My therapist suggested I read Eat, Pray, Love. I can't believe I've never read this before, of course I had heard of it but I hadn't realized how closely it mirrors my ideas, my dreams that I'm trying to make a reality. I'm devouring it. I recently finished reading The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn (which I HIGHLY recommend) and so I've entered the mindset of figuring out what I would do with my life if I could do anything I wanted. This is a very new concept for me. I've made a living doing basically the same thing since I was 16 years old. I've worked my ass off to move up to the level I'm at now, and constantly pushed myself further, faster, and educated myself as much as I can because I've always felt that not having a college education means I need to prove myself so much more. The truth is, I've never really thought about a career being something you aspire to. I have a career and a pretty successful one, but I always have told myself that this is just how it is and you get a job and stay with it, work hard, save and then when you retire you can do what you want. Travel, live a life of leisure, etc. But what if it doesn't work that way? What if you spend your life working for that day and it never comes? What if you're too old, too tired, your retirement fund has been drained by some asshole on Wall Street, or you give your life to a job that eliminates the need for you just before you're eligible for retirement? Why not do all that stuff you want to do now? Well most of the time it's because you have responsibilities, you can't just walk away from your life, your family, people who depend on you, etc. But what if you're 34, divorced with no kids and find yourself waking up to the possibility that you want more for yourself?
3-4 months of travel. Driving across the U.S., visiting friends, seeing things, experiencing things, eating things and writing about it all. Then Europe, Italy in particular. Learn to cook from my Italian relatives - eat everything, taste everything, experience everything.
Culinary school. Vancouver, Canada. An accelerated 6 month program at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. Learning culinary basics and professional cooking in one of my favorite cities in the world with access to everything fresh and amazing and local. Seafood, meat, poultry, cheese, produce, all of it. Getting a truly international food experience and education while staying close to home.
WWOOF. Worldwide Opportunities in Organic Farming. An "internship" type program in organic farming and more. Room and board provided in exchange for work all over the country/world. Get in the dirt, see first hand where food comes from and how to cultivate it. 6 months to a year of learning and working and immersing myself in food at it's most basic source.
Then work, finding work in the food world somewhere. Ideally in a small inn, resort, cafe, etc. Living and working somewhere beautiful and feeding people with my hands every day. A simple life, a life with purpose and integrity, nourishing people.
That's my dream. My goal. Now to make it happen.