WISDOM NUGGET: LIVE A DELIBERATE LIFE & THE CULMINATION OF YOUR ADVENTURES WILL BE GRAND & YOUR LIFE WILL BE EXTRAORDINARY
I walked away from Culinary School for a relationship—well, relationships—to be precise.
Twenty-some years ago I began my journey to become a chef. All of my forward momentum, however, began with a huge step backwards—by canceling my registration for culinary school.
Even now, there are no words for how proud I was to have been accepted and enrolled in culinary school. I floundered a bit in my younger years. Culinary studies felt like my calling but only after a few years of trial and error.
Most of my formative years were spent comfortable in the absolute knowledge that I wanted to be a marine biologist. I read stacks of books, watched endless hours of Shark Week on Animal Planet and worked at Mystic Aquarium. By the end of my freshman year of college, though, it was as if someone had unceremoniously drown my dreams in Artic waters.
Math never came easily for me and I had learned it was not realistic for me work in the field, on a boat. I was simply not proficient enough in that regard.
I was crushed and the daunting task of finding a new life path was afoot.
ECLECTIC CAFE, BRUISED EGO & DETERMINATION? - READ ON! CLICK TO THE RIGHT
Starting over at a new university was a chore but I wondered if writing might be the answer. The only other subject in school that I was passionate about…could I be a writer?
Admittedly, I had just begun to explore this when wanderlust took hold of me in the most all-consuming manner. I, again, made a transition and accepted an opportunity with a non-profit in Alaska.
When I returned home, and after a great deal of soul searching, I recognized that cooking was my calling. I knew it deep down in my bones, in my very soul and this brought immeasurable relief because my peers all seemed to be surpassing me in studies… and in life.
I enrolled in Culinary School.
Weeks were spent daydreaming as I waited for classes to begin. I planned my some-day restaurant, a cozy, eclectic café. I was walking on air, elated in every way, and finally feeling I was on schedule with my peers until…
…I admitted to myself that, as a restaurant owner, I would not spend much time with my patrons. I’d be stuck in the kitchen. Holidays and weekends? Well I’d rarely get to cook for friends and family.
One of the greatest joys of food is sharing it with others. I want to cook for people, real people I can talk to--not an order ticket, some piece of paper, where wait staff scribble appetizer and entrée orders.
Keep in mind, all of this is before the internet was the backdrop to our lives. My chef options were limited. Once again, the bottom seemed to drop out of my dream and with a broken heart and a bruised ego, I canceled my enrollment to Culinary School.
I would spend the next twenty years working and adventuring—grabbing hold of every opportunity life offered. I became a very successful meetings and events planner. Milestones yielded experience in entrepreneurship, marketing and social media. I spent my free time cooking—obsessively—catering for friends and honing my skills.
Eventually the internet caught up with my dreams. I again chose to purposefully change the path I was on to begin a new adventure, a career that allows me to have relationships with those I cook for.
It’s hard to know when to change the course of your life’s journey. Making such an adjustment is often humbling. But if you live a deliberate life and approach each chapter with unyielding determination, the culmination of your adventures will be grand in scale and your life will be most extraordinary.
chef mel has been creating food experiences for over 20 years. she embraces an "aspiring homesteader" lifestyle & grows over 40 types of edibles when she's not teaching classes & hosting farm dinners. she adores simplicity, new food & edible flowers. her writing reminds us there's wisdom & humor among the seeds, stalks & sauce pots. we're not perfect & that's okay - keep it genuine & journey on!