You know that saying, “when one door closes, another one opens?” I find there to be no other statement that rings more true, especially for me.
While looking at colleges in high school, all I was really focused on was where could I play baseball. I wondered which coach, or any coach, was going to take a chance on me and invite me to join their team. Luckily, a great coach, man and mentor named Matt Righter gave me a shot and recruited me to come play ball.
Not making the team my first year, I worked hard all summer to have a successful fall my second season. Coach Righter liked me and respected my work ethic, expressing that I could potentially have a big role on his team. I thought that I would be a sure lock.
Late that October, coach Righter called a mandatory team meeting in the locker room. Everyone thought for sure that he would be making cuts and we would finally know our status on the team. However, he broke everyone’s heart in the room, announcing that he would be taking a coaching job at Vassar College that spring. We were devastated, and I knew that my chances of making the team took a hit.
I didn’t play my best that spring, and, in the eyes of the new coach, wasn’t a fit to play for his program. My dream of playing college baseball was shattered.
Suddenly having a ton of free time, I really didn’t know how I could utilize it. A few of my friends were working at Murphy’s restaurant, Irish pub in town, as bouncers and I reached out to see if I could possibly land a job there too. A couple beers and conversations later, I became a bouncer at a bar. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
My friends warned me, “once you do that first night man, you’ll never look at that place the same.” I did not know what they meant, but I certainly learned quickly. From breaking up fights, to helping people get up after they drunkenly stumble down the stairs, there’s been some ugly sights that really make you question people when they’re drunk.
The ugly definitely doesn’t make up the entire bar, though. Murphy’s has been a place where I’ve made connections; great friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. I can tell you I’ve seen many more people do the same.
Working as a bouncer for a year and a half, I moved my way up to a bartending position this past summer. It’s a skill that I can take with me for the rest of my life and something I really enjoy doing. I have regulars that come in almost every time I’m working, and I love having quality conversations with them about life, sports or just anything. Oh, and the money is certainly good too.
Playing college baseball would have been cool, but I’m certainly pleased with my decision to work at Murphy’s. Although it may be work, it’s enhanced my college experience in more ways than one.
Like they say, when one door closes, another door really does open. And the second door might be better than the first.