Tomorrow, Friday, September 9th, marks my last day of school at The Institute of Culinary Education. You may remember back in February when I divulged the big news. A year ago, while sitting at my desk in my Midtown office, I never thought I would be spending my days fabricating foie gras, braising lamb shanks or finely dicing onions to perfection (this is also due in part to the fact that I was fairly dedicated vegetarian, but that’s another story!)
A year ago, I used to be envious of people that found their “calling” (what I took as jobs), whether it be teaching, making music or a knack for public relations. I would pore over job boards and career websites trying to figure out what the heck I wanted to do with my life. At the end of the day, I came home, turned off the computer, put down the Blackberry and…cooked. A lot. It’s what kept me sane after endless hours behind a desk and pounding the NYC pavement. It’s what kept me going.
Since sending away for my first culinary school information packet over a year ago (in Colorado, nonetheless), I have quite literally changed my own life. Sure, I don’t have the salary anymore, the vacation days or the pant suits (bummer) but I do have the peace of mind knowing that I took that leap of faith.
There’s a saying that whatever you do when you procrastinate from what you should be doing, is what you should be doing all the time. Cooking, for me, was the ultimate in procrastination. A long simmering soup or batch of cookies was the perfect thing to distract myself from the realities of life. A college professor once said it’s the unique, almost weird, things about us that make us stand out. I’m lucky that I figured out how to channel my quirky hobby into a career path. And you know what? I don’t procrastinate anymore.