Brave leaps, big tears and crash landings

As I rolled myself out of bed this morning, with a lingering store brand NyQuil hangover, I planned to post a recipe for brioche today. My Maman and I had a long overdue conversation on the phone last night. We talked about sugar cookies and southern fruit cobblers, cinnamon rolls she makes and shares with an older couple in her church, roses from Jackson & Perkins that should arrive by the end of the month. And we talked about bread. All kinds of warm, yeasty-smelling breads. Brioche became the Sunday blog plan.

But as I logged on to my trusty Mac, a new friend– mother of two of my classmates- had shared a link to a blog she thought I might like. Planning to spend at most three minutes seeing what this blog had to offer before I continued with my plan du jour, I clicked the link.

I started to read about Molly in Seattle who began blogging Orangette in 2004 after quitting a doctoral program in cultural anthropology when she realized her passion was completely unclear but had everything to do with writing and food. She’s a home cook. She holds no degree in journalism. But seven years after the leap of Orangette, she has published one book– a New York Times bestseller- with another one on the way. She’s written a series for Bon Appetite magazine and has opened a successful restaurant with her husband. And she counts her lucky stars every night.

And the tears begin to fall. I’m not a big fan of tears so I try stopping them. But this morning it’s no use. Maybe it’s just an emotional time of the month. Or the nagging upper respiratory tract infection of the past few days that won’t leave me alone. And I think about my ex-husband and best friend; and I know what we had wasn’t right, but that doesn’t keep me from missing him. Terribly sometimes.

I look around my tiny rented Boulder condo. Six hundred square feet neatly decorated with everything from my past life. A full set of Le Creuset cookware and bakeware that’s probably worth more than all the tired appliances in my out of date kitchen. A flatscreen TV whose only function now is to play Pandora as I’ve chosen not to spend money on cable. And I wonder: for each Molly story, how many stories out there are quite the opposite?

The things themselves- the cookware and televisions- don’t really matter. I can likely find jobs doing something to get by each day. But I don’t just want to be the girl who took a leap and survived a crash landing. Surely there’s more. If I let myself think about the future too long, I physically become tachycardic and my stomach turns. It’s an unfamiliar hybrid of eager anticipation and scared out of my mind, scared out of my mind seeming to dominate today. But I’ll continue to study. And write. And maybe buy stock in Kleenex.


20 thoughts on “Brave leaps, big tears and crash landings

  1. Hi Deb, I really do admire your vulnerability in telling us your story. You’re food looks amazing, you have the talent and what’s most important is you’re pursuing your dreams (and) you have an enviable crock pot collection too! I hope things really do work out for you, it’s okay to cry, definitely better than keeping it in! Take care, šŸ™‚

  2. Deb,
    My mother used to tell me that “tears are the gateway to growth”. I never truly understood the meaning until I was much older..and hopefully a little wiser.
    I have the pleasure of seeing your finished product each day and your polished enthusiasm for the end result. You are a winner and I am proud to know you!

    • Wendy, the ‘proud to know you’ easily goes both directions. You are one of my biggest cheerleaders and you haven’t even known me long. That means more than you realize- thank you! And your quote has officially made my bathroom mirror of favorite motivations šŸ™‚

  3. a list of one of our greatest leaders failures..
    1) Unsuccessful in business ( at age of 21)
    2) was miserably lost in legislative elections (at age of 22)
    3) Faced the untimely death of his sweetheart (at age of 24)
    4) Had to suffer a severe nervous breakdown (at age of 27)
    5) Was defeated in Congressional race (at age of 34)
    6) Had to face failure of becoming a Senator (at age of 45)
    7) Failed again in becoming a vice president (at age of 47)
    8) Had to overcome the failure of losing Senatorial race (at age of 49)
    9) Finally became the 16th President of United States of America(at age of 52)

    even if you crash land in 2012 or 2013 who knows what is in store for you in 2014?!?!?

    So keep taking those big leaps and let the tears flow but my $$$ is on you Deb =)


    • Lincoln! Thank you Natasha!! Such a good reminder- the world is big, time is bigger, and bumps are just that- bumps. And… if your money’s on me, I’m sure as hell not going to fold šŸ™‚

  4. Deb-
    Thanks for sharing. Writing forces us to clearly express our thoughts and that introspection is helps us deal with life’s difficulties. Hang in there, great things are in store for you!

