Entering college, I noticed that there were a lot of careers that many students were deciding to pursue: medicine or finance or consulting or some obviously stable job. The academic path they would set forth on was clear and if they continued down that, they would be rewarded with a practical job for a practical future.
But there are so many jobs out there, many that you have to blaze your own unique path to create. Well, at least that’s how I imagine the career field to be like. I didn’t want to be confined in a cubicle for a mundane, routine job. I wanted something fulfilling. A job where I enjoyed coming in every day, or at least most days. Not everyone can have a great day every day. But a job that I would be proud to explain to my future children so they can understand what my passion is.
What is my passion? It’s so easy for some people to list their passions but I’m still exploring. In high school, it felt like I had to pile as many AP classes as possible and then always be on the look out for internships and leadership positions. There were few moments of rest where I felt like I was able to set out on my own and think about what I truly liked to do. My hobbies were what I did at school: orchestra (flute) and sports (tennis and cross country). All three of which I stopped doing once I entered college. I no longer felt like continuing with flute, since during high school, I wish I had picked a brass instrument or oboe back in 4th grade. I was never great in high school sports and obviously, I would not be playing a college varsity sport. My supposed hobbies melted away as I became lost when people asked me what my hobbies were. They were no longer flute, tennis, or running. What were they? Where was my sense of identity?
In college, I continued with volunteering, as I had done before I entered college and when I was a Girl Scout. In high school, my community service club volunteered at multiple events, but there never felt like a commitment to one particular cause. Each year, the focused service for the entire state district would be different. As a club, we began to know that in so-and-so month we tended to volunteer at so-and-so walk rather than for an entire year we regularly volunteered at these and that organizations. At college, I wanted a commitment but I didn’t find that one cause I was immensely passionate about. I shied away from working with and mentoring kids because I felt like I had to first make sure I was well-adjusted to college life before I started to make an impact on another person’s life. All these factors led me to volunteer my Saturday evening cooking dinner at an adult shelter, which is detailed in this post. Maybe I chose it because I liked the idea of cooking. Yes, that’s probably why.
I think I always knew I had an interest in food but I thought it was the usual amount of interest people had. Sure, I liked the taste of food. Who doesn’t? I loved watching food videos, either instructional or entertaining ones. But I never set foot into a kitchen to test the proposed recipes. Was it the idea of the food that charmed me? An illusion of an interest? That’s why I started this blog, to test what I was really interested about food. I still have not yet cooked a recipe from a video but what deters me from doing so is buying the ingredients. Already so many at home, I would feel so guilty for buying more food that I may only use once and that’s that.
Then I started Fast Food, Etc., which has been incredibly fun even only being a few days old. A couple of my friends who share my interest want to help out and review food. I’m excited for our first meeting this week to review some eateries we have brainstormed. But the same doubts that usually arise when I create a project are emerging. I must ignore them. Power through them all.
Maybe blogging is now my new hobby. There has to be a way to incorporate that into a career. When I was at Dartmouth Career Services, I took a Strong Interest test and found out that culinary came out pretty high. The advisor seemed to think I would be worried by this, probably thinking that I was wondering if being a chef was my only career option. She explained that there are a lot of people who keep cooking as a hobby. But why should it just be a hobby? Why not a career? If it were my career, I know my parents would look down on that, after they toiled so many hours in our family-owned restaurant. Literally, my first home was a restaurant, with many of baby pictures showing me laying on the counter or leashed (yes, leashed) to a table in the kitchen.
Not sure if I would want to be a chef, I still have trouble cutting things up and I still haven’t handled raw meat. But maybe working in food as in marketing or something else. I’ll see. I started this post to talk about 3 people I found who later found a career in food. This post soon began to take on my own personal musings so let’s save that for the next post, shall we?
Until then, ciao.