, and it simply takes one person to hand me the saxophone and say ‘play this and everything will come together.’ What I do will not be unique, but will compliment and enhance something for the greater good. Somewhere the stage is set for all of us, we just have to let go of what we are afraid of and give it what we got. It’s entirely too true that none of us will get out alive, so what’s the point in taking life too seriously?


I’m at a pretty major milestone with my flight training right now. This week I should get my instrument rating and be on the tail end of completing my commercial license. In the grand scheme of the aviation industry it doesn’t mean much, but on a personal level it’s a damn awesome accomplishment. I started flying when I was fourteen years old and hadn’t had a chance to do this until seventeen years later. Money was the issue on the surface, but it was never actually the real issue. Well, at least until the lame life I created for myself got in the way. Anyways, after proudly serving in the military and learning a LOT of life lessons I put the rest of my life on the line.

So tomorrow is my instrument oral exam. Nothing too stressful but any sort of exam makes one question themselves from time to time. Especially when these particular exams have nothing to do with GPA or educational standing. These are a direct reflection of competence and ability to perform in one of the higher stress careers out there. I didn’t say hardest, just high stress.

My brain is on overload right now. I want to be creative here with my writing but I simply can’t.

Insert motivational phrases and gems about going after your dreams, never giving up, blah blah blah… Really. Go do it. Life your fucking life and don’t let yourself or anyone get in the way. Up until the day you die you have a mark to leave on this world. Some people leave more of a skid-mark than anything but at least you’ll have served a purpose if not for yourself, for others.

When coming in for final approach to a runway it’s an oddly forgotten truth behind the mounds of rubber tracks left right around the point of touchdown. If you look beyond it, you’ll see something peculiar. It’s probably a plane, taking off again into the horizon. On to new worlds, new adventures. A dream has taken off in front of your very eyes. And as you touch down where so many others have before, you’re number is coming up and you’ll be cleared for takeoff soon enough… to wherever it is you want to go. Make it worth it…

I’m Dave…

I’ve worked in retail customer service waaay longer than I ever wanted to. I hate it but I love it. The motivation has to come from somewhere deep down, in a place only the brave dare to explore. Why on earth would anyone subject themselves to being treated like shit when making barely over minimum wage?

I’ve done McDonalds, Papa Murphy’s, Wal-Mart, Verizon, Cingular (now AT&T), Starbucks, Ziggy’s Lumber, Outback, Various Bartending locations and even opened my own restaurant.

I’d like to share why I do this…

There is a story I love to tell about something that happened at my place. It’s amongst countless stories in the short time I had my place before selling it. It was around three-ish in the afternoon I think and a guy came in to have some lunch. He sat down on the upper level with a bouquet of flowers. My server took his order and he mentioned he was here for his daughter’s birthday. He ordered for two and put a handful of quarters into the ’67 Rockola Jukebox. He picked ‘Sherry’… Over and Over… His food came out and no one else showed up. Other customers noticed but nothing was really made of it. Maybe she was running late? He finished his Cheesesteak Sandwich and came up to pay his tab. The server was a bit taken back because no one else showed up. On his way out, he gave the bouquet to a lady sitting with her husband as they had lunch. She had a look of confusion and naturally was a little perplexed why she was given these. He explained to her that this was his Daughter’s Birthday yet she had died recently. He wanted to have one last meal with her at ‘Dave’s Burger Joint.’ Her name was Sherry.

I charged less than six bucks for a hand-packed half pound cheeseburger with real cheddar cheese and fries. I think they were pretty damn good. I felt like I charged too much. The concept of making money from this was ultimately what drove me to hate it. Sure, I wanted to make money and pay the bills and maybe have some nice things, but what I really truly enjoyed and cared about was making something that made people happy. I would look out from the kitchen and watch people take their first bite of the food I just cooked. All the stresses about bills and debts went away when I could see smiles and nods of approvals as they would so often uncontrollably devour my food. An ever better feeling was when the empty baskets came back from the table actually empty. All the time.

Times were tough, I won’t lie. I wasn’t in dire straits by any means but it wouldn’t have hurt to be a little busier. It also wouldn’t have hurt to have someone willing to stand by me the whole time. I began to lose touch with my love of cooking for others because of the ridiculous fucking pressure of guilt to become someone I didn’t want to be. When I would stay late to clean up or finish some paperwork, I would spend a half hour or so sitting in the dark restaurant with all the neon lights on. I reflected on everything I had put myself through to get to this point. It was everything I thought I ever wanted, except nothing that I really dreamed of. When I locked my doors for the last time before taking the keys to the assholes that bought the place, I didn’t look back. I couldn’t.

I moved on to driving trucks and eventually worked for a tree service company. Awesome job but the one thing I was lacking in my life was people. The majority of my days were spent out in some forested area climbing trees or dragging brush. Aside from the occasional neighbor or passer-bys watching us skillfully drop a tree, there was no human interaction. I made up for it by having the weekends off to find a good dive bar or do a little ballroom/west coast swing dancing.
Staying on track, I find that I gravitate towards jobs that involve people. Regardless of how annoying some may be, I’m happy when I can offer something to someone else. An experience, a product or solution to a problem or even just an ear for them to vent to. I hate hate hate the idea that my intrinsic motivation to help people is because of a paycheck. I also despise the fact that I can’t offer more because my desire to help others is dictated by the very people that pay me to exist in their organization. It’s all about money and that’s it.

