To those who have been following my blog since day one, you probably know me as a lot of things.
Ambitious, but not ready.
Quiet, but not afraid to say things I think should be said. (For my sake, that is.)
Silly, but understanding that my humor is unique, just like everyone else.
A cook, but a home cook. (Because there is a big difference.)
There are also the elements of food of which I’ve discovered since starting to write about the subject and how it relates to my life. But we all have our own relation to food. Some of us use it as a means of making a living, and others consume strictly for sustenance.
There were the times where I wanted to start a food cart, but quickly realized that I wasn’t ready.
And I really wasn’t.
It helped me determine that a food cart wasn’t what I really wanted to do. I love the element of a table. Of glasses and forks and knives. (And the spirits that fill those glasses.)
But I was nowhere close to opening a place nor was I ready for that either. I lacked the experience, money and the thousands of other things that go into opening a joint.
Then a few things started to open up. I used my coffee and manager experience to break into the cooking world a bit. Mostly chopping onions and building giant sandwiches and learning how to cook in a wood-fired oven. (And the unforgiving summer time rush that leaves you shell-shocked.)
I cleaned the floors and dealt with bipolar cooks who would walk on and off the line.
I broke down, and built myself back up.
I realized that cooking looks like a lot of things. It didn’t have to challenge who I was as a human, though it easily can.
As many of you know, I worked at Woodlawn Coffee & Pastry for about a year and a half. I consider Gretchen (the pastry chef/owner) a great mentor and friend. She’s the boss of all bosses in my book. The person who drilled into my head what it means to finish strong and the importance of reminding employees to wash their hands.
When we had our most recent Mardi Gras in her cafe space, there was a moment where something happened. A few days later, she sent me a text saying, “We should talk about your future.”
Needless to say, I was hoping for this.
We met over a few beers and caught up.
She offered me the job of starting dinner service at the shop.
I know, I know, I know.
Who gets these opportunities??
So, in these next few months, I will be transitioning back into the role of cook/whatever the hell I need to be.
There are the moments of feeling greatly overwhelmed. Because it is hard work. It’s not easy and it will be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
But I welcome the challenge. I love dreaming. I love that sense of good, nervous energy and the feeling that you worked hard and did your work well. But it is a learning experience, and with that comes good and bad. You have to be open to it all.
I laid in bed this morning, denying the inevitable. My car won’t start again and there’s a lot that needs to be done.
But you have to get up and put your feet on the ground.
You stretch your bones and settle back in to yourself realizing,
we all have to start somewhere.