Friday, May 2, 2008

A Phase...or is this going to stick

I am the FIRST one to admit that I can sometimes go through theses phases of omg this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. And I usually rush into things head and heart first.

BUT, it's the things I take my time to understand, the things I slow down with that you should be afraid. Those things, most likely I will do.

This is something I have wanted my whole life, since I was 7 actually. I stood up to my parents and said "I'm going to become a chef when I grow up." They thought it was cute I'm sure. My Dad might have even been proud as food was so much a part of his culture growing up, and my Avo, my love, my heart and my soul is the best damn cook I know.

But then I actually became a cook....it was brutal. I was disrespected, made to do cheese and deli platter until the cows came home, I was better than that and I was a cocky 17 year old. I knew my skills but didn't realize that I had to work hard to prove them. Finally I was able to make some breakfasts: omelets, poached eggs, fried eggs etc. I was TERRIFIED. Terrified of the head breakfast line cook, who was the best and had little to no patience for me and as I always saw it, thought of me as more of an inconvenience than a help. But I remember the first time I made this beautiful perfectly cooked Denver omelet...he smiled and said briskly "Now get that shit on the plate before it gets cold." I scowled and retorted "ALRIGHT it's not going to get cold damn it." Looking back now I know it was a compliment to my skills and it was his way of encouragement.

Then I worked at catering company for a year, that was worse. I was free labour to them and they sure as hell certainly weren't going to teach me anything important. Sigh.

So I left the dream I had since I was seven (literally any time someone would ask me I would say: I'm going to be a chef and own my own restaurant) and went into Marketing. Something that I had a knack and sharp mind for. I was very good and I acceled in all of my classes earning a 3.5 GPA, not the best and I could have done better, but hey it was college give a girl a break!!

So here I sit 6 years after graduation and an interlude of not working for reasons I wont get into now, at a desk job that I am both good at and even sometimes like.

But it's not PASSION. I don't have passion for it and find that babysitting was best done when I was 14 and looking after a 7 and 9 year old.

I bake constantly more than anything baking soothes my soul. Sometime the recipe doesn't turn out right, because I am stubborn and think I know best, but when it does...just glorious!
I was sitting in my Boss Christine's office trying these pitiful excuses they called cookies she had picked up from a bakery my coworker Daniel said he'd liked. They were down right terrible, and I am still convinced the so called "jam" in that one cookie is going to be in my stomach trying to be digested for the next 6 years. Christine says to me "I should have just called you on Sunday and asked you to make something for me. I would have paid you." I just looked at her a little stunned. She tried to call Daniel in her office to eat one of the cookies...now it should be said that Daniel will eat pretty much anything I put in my cookie jar without thinking. He wouldn't even touch the cookies after one look at them and us. Christine explained she had wanted them for a gathering her son had this evening and Daniel said "You should have asked Sarah to make you something" and pointing to me "She's my baker now!". I'm pretty sure I blushed and just smiled, but I realize my heart also broke.

I was damn good, people at work were astounded to know that all the creations I made, I made from scratch and with my own two hands. "How do you have time to do all of this and care for a baby" they say. I don't know, baking is my life, it's part of who I am so I just do it. I make time for it when I need that release of anger, frustration, passion or extra energy. I just do it.

I went back to my desk that day and started actual research on going back to school to become a pastry chef. I went the next day to the bookstore and bought more cookbooks and "The Idiots Guide to Becoming a Chef" and started reading. I actually told someone, not a blog that has no face, someone who means something to me. I was terrified, I had told someone once before that I wanted to become a pastry chef, and that might mean moving. I was met with resistance and a little anger.
How would this person react? The most important person in my life? With love, compassion, understanding and a willingness to do whatever possible to see me achieve my dream that moved me to absolute tears. Even going so far as to say we would do whatever we needed to if I wanted to start my own bakery, a thought I'm sure that would come, but hadn't yet. Thank you for being so completely understanding of me Larry. You will forever own my heart and soul.

So now, I read, I find a way to take night classes, I make contacts within the pastry art world and I move forward with my life. It will be HARD work, back breaking, feet blistering hard work, I need to prepare my self for the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. But that first day, that first sale that first bite and that first look of ecstasy. And it will all be worth it.

2 comments:

David'Z RantZ said...

Four months ago, I finally got tired of looking at whatever day job I had at the moment and saying "This is not what I want to do when I grow up." That line wears a little thin once you've hit the half-century mark. Luckily, I owed nobody, and had no one to support but myself. I didn't have a mortgage. Not even a car payment. So I left my Crappy Day Job.

If you have a desire to do something AND a talent for it -- and you seem to have both -- you won't be truly happy until you've given it your utmost. I am not the type who usually offers inspirational pep talks, but I hope you can surround yourself with supportive people while you work toward your goal. Really.

By the way, did you ever figure out that "little link thing" you mentioned in your first blog post?

Sarah said...

I should obviously check this thing more often!

Thank you, I know you're right I'll never be fully satisfied or completely happy unless I am doing something I love. It is becoming all the more clear to me as the days pass on. I seem to be stuck for the moment, but only for the moment.

Ummm I obviously have not figured that out or else I would have kicky and jumpy as the number one spot. I even tried to enlist Joe's help but I fear I am helpless!!

Thank you for the inspirational pep talk, I've read a little of your blog and laugh my butt off. I promise not to ruin your bad boy image!