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You’ll figure it out


It is “One Night in Tokyo” night at the BLVD Bistro & Bar. Every Tuesday, we serve special Japanese specialty cocktails and Japanese whiskies and beers.

Sometime during the night, a tall, well-built man walks into the bar. Although we’ve never met, I recognized him because he came to the bar twice consecutively. He prefer to be seated by the corner of the bar below the Queens BLVD mural, casually sipping his drink in silence. However tonight, he struck up a conversation with the bartender.

Tonight, Jeffrey is drinking a Miyozakura “Panda” Junmai Sake Cup. A delightful and delicious Junmai that is light, dry and refreshing. From the Chubu region in the Gifu prefecture, this is a saké to enjoy with anything and everything.

Curious about the interaction, I drew closer to them to eavesdrop as discreetly as possible. As I strained my ears, dying to hear what they’re talking about from a critical distance, I overheard the word “Japan” continuously reoccur. And as someone who is fascinated and knowledgeable about Japanese culture, I couldn’t help but intervene into their conversation.

I quickly walked up to them and interjected their conversation, introducing myself to him. “I’m Jeffrey,” he says, accompanied with piercing eye contact and a firm handshake.

After introductions were complete, I asked him, in a soft, curious manner: How are you enjoying our “One Night in Tokyo” tonight at the BLVD?

“I’m having a really great time,” he confidently replies. He continues by talking, in great detail, about Japan and how much he loves the country. “The people, the food, and the culture there are all so fascinating”.

Intrigued by his wide breadth of knowledge about Japan, I asked him how he became so knowledgeable about the country. “I’m a history enthusiast,” he replies. “I love learning about the history of different cultures. Also, my wife is Japanese and I currently study Japanese Law and Language”.

As the conversation between Jeffrey, the bartender, and I continued, Jeffrey went on about his intellectual curiosities, and how he’s always been a knowledge seeker. “I never let my curiosities slide,” he said. “Any time I’m curious about something, I immediately begin researching the topic until my curiosity is quenched”.

Jeffrey exudes confidence, intelligence, and talent, and he told me these characteristics didn’t come without struggle and perseverance.

With the permission of his parents, Jeffery joined the Navy at the age of seventeen. His navy career ended abruptly after he was injured in the line of work, so he had to return home for medical reasons. With nowhere to go and nothing to look forward to, Jeffery was injured, broke and almost tilting towards depression. He asked his father for help, and his dad told him these magical words- ​“You’ll figure it out.”

This was one of his lowest points in life, but Jeffrey was able to see through this, and he believed that something bigger and better was ahead of him.

Keeping his father’s words in mind, he eventually picked himself up. Years later, he went to college and earned an associate and bachelor’s degree. Now he works as a Security Intelligence Professional for a renowned corporation.

I was curious to know how he overcame his challenges and figured a way to pick himself up. He said “we are our biggest opponent. No one else in my life would be able to judge me as much as I judge myself. I’m my biggest critic, so it was all up to me to figure it out and I did.”

After our long, stimulating conversation, Jeffrey notified us that it is getting late and that he’d enjoyed our conversation. But before he left, I asked him what advice he would give for people who want to be as accomplished as he is.

One of my favorite quotes is “Don’t chase legends, become one” he said. “Be calm but alert; be ready but relaxed; be confident but humble”.

Kampai and Arigato to you, Jeffrey.

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