I’ve had a case of writers’ block lately.
Should the whole truth be told, I’ve been feeling in a bit of a tailspin.
I went for a beautiful, sunny walk yesterday afternoon, and I was struck by the thought that for years, my life has been a search, and now it is a found.
Finally, my life and I feel full and round, like a snow globe, only one that’s been turned upside down.
Slowly, I am growing and stretching to fit my new job. I never expected it to be easy, but it’s harder than I ever imagined it would be.
I work long hours. Sometimes when I come home at night, my body hurts. My hands hurt from kneading dough and shaping rolls and scooping cookie dough. My arms and shoulders ache from hefting the heavy mixer bowl. My legs are stiff from running up and down the stairs. I have burned myself more times than I can count.
Seven years ago, I was a bona fide couch tater. In May, I ran my second half marathon. But this? This is a whole new kind of training. After six weeks in the bake shop, I feel stronger than I have ever felt in my life.
The physical demands are great, but the emotional ones are even greater.
I’m learning to be fast and efficient, to evaluate the quality of my food, to make good professional judgments. Yet my bread is rarely as soft and flavorful, my caramel as dark, my timing as precise, or my plating as beautiful, as I would like.
Taking criticism when I’m pushing myself to the limit and not meeting my own expectations has always been my biggest challenge. Adapting to unanticipated changes, my second. And every day, I have to face those challenges head-on.
There have been more good days on my new job than bad ones, and they have been wonderful. The bad days? They turn me inside out. I have cried. I have cursed. I have thrown dough at the wall. A couple of times, I’ve gone home shortsightedly wondering what the hell I’ve done with my life.
But please don’t read me wrong. That’s not a complaint, and it’s not regret. It’s passion. And the ability to feel passion in what I do every day, whether it’s a good day or a bad day—it revives me.
This job is going to teach me what I’m made of. It’s going to make me a better person.
So, please, keep shaking this snow globe. I may think that all I want is for the flurries to settle and fall into place, but deep down, I know I’m only kidding myself.