What do you do when you've hit a wall you can't climb over or blow apart? When every recipe you try, even those recipes you've made night after night for service in the restaurant, fail in your kitchen at home? When money runs out after buying dozens and dozens of eggs, and the price of butter makes you want to cry? When frustration causes you to doubt yourself and you just want to give up and consider another career? You take a break. A long one. You turn your back on the thing that used to excite you and just get through each day without thinking about tomorrow.
I haven't baked or cooked anything in a while. A long while. Though I clock in and fulfill my obligations at work, at home I haven't done anything. I've been wearing my Grumpy Pants and Frowny-the-Clown shirt like my favorite sweats I wear when I'm home and it's just me and a movie and fried foods and ice cream. I've grown comfortable in this funk and I don't apologize to anyone.
Just like every good relationship, I think I need some space from Baking. I'm using this time to regroup. I'm consulting my compass and unfolding my map. I'm putting my intentions out into the universe. I am examining myself in the bright, harsh light of honesty, all flaws revealed. It is painful and I want to hide. I need distractions to keep my sanity, so, I am finally cleaning out the closet, no matter how long it takes. All material representation of my past is out in the open and I have to navigate around stacked Rubbermaid tubs and piles of things to donate and sell to get to the door and the kitchen. And the bathroom. Perhaps I am hoping that this purge will help me spiritually. Or maybe I'm just avoiding the unavoidable, but don't worry, it'll catch up to me.
Last night I came across my culinary school portfolio and a letter of recommendation from a chef instructor who meant something to me. As I read that letter I wondered if those descriptions of my character still applied. No matter what has happened to me, I am still the person-at my core-that I have always been and will be. I still have the traits that I need to do the job. And while my energies may shift from project to project, my desire to learn, attention to detail and never-give-up attitude are qualities I'll take with me wherever I go.
I'm still trying to find something. Until then, I've got a few projects to keep me company. I've got a logo to create, and a business to nurture, and-I can't believe I would ever say this-but I have a brand to grow! Weddings are coming up and ideas are being written and sketched and saved for a later time.