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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A year to follow my heart

Seashore

Sorry I've been quite tardy with the blog lately. I've been really busy with lots of things. There are huge, enormous changes brewing in my life. The biggest one, which precipitates all the others, is this: I am taking a year off from work, an entire year. I am giving me this time to find myself.

I have been wondering what I wanted to do with my life when I grew up, when my real life actually began. I knew that I enjoyed my job, but I did not love working for a huge corporation, with all the politiking and power play it entailed. And with the latest organizational changes that took place a couple of weeks ago, I finally had enough. I decided that this was it, and I was off. Luckily, having slaved for years in Silicon Valley affords me the luxury of not having to earn a proper living, at least not for another year or two.

I am giddy with excitement, a prospect of a new life. There are lots of changes at hand. I am very busy with work, transitioning my responsibilities -just because I quit didn't mean I could simply walk away. I am moving to a new place with a cool new kitchen, Viking range, Subzero fridge, the whole nine -no, ten- yards. If I am to make food -or food writing- my profession I need a better space to work. I am also taking off for a bit, spending a month and a half in Europe: London, Brittany, Barcelona, and Paris, of course. I will be spending all of May in Paris, in fact. There are some interesting things I want to do there for the blog, and I will also be taking some classes -this is certainly a good time to rescue my French from mediocrity. I have a few ideas for a book or two that I want to develop. I want to see if my writing is good enough to get into a paper or magazine. My head is spinning, trying to keep up with all the things I have to do, closing off my old life, starting anew.

But I am also petrified. I've always been the smart one, the cautious one. Too cautious to do anything rash, too smart to make a stupid decision, too in control to ever lose myself. Taking this kind of chance is just not me, or is it? I am not entirely sure.

All my life I've been blessed with resources I've done little to deserve. I was born with a good brain, given a gift of a fancy education, and been exposed to more fine things than one should aspire to, yet all I am is but a dilettante. I allow myself to become good enough, but never more, as though I am too afraid of what disappointment awaits if I really let myself try.

But now, now I am finally doing this. I am throwing myself into an enterprise about which I have but a scant idea, and at which I could end up a spectacular failure. Unless I go looking for my heart, I may never find it, this much I know. Sitting on a patch of grass, leaning on the guard rail, the vast, glimmering ocean in front of me, blissfully ignorant of the bustling world just behind, and this time I am really leaving it behind. I am letting myself fall, in love with the soft grass, the clear sky, the wind caressing my face, the pen in my hand. This is the year to follow my heart.

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