(I started writing this entry last night but fell asleep before posting it.)
A dear friend (and dedicated reader) pointed out to me that I have been neglecting this poor blog for over two weeks now! Sadly, a lot of the reason why I haven’t been writing is that work has been feeling like a bit of a grind. Like if nothing new or noteworthy is happening, I don’t feel inspired to write. As I’ve mentioned a few times throughout this journey, it’s entirely possible to love your job and still have a case of the Mondays, or feel like you need a vacation, or simply not feel up to the task of going to work (that’s when copious amounts of coffee come in handy).
Today was one of the first times that I’ve started to feel burnt-out by my job. I sat outside during break and just thought to myself — what am I doing this for? I am always working weekends and evenings and holidays, when normal people get to go out and spend time with their friends and loved ones. My schedule varies from week to week, making it difficult to plan things in advance unless I remember to put in a request for the day off (even if it’s just a Sunday… nothing’s guaranteed). I leave for work just a couple of hours before Honey Bunny gets home from his job, meaning our schedules barely overlap. That’s probably the biggest thing — trying to make time to spend together. My feet hurt all the time, and while Plancha 2 (fish plancha) is significantly less hazardous than Plancha 1 was, I still often have cuts and burns on my hands.
So back to sitting outside, taking in the last shreds of sunlight and cool almost-autumn breeze, I asked myself, “What are you doing all this for anyway?” “After two years in the industry, what do you have to show for it?” “Is this lifestyle worth it…?”
I briefly entertained the thought of going back to my old office job – 9-5, weekends and holidays off, much higher salary. I also thought of other fields I could get into… ways to stay involved with food but with a better work-life balance. But the ideas that came to mind made me feel like a sell-out; to paraphrase: those who can, do and those who can’t, well they would do whatever these jobs are.
So I was filled with quite a bit of self-doubt until I got to chat with Honey Bunny and was reminded, in just a few short phrases, of his endless support for me and my dream of running my own kitchen someday. I could feel the anxiety start to melt away. And in the kitchen, it’s a small thing, but it made me feel better — service was slow so I helped the junior sous with prepping family meal for tomorrow. We had a whole pork shoulder at our disposal so she asked me to whip up a brine to soak it in overnight. Again, it’s just a little thing, but it’s the first time in a long time that I had the opportunity to use the skills and techniques I’ve learned over the years without being forced to adhere strictly to the recipe binder.
Maybe cooking at home more will help keep the creative side more engaged. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to the farmer’s market; with the busy schedule, I’ve found that my produce goes bad before I get the chance to use it so I stopped buying.
TL;DR (too long, didn’t read): I had a moment of weakness and want to get excited about cooking again because this lifestyle just does not get any easier and you need passion in order to keep going.