Yesterday’s post made the vague thing that is my life right now sound none-too-peachy. And while it’s not altogether untrue, there are some things I have right now that remind me that everything does happen for a reason, and I’m still on a semi-okay track.
The dog, for one. All ruined rugs and trashcan obsessions aside, she is the best part of most of my days. Everyone should know this kind of love.
And my internship at Chefs Collaborative. It’s been just over a month, but I have already learned so much, and it’s been invaluable to me at this ridiculously chaotic point in life.
You know when you meet or hear about those people that are working for this awesome non-profit and are committing themselves to making a positive change, and you think, “gosh [because you’re from 1942, apparently], I wonder how they got that job. I’d love to work for a cause I believe in.”? Well, that’s often how I feel. And now I know what it’s like. It’s awesome to actually feel like you are working towards something, in some small way helping out. This internship may not pay in $, but it certainly pays in experience & then some.
What I really love about this internship is that I get to live in the food world. I get to surround myself with cookbooks and articles and blogs and really, really interesting food people. I haven’t just learned about social media and nonprofits, I’ve learned about food itself, and sustainable food at that. It’s proven to me that I have definitely found the right field – I just need to figure out where I fit in it. Getting into the communications side of things has been wonderfully eye-opening, and I’m hoping to continue in that vein. As a language lover & linguistics nerd-of-nerds, it just makes so much sense to me that that’s what I’m falling into right now.
I am also finding that I don’t particularly want to “be” a “writer.” Let me explain. I like writing. Occasionally, I love it. And I’m pretty good at it, which adds significantly to the enjoyable factor. I certainly struggle to imagine liking a job that does not somehow involve writing. I just don’t want it to be the whole job.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t kind of know that when I started answering the inevitable and inescapable “and what do you want to be?” questions with “a food writer.” I said it because I like food & I write well – but I knew that it wasn’t the actual career for me. To be honest, I hate the instability of the artsy career options. When I was in first grade and very into art, I told my mother, “I want to be an artist but they don’t make any money so I want to teach it instead.” I am reminded of this quite frequently – but actually, I remember saying this. We were in the car, passing what used to be the Oakdale Pharmacy on our way home, and I didn’t really mean teachers made a lot of money – I meant they had a stable salary & a consistent job. Sorry I couldn’t articulate that, I was busy being 5. I’ll tell you though, my Barbies were driven women with very sensible jobs. (Can’t say the same for their shoes, unfortunately.)
I am struggling, as I’m sure you either have or are currently as well, to keep a balance between those who say “slow down grasshopper, you’ll figure it out,” and the reality that says “um, ok, but you have to make A decision if you want this to change, and no one is going to wait around for you to apply to whatever it is you want.” I know I’ll figure it out. I’m less concerned with that and more with sifting through my current options to figure out which one works for me.
I’m going to be honest here – there is a program I’m considering that would take me very far away for a respectable amount of time that requires an application as soon as I can get it in…but it doesn’t start until September. Yes, I know I can apply and still say no, but just thinking about it means I have to think in the bigger picture of next year, and that generally leads me back to what I want to do with my life, and that causes stress. I’ve had this line of thought since the 1st grade. You can’t just tell me to stop it and expect that to work. That’s seventeen years of soul-searching contemplations you’re up against.
I also know that there is nothing that says I can’t simply pick up where I left off were I to choose this program and wait until I come back. But here is really where the confusion starts: I went into my senior year of college having made a decision to go to culinary school (HA!), and felt downright antsy to get the year over with and get into the field that I had just discovered was for me. Not that I didn’t have a kickass senior year, and I am fine with the way things turned out, but I’m finding that that itch is still there, and I don’t know if I want to wait anymore. Ya know?
I hear you on the “dude, slow the hell down, you’ve got time” thing. I get that. And actually, I feel like I’ve more or less made a decision. But I’m not saying anything about that yet.
Tomorrow, we get back to food.