The pondering stage has begun again. Some call it unemployment, I prefer to call it a life analysis and search process. As I wrestle with the different options before me, one thematic element sticks out. If you know me, this will seem obvious --- I LOVE to bake. I have this fear of doing it for a living. I'm afraid that it will ruin everything I love about it. But the question keeps coming up in the back of my mind...is there a way to do it AND love it?
Pastry school / actual chef route seems absurd. Crazy hours, not my ideal lifestyle.
Own my own specialty bakery. Owning something requires finances and the desire to see it through --there's still the possibility of doing cakes to order etc.
FACS/Home-Ec Teacher -- Teach kids to bake and sew and have manners. Sounds fun. Could I handle the day to day? The planning?
A few of the snapshots of my life that keep re-playing in my mind:
- A conversation with a past co-worker: I had baked biscotti and brought them in to work last December. She took one, got all teary, grabbed my hand and said --Anna, PLEASE follow your dreams. You LOVE baking! Don't end up stuck in a job that you don't enjoy.
- A seminar from a year ago where one of the VPs of the company came down to Austin and asked everyone in management at Hyatt to stand up, introduce themselves, and say what their 'dream job' for when they grow up would be. Mine was to own a specialty bakery.
- The doldrums I felt after meeting with the English Education Advisor at Iowa State versus the elation only a week later when I got the email from the Family and Consumer Sciences Education Advisor. 3.5 years to get an english teaching certification, 1 or 2 for FACS.
- I've made my own birthday cake or cupcakes for the last 3 years...by choice.
- The first thing I do when I feel homesick or lonely or down in an apartment is bake my mom's oatmeal bread. The process of proofing the yeast, kneading the dough, waiting for it to rise, punching it down, waiting for it to rise again, and having the rich smell of homemade bread permeate my surroundings makes me feel home.
- I read Bon Appetit Magazine COVER to COVER within 1 day of it arriving.
- My happiest and most full moments over the last 3 years have involved farmer's markets, baking with friends, baking for friends, baking with my family, dreaming of baking, or eating.
My heart started beating faster and faster as the scene from Stranger than Fiction unfolded before my eyes. I realized: I am Anna Pascal.
So now I figure out how to make my job be something that makes my soul come alive. I think teaching kids to bake etc might be my ticket...I meet with the FACS Education advisor the first week of January.