Already it has been two months since the new year rang its bell. I have not yet divulged all the luck I drew over the past year, I have not yet documented all the adventures that the past year brought.
Until June of last year, I was a devout personal recorder keeper. Last year began with high ambitions of art and writing. I was posting on Marigold every day- so much so that I had posts planned out for weeks, scheduled and ready roll out at a set time. I had recently rediscovered drawing- black ink highlighted with colored pencil- a very whimsical yet focused and symmetrical portrait of dancing lines.
I have not been the artist I was in the start of the 2016. I have not even begun to document all the dishes I have put out in the last 6 months- a personal goal that is greeted with a D- failing grade. It’s not that the resolution to Marigold wore thin, it’s that I found and focused on a large, all consuming professional project.
Marigold is not the only one who has experienced the profound drop-off in friendship, communication, sanity, support, and the charisma of the real me. I spent so much of the second half of the year at work that it took everything and everyone from me. I started a giant and lovely garden that I let die hot summer sun. I had to make appointments to see my roommate. I saw my boyfriend while he slept, and he kissed me goodbye while I snored. Hell, I even miss myself.
It’s been one hell of a year. I have two jobs, two homes, a boyfriend and roommate/bestie situation. Life lately has been bananas and so detail-oriented my brain feels like I am constantly holding a plasma globe.
Yet, these are small sacrifices for the amazing feats that 2016 brought to me personally. 16 has always been my lucky number. Ever since grade school, this auspicious number has been a good luck charm. For me, 2016 was a very lucky year.
January 2016 was greeted in South Africa. The year started with a trip to a country that I never thought I would actually experience. That feeling was a carry-over from 2015 when I rang in the new year in India. I never thought that I would be lucky enough to travel to either country- and yet within one year I got very nice introduction to two very different cultures.
I have spent everyday of the entire year utterly in love. Love is something that I never take for granted; it was not something that I was expecting to come to me. Love is very special, and I feel extremely lucky to have found it.
Last year I got a promotion. I got to be part of opening a brand new restaurant, and with that came the opportunity to run 2 pastry programs, simultaneously. Much against my constant fear of failure, the new pastry program has been going better than splendid. One might even call it a success. We sell a butt load of dessert, I have received all good reviews from Chicagoland critics. There has not yet been one flop. The dish that sold the least made it in the top 131 things the MIke Sula ate that year (number 45 the Argentinean Float).
I got nominated for rising pastry chef of the year award- local but still legit. As it turns out I did not win, but the nomination was very flattering. I went to the awards, I wore a lovely emerald green dress, and my whole family went to support me and my growing career.
I was on television twice. Local news- one was aired live, the other taped in one sitting. I said “ummm” too many times, but I felt confident, I felt comfortable being me, being taped, being in high definition.
I almost got to meet Obama. Seriously, he almost ate at one the restaurants. How cool is that?
January 2017, started in tears- shockingly. It was the chef’s dawn (9am) when I broke open my eyelids like two cold eggs- with a feeling of peril in my gut. I woke up with a profound sense of dismay- of having to start the year over again- to have to experience everything that has to happen, again. It’s a scary thought, to revisit the hardships and fears, the emotional roller coaster that was 2016. Yes there were many positives that came out of the year, but it was a very challenging year at the same time. It was worth it, but the thought of having to go through that process again, from the beginning, is terrifying.
I don’t want to have to face that caliber of a struggle again, even though I do. I create my own struggles and my own wars, because they are a necessary side affect of my accomplishments.
Maybe 2017 will be just as magical as last year, maybe it will get easier with time, maybe I will find my artistic voice again, maybe I will not be so afraid of failing, maybe I will have time to dance.