new morning, or The Life.

life is full of promise.

every day, from the moment we are born, we are bombarded with (permit me), the “promise” premise. from “coming-of-age” movies to the thousands of self-improvement books and tv shows, we are told that life is a path to glory. all we have to do is imagine our life in the right way and all our dreams will come true.

almost 6 years ago, i started making dinner for my family. as a life-long “picky eater”, they probably were just in shock, but encouraged me.

i tried the basics, and some other things. i discovered the wonders of risotto.

after a lot of “you should go to culinary school”s from my friends and a lot of push from my family, i moved to vancouver in 2007.

5 years, and 6 jobs later, i’m still in it.

in fact, “THE LIFE” has a grip on my life so hard it’s almost impossible to shake.

you have to have a bit of brain/body separation to survive the madness. how else could I? from my experience., a lot of the people I serve know as much about food as your family pet.

The world is filled with people who glorify kitchens as some kind of magical battle arena where there are no deaths, just delicious feasts.

In reality, it’s dramatic, painful, and bores a stress filled balloon the size of Michigan inside your skull. It’s a good thing there are many positive aspects.

But in the end it’s still just a job.

To all my friends and colleagues in The Life: it is The Life and we all love it, i think. But we all need something else. I truly believe that to express yourself in one way helps you to express yourself in another.

Imagine two puzzle pieces, floating in that huge plastic mess the size of Texas in the ocean. Their interconnecting slots are almost the same, but just different enough that they will never meet.

Every day you wake up with those puzzle pieces sitting inside your head, and most days you let them stay apart because you know, you have a full-body headache from that “brutal shift” last night, and you gotta have at least 3 cups of coffee and a shower before work otherwise there is No Way you will be functional in time for your 3 o’clock shift.

So then another day passes.

You finish work, have a beer or three, get home from work dead tired because this and that and so many covers and don’t forget about that goddamned pot that almost broke your arm off (or felt like it was about to, anyway).

Watch an episode of television, barely able to focus, and crawl into bed because you know you probably should.

You wake up again the next morning (or afternoon), those two pieces quietly nagging you from miles away. But this time, do you ignore them, or let another day pass?

All they need is a minor alteration, and will forever be locked in harmony.

But this time, all you need is to put those pieces together.

Listening: Mister Critical – Funky Coffee mixtape.

~ by getbackwards on March 2, 2012.

One Response to “new morning, or The Life.”

  1. Cooking, as much as many other trade, is at it’s base a life skill. If you drive a car, you should have at least a basic understanding of some of the mechanical aspects. Oil level, tire pressure. If you own a house, you should know how to change a washer in a tap, know where the breaker box is, the water shut off, etc.

    When you cross that line, and try and make these basic life skills your career, the truly successful ones jump in head first, and make it a lifestyle choice. The skills you learn as a carpenter or mechanic become part of you, deeply transferable skills that you carry around with you at all times – same with being a cook.

    People who work in the mall selling shoes or luggage or behind the desk at your dentist office usually have other things that interest them, which is good because those types of jobs don’t often come with skills that become part of you. You can go to your friends house and cook dinner, your plumber friend can lend a hand fixing your toilet, but what can the shoe salesman do?

    These sorts of trades are portable, which is why they can easily become engulfing. You can’t leave those skills at the door even if you tried.

    Good cooks are very often obsessive by nature – they will do laps in the kitchen instead of walking back and forth just to get a more complete sense of what’s going on around them. They will develop highly efficient routines that must be adhered to for everyone’s sake. They will insist that each insert be wrapped just so, because it meets obsessive expectations. They will keep their work area fastidiously clean, because nothing else will do.

    Surely you’ve noticed by now that lots of cooks, especially the good ones, are social retards and adrenaline junkies who express themselves through food and other forms of artistic expression – namely, music. They live and breathe the stuff.

    it’s important to look at the OCD tendencies many of us have as coping mechanisms, a way to keep a lid on what surely would become chaos if your towels weren’t folded just the right way, or if your shelf was somehow askew. Above all, this obsessive trait is what keeps the machine from rolling right over top of you.

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