In the past five years I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will probably never follow a traditional career path. If I imagine my work life as, literally, a path or a trail, I picture myself walking into the woods, clearing branches along the way. There’s a light up ahead but I can’t see just how to get there; I only know I am headed in the right direction when I can see that light, beaming from afar like the North Star. (When I say “right” direction, I mean right for me, in accordance with my truth, my goals.) I have a feeling I’ll never get to the light—and I guess that’s sort of the point, right?—but that it will always be there to set my compass towards.
I do find her enviable, the person who can say “this is what I want to be” and can look ahead at a neatly mowed stretch of path in front of her. Certainly, life will still surprise this person in ways she’d have never expected, but at least she knows she needs to do this, this and this to get where she wants to be. I’ve struggled in the past few years with trying to figure out what I want to do for work. I realize now that this was difficult for me to resolve because there is not just one thing that I want to do!
I’m a romantic, to my core. And that part of me, which has most often proved itself more influential than my desire for security or acceptance, finds this groping along enticing and a thrill! I have groped and forged and everything in between and have found myself at this point: ready to piece together the collage of my career. And so, a 360° look at food…
I worked at Zingerman’s Delicatessen for four and a half years, so I feel confident in saying that I have a good grip on the buying and selling, making and eating of food. But there is so much more to be learned! I have an interview at the Clements Library tomorrow to discuss the possibility of my being involved with the archiving of their American Culinary Collection. This would provide interesting scope into where we’ve come from and speak to, in some way, where we are and where we’re going, culturally. Other ideas: get on the steering committee for the Farmer’s Market, work on a local farm once or twice a week, and cook at the Ronald McDonald House with the Zing crew. Working at these other places would provide insight into other elements of our food world, like the growing, sharing and cooking of food.
Ultimately, I could then share what I’ve learned with others through my writing—blogging, memoir… I could even write a dissertation!