Updated: Sep 23, 2020
"I was reminded of my family lineage and how destiny seemed to be knocking at my door."
It’s still surreal that I work in a cafe preparing food, taking orders, and washing dishes. It’s such a physical job and there are a million things to tend to. Who would have thought, me, the girl who has held a desk job since I was a sophomore in high school would be in the food service industry selling my own bakery creations? When the opportunity presented itself during the first month of 2020, I knew it was my sign to leap.
Fear. This year I realized that I was afraid to change careers. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, if it would pay off, if I’d change my mind, or if I'd be starting from the bottom with a long road to "success" again. Yes, I'm a borderline millennial and I want my success before the world ends. Similarly, I was afraid of failure and what people would think. There’s no real manual for changing your life and trying something different; yet, the decision of whether or not to let fear of the unknown stop you from something new is a fearless one to make.
This is actually my second attempt at doing something different in my career. In 2016, I worked at Chipotle for a month, frying chips. I threw in the towel pretty quickly for financial reasons and I can’t be mad at myself for it. It was a shock to make such little pay. I also realized I was a little vain; my hands were starting to look rough and I knew that my future singing career couldn't handle aged hands on a young woman. Through my short stint of frying chips and then jumping back into my event planning career, there were times when giving up crossed my mind. My life somehow works in a cycle if I miss a lesson; I'm damned to repeat it. It's like i'm destined to see what’s on the other side of what I don’t know, as long as I don’t give up.
During my career change attempt in 2016, I also realized that I was in search of something more than a new career. I was in search of myself...my identity and my roots. Moving back to my hometown of St. Louis, MO to spend time with family without a real plan made me read and research a lot. I freed myself to trial and error as well. I found a cookbook that my grandmother had given me twice, in 2016 and 2019. I was reminded of how great of a cook she was and how she had the power to gather my family over meals for years. I was reminded of how she retired from the St. Louis Lambert Airport as a cook, preparing flight meals. I was reminded of my family lineage and how destiny seemed to be knocking at my door.
When I returned home to my family back then, my hands found themselves cooking daily. When I decided to embrace the possibility of the food and beverage industry, I found peace and joy in baking cookies. I found my kid like energy in creating new recipes and testing them out like a mad scientist, keeping pen and pad on my nightstand to capture any ideas that would come my way. I could feel how special this was for me.
The full journey that I will take with food is uncertain, but I’m sure I will find out what’s on the other side of what I don’t know this time. I will find out if I have what it takes. I know that I’m no longer afraid to completely embrace career change and I know who I am. What people say and think doesn't make me afraid anymore; instead it fuels me to prove myself to me.