Musings Of A Food Truck Owner: It’s time!
I’ve come to believe that there is a time for everything. When I wrote my initial post, I thought time was ripe for my blogging. I imagined I’d write once or even twice a week, spilling my thoughts out without restraint. My first blog had burst out naturally one Sunday afternoon, and was a heart-wrenchingly honest blip about what our little Airstream means to me, so I figured other entries about life in the trailer should follow equally uninhibited. Turns out I was wrong.
Since that first post, I’ve been thinking pretty much non-stop about my place in time. And for reasons too multiple to list here, my gut tells me that, somehow, this is “my time”: My time to be grounded by cooking, creating, and sharing food with others. My time to be sustained by solid friendships and fed by fleeting acquaintances. My time to be fueled by infectious enthusiasm. And my time to embrace simplicity while still dreaming of bigger things. In that first post I wrote that what you would read here was more about the “why” question—why we do what we do. One of the only answers I have to the “why?” is “because it’s our time.” (And it’s also time to add new content to Food Truck Click each week—promised!)
Food trucks are the culinary zeitgeist. Lofty economists and statisticians are studying us, calling us a “movement” or a “trend.” Even the Harvard Business Review put out an article, saying, “In the world of food, the food truck has a kind of celebrity standing.” So while our bank account doesn’t really show it, we know that the time is ripe for us to take off… to create a buzz and be part of something bigger—something greater than just an Airstream trailer parked on a side street in a small, brown town. We spend hours dreaming of ways to take our little trailer business to the next level. And it will happen. It’s just a matter of time.
Most days I wear this little Airstream amulet around my neck. My sister gave it to me, and it reminds me that I’m doing something I love, with evident enthusiasm. In The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho’s wildly successful international bestseller, enthusiasm is referred to as part of a Universal language, a language that everyone understands, of things accomplished with love and purpose, as part of a search for something believed in and desired. The book tells the tale of a shepherd’s quest to realize his Personal Legend—his calling, his chosen path. “Whenever we do something that fills us with enthusiasm, we are following our legend,” the book says. Now, I’m not sure I’m ready to say that operating an Airstream Eatery is in and of itself my personal calling, but I do believe that owning a food truck and writing a blog about my experiences has been put in my path because it’s what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s at least a key part of my Personal Legend. That’s the “it’s my time” part.
My childhood friend, John Williams has written each fall for many years about discerning one’s personal calling. He’s a college chaplain, and his readers are 18 to 22-year-olds, but I love his Nautical Theory of Vocational Discernment. It’s a great answer to the “why” I do what I do question, Its one way of expressing how I know I’m on to something given my enthusiasm in doing it, even if it seems simple and limited. Here’s how it goes. “Vocational discernment (your calling) is the process of testing out sails until you find the one that most effectively catches the wind (or Spirit) that blows through your life. It is NOT about finding the right harbor in which to drop anchor. It’s about setting sails to maximize the benefit of the wind (spirit) that blows through your life. There’s not necessarily one particular harbor where you are “called” or “supposed” to land. The wind in your life blows you in a certain direction. There might be lots of good moorings on the coast where you’re heading. You’re “there” whenever you find a good place to drop anchor. Remember, it’s always windy at the beach. The wind might help you stay where you are. But it might also pick you up and take you somewhere else.”
Our eatery is mobile, in conception if not entirely in reality. Where will it take us next? It cultivates creativity and enthusiasm most every day in spite of all the other murky waters we wade through. It’s a great place to drop anchor until the next breeze moves us.
Its time is now.
Follow Rebecca on Twitter: @SLURPSantaFe