  5. Deb–
    What a beautiful story that you shared today of rebirth. This writing is a glimpse of the Deb of long ago that I so fondly knew and miss. You have great things in store and will always land on your feet (as you have every time before). I am proud of you for sharing some of your soul because that is when we truly allow ourselves to heal and grow. I started following your blog mostly out of curiosity but have been pleasantly surprised; it is very entertaining! You have a great writing style and a neat perspective on things. I wish tons of luck and success. Watch out food world, here come Deb!! Love ya, girl!

    • Just seeing you sign ‘FanAnn’ brought more tears- completely happy ones!! You are the epitome of a strong person who can weather just about anything- and come across better than ever on the other side. I’ve always admired that in you. And I appreciate your encouragement just as much. Love you and miss you. And thank you.

  6. I enjoy your honesty and humor …so thanks for sharing. I have been a nurse for over 18 years and I am working on my plan to enroll at the Escoffier School for March so I can hopefully do my externship during the harvest season. I have a lot of trepidation about leaving a secure and economically viable career for one that has economic uncertainty, as well as having to start at the bottom and pay my dues. My vision is still unclear about how I will incorporate my years of clinical background and all the disease I have witnessed, with new culinary skills. I have a creative and entrepreneurial spirit and I am in desperate need a new way to communicate with the world. As you well know healthcare in America is more about treating disease after the fact, rather than prevention. This is where I hope to make a difference…teaching nutritious meals. If people know how to cook healthy and it is more satisfying the the unhealthy diet…perhaps they will make change (myself included). What you are doing takes emence courage. I believe you have a passion for culinary or you wouldn’t be where you are. I believe to find ones life purpose…you must follow your passion and your gifts. For me, if I get over my ego, take money out of the equation, and just focus on what I am passionate about…the answer is clear: caring for people by feeding them healthy, tasty food! I would love to learn more about organic gardening and teach people sustainable living. Who knows…the options are unlimited. You are very unique with your medical background and you will have expertise that premier chefs will not have. I am inspired by your courage and you blog and that you are listening to your heart and following your passion!!! I look forward to meeting you some day…I am working hard to overcome some
    obstales so that I can enroll next month. Keep up the great work and keep up the blog…you never know where your blog will lead. I applaud your tears…mine

    O are sacred too! They’re just a sign of the times…and time is always moving forward. Hang in there doc!

    • Linda, I can’t wait to meet you and follow your new journey as well. You definitely will have amazing opportunities within your reach with your unique combination of medicine and food- we need what you are planning to offer! Go with it! Please introduce yourself to me when you begin, and I hope everything that needs to fall into place for you to start school will do so smoothly. See you around soon šŸ™‚

  7. Deb–

    I love taking this journey with you and envy your choice to follow your dreams. I am lucky to be working at the school, but would love to have the strength you have, and jump into the education. Your writing and enthusiasm and wit and humility will certainly take you far…I know that I will be soon able to say, “I knew her when…”

    Keep up the good work. And keep believing.


    • I just may have to get you and Wendy sets of pompoms šŸ™‚ Thank you for following and for the encouragement. You strike me as such a strong person- I truly think you could do just about anything you set your mind to! Congrats on making it through a big week last week, and come eat with us again soon šŸ™‚

  8. I am impressed with you. Maybe its because I knew only what I saw and our limited conversation yielded only a fraction of insight… I don’t think you are capable of staying down for a moment after your “crash landing”. All I can see is you landing on your feet, pausing for a moment, and immediately making this world your playground again. You brightened up everything near you! I look forward to reading more about you–it makes you seem a bit closer.
    Take care you!

  9. I wish I could promise no crash landings. I will promise I will find my footing before the devil knows what happened. He sure as hell wouldn’t know what to do with me! When I feel inspired, you’ll definitely hear from me. I look forward to more from you!

  10. Been there. It’s kind of a glorious destruction in a way. I handled it by buying a icon of Shiva to remind me of the process of destruction and re-birth and read a lot of Joseph Campbell. It helped me to know that this is the experience of the whole universe. That I was not alone.

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