Emotional Evolution

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Blistering aluminum pans flying through the air. The head chef yelling orders at the sous chef, who would then relay them back to the line cooks. I pushed through the swinging doors to the back area, dropping off dirty dishes and yelling “corner” as I turned into the kitchen and frantically tried to avoid slipping. “Ribeye to Table 44. Their sides out in a minute,” the head chef said in Spanish. “Yes, Chef.” I was still not accustomed to calling my father “chef,” even after working there on and off for two years, but I suppose there was a certain amount of professional respect to be had, even in my family’s Spanish restaurant.

Our family opened their first restaurant in 2011 after we’d moved back to the US following two years of living in Spain. Bold Bite, our first Venezuelan hot dog place, was the realization of my father’s longtime dream, and I felt proud that we owned a business. Within five years we had opened six restaurants, and the amount of time both of my parents spent at home decreased significantly.I didn’t notice their absences at first. It began with them not being home after school, and my mom being the only parent at dinner. After about a year, my mother got hooked into the businesses. I adapted to her absence...

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