kc2vwx 1 / 2 Nov 30, 2012 #1It's said one can learn a lot about someone by looking in their closet. A glance upon mine would reveal nothing out of the ordinary for a typical seventeen year old. Endless multitudes of clothes conglomerated on the shelves and surrounding areas. A mountain of various accessories encompassing the door, and arrays of mismatched shoes and sock sprawled throughout. One would notice one of the few things actually hung upon the chrome bar: black dress pants, a black polo, and the worn braided belt, meticulously placed for easy access for my shift that evening at an Italian restaurant down the street from my house.Six o'clock in the evening on Saturday. I walk across the small, deep red bridge crossing the stream, across the stone path ornamented with shrubbery and trek up the series of stairs leading to the doorway. I emerge into the narrow entrance past the desk, bustling with people venturing to and fro. In a chipper tone I greet my boss and the other workers, then hastily begin my usual routine upon arrival. I pace back to the kitchen, where I return fresh glasses to the hutch, and bring sufficient plates and napkins to the tavern. I hustle into the dining room adjacent to the tavern, and scan the tables for empty plates or glasses to refill. I clear the tables and wrap their food, bringing the hefty trays back and forth, as I settle into working, the rhythm of my feet carrying me swiftly through the crowds. Smile, pour, walk, clear, smile.This comes across as a run of the mill teenage job, and in most aspects it is. However, it's so much more than that. I've discovered a certain independence and maturity. The interactions the regulars, the visitors, unique, each bringing their own allegories. The few that protrude my memory have had an especially profound impact.It was a slow Sunday evening. A woman walks in; I place her at a table in the dining room. Being it the end of the evening, she made conversation. She asked my name, age, and what I wanted to study in college. I replied, stating my passion for violin, and my involvement in the Empire State Youth Orchestra. Stating her occupation as a music teacher, she told me of her college years, the auditions, the failures and successes. She informed never to listen to those who nag about the arts. This woman was a beacon of hope. The hour I spent with her changed my frame of mind, I wasn't going to let others get to me. Her humorous anecdotes and wide grin infected me with confidence, to take my talents and use them to inspire others.