Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's Never Too Late To Do What You Love

I come from a family of scientists.

My dad is an electrical engineer.* My mom is a laboratory technician. My brothers didn't fall far from the tree, one being engineer and the other being a pharmacy tech preparing to start pharmacy school next year.

I am a biologist. A conservation biologist, to be exact. At least this is what I thought I wanted to do with my life while studying and taking data on various research projects for years (that, to the left, would be a Pisaster ochraceus consuming a mussel during my summer 2007 independent research). Since I graduated in December 2008, I've been traveling Asia, fumbling around with the idea of getting my act together and getting a real job.

I liked the idea of being a starving biologist, getting dirty in a jungle to save some habitat and never earning a cent; a poor nerd fighting the good fight. But the more I looked for a job, the clearer it became that this wasn't really my passion. After several months of sifting through the internet for biology internships, I realized one big thing: This is not what I want to do for the rest of my life.

That left the question open: What do I want to do with my life?

The one thing that I've done for nearly my entire existence that I've always derived joy out of is baking. Cakes, cookies, pies, scones (whole wheat white chocolate ones to your right)... You name it, I want to bake it, and it never really mattered if there was a legitimate or beneficial reason to. Once my family had exceeded the comfortable gastrointestinal capacity to consume at the rate I was baking, the bounty of my hobby spilled into the hands of friends, co-workers, friends of friends, and homeless people. This realization that I could possibly get paid for doing something I've been happily doing for free all along struck me as dreamy.

This idea is probably why people often end up working in jobs they don't really care for; they have financial needs and whatever they actually enjoy doing is too fanciful to believe in for legitimate employment. I'm here to smash that idea and by golly, reader, you're going to watch.

Part of my game plan to achieve my tag line is to bake something I've never baked before once or twice a week. This decade to complete success is a rough time estimate and of course there are other steps along the way in addition to experimenting in my own kitchen, but I figure a weekly program of my baking escapades will keep me inspired and keep you tuned in. You'll also see posts about industry people I've met, restaurants I'm applying to, interesting technique demos, and normal oven goodies sprinkled in.

Please keep reading and feel free to send me various tidbits pertaining to the art of pastry making.


X Melissa

*Or rather, he was an electrical engineer. Pops retired last month.

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