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Zapata Tacos & Tequila Bar as a Return to Normalcy

One Wednesday in August, I slipped into Zapata Tacos & Tequila Bar in downtown Norcross during the middle of the day. The restaurant wasn’t crowded which was perfect because I really just wanted to power through season 5 of Game of Thrones. Due to an attentive yet respective waitress, I was able to quickly order the Maya #3 (a tender, grilled flank steak with rice, beans, and a salad) before succumbing to the world of the Seven Kingdoms. As the HBO intro loaded, I quickly noted the comfort and familiarity of what I was doing: simply eating by myself on my lunch break. I gratefully reveled in the moment as it were a luxury I missed during the summer.

I was given an unexpected corporate hiatus less than a month before I turned 30. It was summer break again. Like the summer break you get in between grades in high school. Where all you have to look forward to is sleeping in late and watching television and doing whatever recreational thing you want because you aren’t conformed to the constraints of a system.

So it’s really cute at first because I had no where to go in the morning. I could work on all the things that run inside my mind and get some stuff accomplished quicker because I didn’t have this 8 hour bear in my way. And I did. I visited a few restaurants with friends and family. I started passion projects and made strides on others. I was able to keep myself busy as a full-time freelancer of sorts, but that inconsistency in pay became frightening. The reality of adulthood and responsibility hit me as I continued to receive upcoming bill payment notifications. I started to regret making birthday plans for myself because that could’ve been a few bills and trips to the grocery store. It was truly a time.

Fast forward to mid-August in that niche taco bar in Gwinnett. Let’s skip past the anxiety of my allotted government assistance almost running out and the lack of marketing jobs per candidates in the metro area. On that day in August, I was a happily employed marketing professional that was finally back to my normal. I do not take that for granted.