Yes, I started today with a plan:
- Go to the Chef’s Catalog warehouse sale.
- Go to the fabric store to get something that’ll work for a lightweight jacket and trim for a dress my fantabulous mother is sewing for me.
- Send an email to my out-of-state sibs regarding the present upheaval in my life.
- Take a nap.
I set my alarm for 6:45 a.m. and was out the door by seven o’clock. My parents and I have been to this sale three times now. It’s a blast! We head to Starbucks and grab hot chocolate for Dad and I and coffee for Mom. Then it’s off to the store. The first year we went around 11:00 a.m. Bad idea. They’re already pretty picked over. Last year we went around 8:30 a.m. Better. This year we were in line by 7:45 a.m. The doors open at eight o’clock. People cheered. It was hilarious! I picked up KitchenAid’s 12-cup food processor. It’s not their newest model, but the one I got is still the top-rated. I bought it for $90.00. It was originally over $200.00. And it had never been opened so I’m excited! I also picked up a couple odds and ends and was out the door for $98.00 even.
We dropped off my dad and then Mom and I headed to the fabric store since she needed some stuff as well. The fabric for my dress is white with coral-colored roses. I found a lovely reddish brown crepe that’ll be used for the trim and jacket. Browns are tricky for my skin tone, so I held it up for Mom to judge. She thought it was fantastic! When I held it up to my neck, my cheeks bloomed with all this pink. When I took it away, the pink left. I’m telling you, coral is a great color for blondes! And the reddish brown could be argued as a dark coral. (Have I lost all the men in the room yet?)
I did send the email to my sister Julie, my brother Ethan, and my sister-in-law Adrianna. It read:
I’ve decided I’m quitting my job. One might argue this isn’t the best time based on the still lagging economy and job shortages, but after four years of being told I’m not good enough at what I do (even though I lead the pack in many of my stats), receiving compliments that are followed by all the ways I can improve, and being worked beyond what I’m capable, I’m beyond burnt out. When you leave work and just want to cry, you know it’s time to get out–AND I’M NOT A CRIER! That said, I haven’t yet quit my job… I won’t do that without a plan.
I’ve looked at a couple of different opportunities here in town and all will require a pay cut–some worse than others. That’s fine. I’ve worked my tail off the past two years and paid off all but two bills. My monthly requirements are actually quite low so that’s doable. But when I look at these options I get major butterflies in my stomach. And while this may sound weird, God talks to me through my stomach. He has for years.
I was also thinking about two conversations with you, Julie. About eight years ago, you were out to Colorado to visit and asked if I’d ever considered culinary school. And you had reasons. I never had, other than the boot camps run by the CIA, but you got me to thinking about it. Then you asked me again when we were driving to dinner at Super Mex last month. I actually thought it was really odd that you’d bring it up eight years later. Especially when to all the world it looked like I was in a stable job that I just didn’t care for much, but wouldn’t leave for at least another year.
So I pulled up Le Cordon Bleu online. I started looking at what the options are and they’ve enlarged their program since I was last on there… they now have an actual associates degree in pastry/baking, after which I can choose to take their management courses online if I want. The latter provides a certification as well. What’s interesting is that they now have a campus in Dallas. Where we have family. And where I would be a short drive from more family, and good friends because Jason, Esther, and their kids now live on the west side of Houston. I can also split the program and do half in Dallas and half in Pasadena, including the externship. The L.A. Times test kitchen pulls from the Le Cordon Bleu externship program, so that would be an option–an extremely enticing option for yours truly. Nerding out in the kitchen and then parlaying it into a writing situation is right up my alley.
I sent a request to speak with reps from both campuses and spoke briefly with the rep in Dallas. We have an appointment Thursday night to go over everything in greater detail, but she confirmed I can split the program between two campuses and would still get cuisine courses, something I wanted in there somewhere. The associates degree is an 84-week program. You can bust it out in a year and a half if you commit to going straight through, or you can take a quarter off, like for summer break.
The interesting thing is that I have zero butterflies when I consider this option. My stomach is as still as can be. I announced to Mom and Dad on Wednesday that they needed to start praying for a new job for me and to put me on the Sunday school prayer list and Mom’s prayer time at CBS [where my mom works]. Then I told them about this idea last night. Mom’s on board. Dad’s hesitant. But it helped when I told him I still had to get a lot of ducks in a row before I’d go this direction.
So… if you could pray for guidance as I figure out where to go and what to do, that would be greatly appreciated! I’ve decided three months is the cut off. And no, I won’t make it until I’m vested next March (but I checked and I’m about 90% vested at this point, so the loss isn’t severe). I’m too stressed… I’m getting migraines from work stress; my blood pressure is still high when it isn’t controlled by medication, from stress; and I’m depressed more often than I’m not. So it’s time for some changes. And I’m single… if I screw up, it’s only me in the balance and not a spouse and kids.
I’ve already received two replies:
Julie: Exciting. Don’t think too much. Just do it. I believe you are an AMAZING cook.
Adri: Thank you for sharing. I love the plan and will pray for continued confidence and faith to step out into something new. I just take exception to giving Julie all the credit for the idea.
Do I have great family or what? As I said in the email to the sibs, my mom is on board and my pops is hesitant. He’s coming around, though. We had a looong conversation today and discussed the potential for a restaurant downtown that serves breakfast on Saturdays only; lunch that is dine in or to go consisting of sandwiches, soups, and salads; and then dinner consisting of well made comfortish food. For example… I have a killer meatloaf recipe that has to be frozen (don’t ask, just go with it). So you make it today and freeze it. Tomorrow, you cook it for the dinner run as you make and freeze a new batch. Then on day three, you serve leftover meatloaf in sandwiches, fresh meatloaf for dinner, and then make the new batch. Wash, rinse, repeat. I’d also make my braised turkey every Sunday night with all the trimmings and prepare enough turkey to have leftovers for turkey sandwiches all week long. Sandwiches with cranberry mayo, cheddar cheese, bacon, and whole grain bread. Trust me, they’re good. Really good. But, if I had a restaurant, I’d be known for some killer desserts… homemade ice creams, my mama’s apple cake, peach cake, my drunken apple pie, and my cheesecake, amongst whatever else I learn to make, right?
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not set on owning any eating establishment. I’m not set against it either, though. A test kitchen appeals to me on many levels and is easier to cope with concerning my lovely back conundrums.
Well, after talking briefly with the rep from Le Cordon Bleu’s Dallas campus and emailing the sibs, I slept for three hours. Glory be, it was needed. I truly haven’t slept well for a few weeks now. The stress has even invaded my sleep. Is it any wonder my coping skills are at a minimum? Aye-yi-yi. I will admit to being a little shocked at the rapid, vehement responses from Julie and Adri. Being sleep deprived and overly emotional, I got teary when I logged into my email and saw both. I do love my sisters.
All that to say, it’s been a fabulous Saturday. And I’ve been smiling, just as I promised I would. I still need more sleep and I still have details to iron out, but I’m leaning more and more toward this new direction in my life. With no butterflies… and I wasn’t being facetious. The Lord really does talk to me through my stomach!
I closed out today with a healthy dinner of almond-crusted baked chicken, broiled asparagus, and spinach salad. You got it… homemade. And yes, I’d put this dish on my restaurant menu for dinner. If I someday have a restaurant. So if you’re a person of faith, please offer up a prayer every now and again… for wisdom and guidance as I proceed forward. And for the confidence to follow His will wherever it may lead. I’ll take all the prayers I can get, for where two or more are gathered in His name, He is there.
P.S. The migraine was gone when I awoke this morning. Amen! Hallelujah!