Allen Mark

Putting Words to Paper. Or Your Screen.

December 1st

As I write these words on December 1st, I have been unemployed for a week now.

It’s rough, but I’m also thankful. Three years ago my family and I opened a coffee shop that I helped manage. I had a plan: get my feet wet at the shop for a year, year and a half while I also attempt to pursue a career for my post college graduate life. The key word is “attempt” because in this day and age, plans rarely go as expected.

That year and a half eventually doubled as I felt more responsibility for owning the business was pushed upon me. As time went by, both my family and I would incrementally view our shop as less of a priority, but as they were able to distance themselves with other means of employment, I was left picking up more slack. The problem wasn’t was that I hated my job—I very much enjoyed running a business as I gained a deep enthusiasm for coffee—but I knew that being under-employed in my mid-20s won’t be helpful for my longterm career prospects. I found myself stuck.

Then my life changed in what felt both rapidly and gradually in the span of two months. Realizing all of our lives were getting in the way, my family put the shop up for sale within this past year. Being incredibly selective for some time, we found the perfect buyers: a group that will keep it a family business whose life experiences and relationships are not so much unlike our own. Quickly, the paperwork was put through and placed in escrow. I was training the upcoming employees our recipes and how to run the business from the inside. We took home our identity from the shop to make room for this new family’s identity. Before I could blink it was finally 6pm on November 24th: my past life had finally ended and I entered a new yet familiar frontier.

So here I am, sitting in a different coffee shop typing words within a computer screen. And the “longterm career prospects” I mentioned earlier? Well, I want to write. I love reading fiction. I love reading articles and blogs about basketball, my favorite sport. More than loving them, though, I also wholly admire the people behind the text and the skill they own transferring thoughts onto pages. I want to write at least one novel in my lifetime. I know I can write for specific audiences. And not only do I want to do these things, but I think I can be damn good at them too.

So December 1st marks when I begin the rest of my life. Just as Lin-Manuel Miranda references in his masterpiece Hamilton: "I am inimitable, I am an original.” And I can and will "write palaces in every paragraph.”