Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I [finally] know what I want to be when I grow up!

Immediately after posting about my potato salad creation, I felt inspired to go into my kitchen and create. I had limited ingredients but I came up with a Couscous Chickpea salad I'm pretty happy about. That will be in another post though. While making the salad, I had an epiphany. At 24 years old, I just figured out what I want to be when I grow up!

When I was 16, I decided I wanted to get a degree in Psychology and work in a psychiatric hospital with kids and adolescents. I came pretty close to that. I got the degree and exactly 4 months after graduation, I got a job as a Behavioral Youth Counselor in a group home for teenage boys with behavior problems. I recently moved over to the girls house instead, but still, same thing. And you know what I found out? It's not for me. Sad, but true. When I move to Memphis, I'll be doing office work (and I'll probably be much happier). Oh well. It was a learning experience. A very expensive learning experience since my degree doesn't do me much good now. But I digress.

So what is it that I want to do and how did I come to this realization? I'm getting there, don't worry.

As I was making the salad today, completely using creativity and inspiration as my guide instead of a recipe, I realized how incredibly happy I am when I create dishes. The time flies by so fast because I get lost in what I'm doing. I smile, laugh, sing, and dance in my kitchen (no lie, and today the windows were open so neighbors might think I'm crazy if they didn't already know). Even cooking partially pre-made or packaged things makes me happy because I'm in the kitchen, but using fresh ingredients and creating something new (especially without a recipe) is like heaven to me!

So I'm going to go to cooking school to become a chef. Then I'm going to buy/build a restaurant and become the chef of it. It will be all vegan and use only fresh ingredients and freshly prepared dishes. Oh wait. Reality check. Reason #1 this won't work: I can't afford to start my own restaurant and since I would not want to prepare non-vegan dishes, I wouldn't have a job unless I could start my own place. Reason #2: a restaurant like this would most likely fail in Memphis, TN. If I lived in a trendy city in California, sure! But Memphis? I'd never make money and I'd have to close in a month. If I had unlimited funds, I'd still open it and just let it not make money because Memphis needs this restaurant. They just don't know it.

It's not a total wash though. I've always had trouble naming my hobbies or interests. Very few things make me feel ridiculously happy and at peace. Now I have cooking. Cooking has not always been such a relaxing experience for me, but that's because I wasn't creating back then. This is my artistic outlet. Even if I can never afford that restaurant, I'll always have this for me and my happiness. And who knows? Maybe one day I'll cook for the right person at a dinner party and they'll decide to invest in a vegan restaurant. Until then, I'll just keep smiling, laughing, singing, and dancing in my kitchen.


  1. That's an awesome dream!! Have you been to the Wild Cow in East Nashville? It is exactly what you are talking about. In the right neighborhood it could work!!

  2. Lindsay, I've heard of it but I've never been. Sounds like I need to make time to go there before I move!