A caveat to all this… I still want ‘me’ time. There’s only so much of people that I can stand. I’m a very reflective person and quite honestly I get really fucking irritated when someone comes along and pesters me or gets in my shit. As much enjoyment as I get out of personally offering something that I have, I have a greater desire to create something else that will benefit others as a whole. Kind of like my burgers… And pipe dreams of having the resources and leverage to open more places. I’ve committed myself to opening another place… soon. How soon? Well, part of it depends on how soon I can get my own shit together and part of it depends on corralling enough of that ridiculous stuff they call money.

Even moving across the state I still hear from customers. A couple actually came in to the lumber store where I work and said they were from Port Orchard. “Oh cool,” I said… “Did you ever eat at Dave’s Burger Joint?” I asked. “Oh yes! We loved that place. The burgers were amazing until the guy sold the place.” I couldn’t help but smile as I told them “I’m Dave.”


Not quite my dream…

There is a significant area of my life that I am subconsciously blocking out for reasons I’m not totally comfortable coming to terms with yet. Dave’s Burger Joint.

I’ve always wanted to open a restaurant of some sorts. Back in my late teens I had ideas of trying to open some sort of night club or ‘hang out’ place. I run in to many people that have at least formed opinions on how any given town needs ‘one of those places.’ I had a little more than a dream though. I had a viable goal to begin the journey someday.

The real reason I decided to join the military was that if I dared to ever expect any sort of respect from anyone else, I needed to prove my worth to a level beyond ordinary life experience. The day I woke up and decided to sign the dotted line, I had a definitely fuzzy vision on exactly what I wanted. Throughout my military career I was poked and prodded by different fates. I could go the whole twenty, maybe try for special forces, flight school… The possibilities were endless. The deciding factor in my decisions had roots at something that I’ve managed to accomplish incompletely.


I got out of active duty in 2008. The money was in the bank and I decided to make a cannonball run back to the west coast to begin what I was hoping would be the start of what I’d always hoped would come true. My own place.

My mom had opened a hot dog shop with remnant ideas stemming from a hot dog cart that me and her ran years and years ago. The family dynamics of this plan are being filtered out of this story as much as possible. Anyone who gets to know what kind of person I am, realizes that it’s a very hard topic for me to deal with. Anyways, I sort of re-opened a shop under the foundation that she had laid for the previous four years in that town. Peculiarly, I wanted to serve hamburgers instead of hot dogs and the name would eventually change to ‘Dave’s Burger Joint.’

Initially I wanted a simple place. Low overhead with more emphasis put on the food and service rather than ambiance. Influential input changed my vision more than I admitted to myself back then. I made myself be O.K. With that. I started to build out the new space with my own two hands. My father was in the hospital dealing with cancer and my mother was preoccupied taking care of him and other family affairs. I felt good about building this on my own and actually appreciated that some people kept a certain distance during this process.

It became a faux 1950’s themed quick serve restaurant. Neon accent lights, checkered floors, a vintage jukebox that still actually played 45 rpm records and an overall atmosphere that was clean and inviting. The burgers were damn good as well. In fact, just the other day at work I helped a couple that had moved to Moses Lake from Port Orchard. I asked if they had ever been to Dave’s and they lit up and said “oh yea, that place was great! Awesome food! We loved going there.” I then told them that it was me that opened it and eventually sold it. It felt good hearing that even years after selling what I created.

I discussed a bit of the catalyst behind my decision to sell it in a previous blog ‘Consumption’ but there is a part of the story that is quite unfinished. Essentially building a business from scratch and being able to sell it in this market environment is quite a feat. Especially for someone without deep pockets. With everything that happened in those two years I feel grossly unaccomplished. It was almost nothing of what I really wanted. I burned out on trying to uphold expectations for people that ultimately didn’t care what happened to my business if it didn’t benefit them. I know this because as soon as I sold, I lost about three quarters of people that I considered friends. That fact doesn’t bother me though. I’ve learned time and time again that so many people are only out for themselves.

I tried and I succeeded. I succeeded at something that wasn’t for me. I spent my financial and emotional resources on something only to learn a hard lesson. Money aside, there’s nothing worse than taking on a monumental dream with no one at your side. Not just anyone though. I’m sure there’s plenty of people that would have loved to been along for the ride, but I’m tough to please. If I sense any sort of disinterest, I usually find a way to push you aside unapologetically.

I not done with this dream. I’ve learned hard lessons and I’m hoping to tackle this again someday. Hopefully sooner than later. The obvious hurdle is finances in several aspects. Proper allocation of funds is paramount aside from the actual raising of money. Though it would be nice to work with a lump sum of cash, I have no problem working my ass off raising the money by the sweat of my brow. The hard part is finding the motivation to carry through with it. It’s not about the money, it’s about creating something greater. Fully realizing that fact makes all the hard work seem like child’s play. Until then, I find myself wanting to crawl in a hole and do things like look for a career instead of living a life of accomplishment.