Not a cat stepping all over my keyboard. That is the status of my brain these days.
It has officially been three months since I quit my corporate job and moved into the big and scary and fast world of the culinary industry. I've finally come up for air to give a small and quick update now (I decided to follow First Trimester rules in case I didn't pass probation)
It's been an earth-shattering, 180° change that came on probably too quick for me to handle, one that has me STILL trying to find my footing in all of this. Right in the thick of my new job, there have been satiating triumphs, spectacular fails, tears (very, many tears, I recall one weekend off where I just bawled like a bitch from Friday right through 'til Sunday), learning curve after learning curve after learning curve (and they come steep), and just so much FRENCH that I should be fluent already (I'm not, immersion does not work at this age). And it all happens in lightyear speed. I've done work for some big names, including Louis Vuitton. There was one client so fucking incognito yet so important apparently that I had to come in at 7am to start and finish a custom job by 9am. Outside of the job is STILL the job as result of working for such a famous name. I used to just hide in the walls, loathed to be subjected to the opener, "So what do you do?" But my identity has suddenly been overhauled by this name and friends and family always want to know. I don't mind, but I notice the perked interest and it's disorienting. Because I still melt into the walls out of habit.
It's goddamn REWARDING. I teem with this brand new sense of duty and pride and purpose and unrelenting passion. But it's fucking hard, NONE of it is a massage. Yes, it's chocolate, but I still have to work and move at the speed of a restaurant line cook on a Saturday night. Because the French sneer feels like a whip on the back. I don't want it. I move my ass.
I'm on the other side now, finally understanding why people in the industry dissuade bright-eyed, bushy-tailed people who say they want to quit their own office zombie jobs and become a chef. And now I get to say the same thing: No, you don't. The sacrifices are too much for most to handle. Magically, for a kitchen job, I keep regular hours and I have weekends off. But on either side of my shift is nearly an hour commute to and from home. And I'm too physically wiped by the end of the day to cycle or see friends, even blowing off family. I don't make nearly as much money as I did before obviously. But I don't even have time to spend the money anyway.
This is how much I love it though, because I'm not turning around and heading back. I love what I do. I'm proud of what I do. I'm proud of working for the name I get to work for (Chef is the nicest person by the way, she always makes it a point to say hi to me when she comes in and asks if I can speak French yet).
So there. If you're checking in to see if I'm alright... I'm alright. I'm just trying to keep my head above water here among a group of Olympic swimmers.
Back in the trenches I go.