After I returned from my year abroad during my senior year of high school, I went straight to college. I had everything planned out; I was going to be a French teacher, graduate from a 4 year college and share my love of the French language and culture. Well little did I know this is not what would happen. I realized teaching high school French was not for me and changed my major at least two more times.
In 2006 life got the best of me and I dropped out of college, not too far off from my degree. I threw myself into my job and pushed going back to school to the very edges of my thoughts. I was a server at a local BBQ joint and over the next several years created lasting relationships that will shape my working self into the person I am today.
In 2012 that company came to an end and I landed a job at a restaurant known for their vast beer selection. It was here; for some reason I cannot remember, that I started baking at home and experimenting with desserts (I think the chefs in the kitchen inspired me to try my hand at it). I would bring my creations into work and my co-workers would love them. The idea of opening my own bakery became a topic of conversation and that idea morphed into me going back to school for business, but I wanted to find a pastry program. I wanted people to take me seriously when I started to open my own bakery. I did not want to be some person who, just because she worked in food service for years thought she could open her own place. So I applied to the Columbus State Community Program in 2012.
For the first year I took business classes at a satellite campus near where I was living. I was struggling with this program and course load and felt like I was loosing my passion so I scheduled a meeting with an advisor. This is where I learned about the baking and pastry program, but I would have to transfer to main campus for that, which I was totally fine with! I was already driving 30 to 40 minutes for work, I was living by myself in a small apartment, my best friend lived close to where I worked and I wasn’t feeling at home any more.
I scheduled a meeting with Chef K to talk about the program and see if I can transfer into it. I had heard Chef K was tough and didn’t take any crap so I was nervous with my first class with her as my instructor. I was also beyond excited to jump in feet first and see what I learn. I soaked everything up, taking the full course load and working full time, and eventually looking for a new job. These 3 years were certainly crazy and I had to say “no” to a lot of things, which really bummed me out. But I knew this was only temporary and when it was all said and done I would be able to do the things I wanted.
Going back to school for my passion was one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself and myself only. It opened doors and created paths I didn’t think were possible. It allowed me experience I needed to be where I am at today, exploring the idea of going into business for myself and being comfortable with that. Another one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself and myself only has been to be an exchange student and to be placed in the tiny little town of Garches, 25 minutes (by train) to the west of Paris. It’ so interesting how the decisions we make in a moment shape and form who we become years later. Because of these decisions, I am fluid in French, I have met the man of my dreams, I am moving to a city and a country where I truly feel at home, and I’m starting a new chapter all because I took a chance on me.
So, do that thing you’ve wanted to do, take a leap of faith, get messy and put yourself first. It is totally worth it. Where you are at now is shaping you into the most amazing you in the future.