A new friend of mine recently got a job at a bakery here in SLC. She is just as passionate as I am when it comes to baking when we met, we clicked immediately. She knew that I had been wanting to work in a bakery for awhile, then one day she calls me up to inform me her work was hiring; they needed some help on the pastry side doing cakes, croissants, tarts, etc. She was so excited for me, (even though the timing of it all was kind of crummy - my man-friend's job had just gone through a huge lay-off and he was no loger working) But she gave me the pastry chef's number anyway, and told me to just give her a call, "see what happens" she says.
I am not going to lie, I was pretty scared to call. I had her number for two weeks before I actually picked up the phone. Working in a bakery, has been a dream of mine for a long time. But when you have a decent paying 9-5 job with paid time off, benefits and a 401k... you get comfortable. And you get scared to do anything that will drastically alter your comfortable lifestyle, whether it's a dream or not. And that probably sounds stupid to be scared for those reasons, but I was. It also didn't help that my man-friend had just lost his job... it's not like I could up and quit my job to work at the bakery. Not to mention I've never worked in a bakery so who knows if they would even want to hire me, because I didn't have much experience outside of doing cakes. Anyway, I hesitated, for weeks. Then one day, shortly after my 30th birthday I was sitting at my desk at my "comfortable" job, and had kind of an epiphany. I thought, I can't do this anymore, I am not even remotely happy, regardless of the pay, benefits or retirement. Who gives a shit... when I am on my death bed I am not going to care about how much money I made or that I had a retirement plan... I am going to care about what I did with my life, and I am tired of constantly wondering "what if" and I certainly didn't want to be wondering the same thing when I'm dying. I thought to myself: this can't be it, can it?
Let me give you a bit of a back-story. I have worked in a hospital for 12 years, that's a long time. I would say I am pretty good at what I do (at the hospital job), and at one point I actually did like it, and it paid pretty well especially for someone like me who doesn't have a college degree. So it seemed only natural to stay in this position for a long time. What's to lose? Right?
But then... almost out of nowhere things started to change, I really can't pin-point exactly when it happened or what it actually was that changed. But I have not been happy for awhile, a good long while. And I have just been "dealing" with it for a good long while because I thought that's just what people do, right? Not everyone can love what they do, or can they?
The only thing I had going for me were my co-workers, they were great, they kept me sane and happy even when the job got too hard. I knew I could always rely on them to pick me up when I was down, and that's probably the reason I've stuck around for so long. I have truly made some great life-long friends over the years (y'all know who you are *hugs*). However, in this most recent position I've taken (I have been here about 6 months), I have been the most unhappy of all. And not in a busy, stressful, people dying kind of way; but a sad, lonely and bored out of my mind way. I have felt like I am literally wasting my life away.
In this day-dream/epiphany moment I imagined that it was 30 years from now and I was old, and depressed and wondering "what if". At that moment I decided that I have been comfortable and scared for far too long. This was the opportunity I've been hoping for, and I was being a total douche about it! What was wrong with me!? It really is amazing what fear can do to you.
But I decided to stop being scared, so I picked up the phone and called the bakery, right that second. Four days later I was waking up at 3am to go the bakery do a "stag" (baker interview). And later that morning I was being offered a part-time job. OMG, really!?! HOLLA! The entire way home I had a perma-grin, I was more excited than I have been in years... about anything. I was giddy, bouncing up and down in my seat, blaring music and singing along. I truly felt alive! I will never forget that feeling.
As I sit here and type all of this out, I am getting a little teary-eyed (uh, apparently I'm officially a softie in my "old" age too). I am aware of how cheesy and corny this all may sound, but I kind of don't care what anyone thinks because I feel like I am finally moving forward, and I couldn't be happier about it! I have taken that step towards what I really think I want to do for the rest of my life (or until I can't anymore). Yes, it's a small step, (it has been almost 3 months since I took the job and I am still part-time), and yes, I am still working at the super depressing hospital job, but I am finally moving in the right direction.
At this point I am just taking things day-by-day and figuring everything out. I do know that I want to work at this place for awhile to gain more experience for as long as I can. I would love to be able to work here full time eventually and quit the hospital job for good... but that is aways away. For now though I am just happy to be learning something new each day I work there. I am pretty excited, and although I am severely sleep deprived, I do realize this (working both jobs) isn't forever so I am looking forward to what the future holds, whatever that may be.
Here are some of the cool thing's I've been working on at the bakery.
Carrot Cake macarons. Carrot shell, carrot jam and cinnamon cream cheese filling.