Thank yous are an order to the magazine world, publishing world, e-zine world, and online blog world. Planets in which I was trained to live and believed that I would do so for decades. Thank you to the entire editorial universe for unanimously rejecting me.
When I entered the professional publishing world, it was suffering and struggling to breathe. Still, while I knew all of this, I had that millennial sense of entitlement or just a naive perspective that I would have a long career in writing for reasons adding to little more than I wanted it, studied it, and had degrees in it. When the magazine in which I invested more than seven years, let me go, I thought that I was a one-trick pony with one path: writing and editing.
For what seemed like an eternity, I applied, interviewed, and was told that every employer has “decided to go with another candidate.” Bubble dreams popped, the prospect of a future in writing began to fade.
I am 29, on the eve of my 30th birthday, facing something that I never thought would happen: I am ready to abandon everything that I planned on always having.
How did I handle this reality bitch-slap? I considered my options, what I love. I love rabbits, but it’s hard to turn animal cuddling into a job. Need to be more realistic.
What else? FOOD! I love food. Culinary school is nearly always necessary to become a savory chef, unless you start washing dishes when you’re 15 so maybe you can be a line cook by the time you’re my age.
Baking! That’s it! For years, and even more so recently, I have whipped up more than 100 cookies alongside full-size and miniature pies for single holidays and events! I don’t have the training, so I investigated culinary school for baking, as well. Oh, it’s $38,000+? That won’t work because a)The magazine publishing world didn’t pay me enough to just have that kind of money tucked away. b)I’m not currently working a well-paying gig. And c)Moving to the city in your mid-20s = years of bad financial decisions.
It’s ok! I applied to fewer than a handful of jobs, and one of them has decided to take a chance on the hobbyist baker who is used to mass producing cookies in a tiny kitchen on the top floor of a walk-up in Astoria, Queens.
That is right. Even though I didn’t get to go to culinary school and actually learn the French baking techniques, I got a job as a pastry cook based on my home-learned kitchen skills (aided by way too much Food Network) and my passion for soul-satisfying, heart-warming, and memory-making sweets.
What started with one cherry cobbler 12 years ago, has led me to finding a new career path when I least expected it.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too old, too young, too inexperienced, or too weak to do something new. All of the doors in the editorial house shut on me, but all I had to do was take a chance on journeying over to the house of baking and sweet culinary adventures, and sure enough, the door was open! If love is what is guiding you, chances are, you will find great opportunities.