The Baked Potato: Side Hustle Turned Home

I’ve spent over 8 years working at, caring for, and falling in love with this legendary place. When I returned from traveling abroad I vowed I’d only take on another serving gig at a place with great music. Well, it found me. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know some of the most extraordinary humans and I appreciate the privilege of connecting & listening to the best musicians on the planet pour their hearts out on that stage. @bakedpotatojazzclub is a second home and all who are part of it, a family that I adore to my core. I knew with certainty when I stepped foot in this club that I belonged. And in a world of uncertainty, I am confident that my gut guided me here for important reasons… I’m glad I listened. This club is way more than just a job and over the years has provided comfort, consistency, and community at times I needed it most. Like most of this year…

I have felt disconnected from myself— like a wounded bird. Disillusioned, cynical, vulnerable, and exhausted. Every time I came up for air I felt the weight of another wave crashing down. The instability has been paralyzing at times. But, for however complicated this journey has been to understand, I know that it had to happen. This year has cracked me wide open in every possible way— the best way possible. Healing can hurt and growing can hurt too. But, it wakes us up. The only way out is through— and I have finally found the parts of myself that had gone in hiding. I am so grateful for the people (and places) in my orbit that have instigated growth and nurtured me through the growing pains.

Last week I had a customer say “You make people feel like they are the only ones in the room and that is rare.” This really resonated with me. I work hard to meet people where they are, to see them fully, and make that known. Whether I’m on stage, teaching, or slinging drinks… Whether I barely know someone (or think I do) I hope I can continue to stay true to this authentic part of me. And most importantly that, on occasion, I remember to give that same grace and recognition back to myself…

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