If you had told me when I was younger that later in life I would find myself living in a small town just north of where I grew up, that I would be exceptionally fond of baking bread and writing about food, I might have screwed up my face in a doubtful grimace and told you flat out that you were wrong.
When sixteen I would have told you that I would be living in a modern steel building that scraped the sky of New York City, hair cropped and coiffed, and drinking something that reeked of sophistication.
When twenty I would have told you that I would be living in L.A., working in a recording studio producing some of the best music to ever hit CD.
When twenty-five I would have told you that I’d be living in Oxford, writing textbooks and teaching first-years contemporary political theory in a way that made them enjoy it.
A year and a half ago I wouldn’t have known what to tell you. I felt pulled in so many directions and void of inspiration.
I’m hardwired to be a life architect. I find stability and comfort in planning for my future, despite knowing now that nothing ever goes according to plan; our life paths are often chosen by others by the way in which they influence our lives and inspire our minds, both directly and indirectly. Knowing someone doing something amazing can give you the confidence to want to do something amazing too.
A year and a half ago I was looking for such inspiration and confidence. I was looking for people doing amazing things.
I remember one day in particular. It was a frigid, cheerless February day. It was dark as I shuffled downtown, feeling aimless and ordinary. The local bookstore window gave off a kind warm glow, inviting me to linger and scan the books on display. My eyes fixed on a magazine I’d never seen before, a magazine that held so much promise that I went in and bought it, choking down the price tag that seemed lodged in my throat.
But the pages were full of people doing things they loved–things they thought were amazing. And that’s why I remember that day.
If you had told me then that a year and a half into the future a small piece of my story and my very own curried carrot tart would be featured in that magazine, I might have screwed up my face in a doubtful grimace and told you flat out that you were wrong.
But it happened.
And that’s pretty inspiring.
Who knows what will happen next?