…Been thinking a lot lately (since 2002, to be exact) about what I want to DO with my life, what my “Second Act” will be. I spent the first part of my working life in the restaurant industry which was hard and fun and wonderful and difficult, but dynamic. I chose my major at college because it sounded interesting, and Anthropology IS interesting. I just didn’t consider what I would do with it as a profession. As it became clear that I wasn’t interested in pursuing an advanced degree, I turned to the restaurant industry, which was a good choice at the time. Business was booming and I was a foodie in San Francisco in the 90’s…which was a really exciting time. I met so many people that were into food and we talked and learned about it constantly. We ate and drank like kings and queens at beautiful spaces and places. Great time! But 10 years in that industry can wear a person down, and I do believe that restaurant/hotel work is “young people work”…and it certainly isn’t the best kind of work if you want to have a family. People do it all the time, but it is taxing, and you pay with your blood. So, since our son was born in 2002, I have been wondering: what am I going to do? I mean this in the serious way, the planning way. I wanted to make a life in food, but I didn’t know how to do it and not work nights and weekends and holidays. Since my husband is also a chef and the lead moneymaker in our family, I needed to be able to work a more family friendly schedule. So I have had jobs over the past 10 years that allow me to be a flexible parent, using a combination of my food knowledge, anthropology background, and administrative skills. I have been an office manager for a financial services company and in a wine brokerage firm; I have been a Quality Control Manager for a commercial bakery, I have free-lanced at bakeries and hotels, made and sold jewelry, and was a sales administrative assistant for 2 hotels. These jobs have helped us pay our bills, and the best job yet was the bakery job because it used so many of my skills and gifts – it was there I felt most engaged. (And tasting pastries daily as part of my job was damn cool.) Still, none of these have filled this need I have for doing more substantial work.
A ton of choices, how to choose?
Here’s what I have been doing to get some clarity on my next steps:
“Flirting” with my interests
Trusting that the answers will come if I give myself a little grace. Here is where I am, right now, and it is as good a place as any to be.