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 A full set of Le Creuset cookware and bakeware that’s probably worth more than all the tired appliances in my out of date kitchen.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.