The other night I was having a stuck in front of the TV moment (for a few hours), and I found myself watching a semi-new show on the TLC network, The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom. It's a show about Stay At Home Moms (SAHMs), who have given up a career or dream to stay at home to raise their kids. Hosted by Tracy Gold of Growing Pains fame, the show arranges opportunities for the SAHMs to "sneak" away from their mom duties to spend some time exploring their dream. The show that aired this week was about a woman who was a chef at a 5 star resort, who became pregnant shortly after getting married. Now with 2 adorable boys at home, she is given the opportunity to prove to herself that she can still make it in a fast paced restaurant and can still create imaginative dishes.
So a few of you may know that during the dot come bust, I took that opportunity of life throwing me a curve ball and went to culinary school. Granted, I returned to the high tech world as a contractor while I was in school, I also took on a number of catering jobs and eventually landed a job at a 4 start resort in Berkeley. I also won a few catering gigs on my own where I prepared wedding cakes, dessert displays and food for cocktail parties. While I loved all of these jobs working with food, I found that I lost the desire to cook at home, and guess what? the joy of the job didn't make up for the low pay scale.
Eventually I went back to high tech full time, while continuing the resort job cooking on the lunch crew on the weekends. This gave me the best of both worlds, high tech pay (to pay off that freakishly high culinary school tuition) while still keeping my foot in the kitchen. But there was another catch.... no free weekends and holidays leads to a very tired cranky girl, and a lonely boyfriend. While the money covered the mortgage, bills and loans and allow the soon-to-be-husband pursue his dream job, I was too tired to enjoy life. So 2 years ago I quit all of my professional cooking jobs and returned to subjecting my co-workers to my experiments, cooking elaborate celebration meals, and finding the time to cook at least one really good home cooked meal a week.
Do you see where this is going?
So as I sat and watched this woman mess up, stress out, and then finally find her groove in the kitchen, full of re-gained confidence in her abilities, I cried (sobbed really). Sure she cried as well throughout her journey and facing her decision of giving up her dreams in the kitchen but I cried as I discovered that I'm not ok with where I am. I haven't felt a loss exactly, and I haven't really wanted to go back to either catering or restaurant work, but mostly I have been feeling numb since I left the business. My husband recently asked me if I feel passionate about anything, and I recall saying no, but now I realize when that numbness settled in. It was when I regained my weekends.
My life was no longer AS crazy as it was. Back then I had to remain incredibly organized and everything was structured and in its place, but when I decided I needed time to relax everything sort of fell apart. My finances haven't been as controlled, the house is a disarray, and low and behold... I think I'm more finicky in general and demanding of Eric.
I had resigned myself to being numb and letting my passion find me by chance, but after seeing my reaction the other night I want to get out there, reign it in, tie it up and never let it go again. I need to find the passion I felt so strongly those few years ago. Whether the passion is in food, or in cleaning the toilet, I want to feel it again. I want to have passion in my life, passion for life, passion about life.