Family is the most important thing in life.

That’s one of the first things my dad told me today when I broke the news that this new gig isn’t really working out. It seemed a little tangential at first, but then I thought about what he meant. He knows that I’m back to working nights and weekends and that my schedule makes it difficult to spend time with my loved ones. He also hinted not-so-subtly that if I was in need of financial support, he and my mom are more than willing to help. But, perhaps most importantly, he just wants me to be happy. He’s only got one daughter, he said to me, and while I’m still young, I should just go out there and keep trying. Don’t be afraid to get out of a bad situation. Don’t be afraid to quit or start over.

My mom was just as supportive and at this point, I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised anymore. After all, this was the woman who once asked me if I felt that going to culinary school would help me advance my career to Sous Chef and offered to pay for it if money were an issue. She has an amazing intuition and seemed to know that something was up before I even opened my mouth to speak. But she helped me put things into perspective – as long as I have my health, Honey Bunny, my friends, and my family, everything else is secondary. It can be fixed with enough courage to take a step in the right direction.

I’ve been nervous about telling anyone. I think part of me still feels like I’m quitting in the face of an obstacle instead of rising to the challenge. Like I’m giving up, like I’ve failed. But the other side – my gut – is screaming that this is an unnecessarily stressful situation and that, like leaving an abusive relationship, I need to get the hell outta Dodge. I’m too smart to keep torturing myself like this, or at least, I hope I am.

So, five months later, it looks like I’m back to square one of my job search. I still love food and cooking, but I really need to find that change of pace I was searching for before I took this detour.

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