There was a time in my life where I honestly thought I would become this world renowned chef, that I would own this pile of five star restaurants, all over the world, the cuisines ranging through the many many facets that the industry holds, that the world holds for that matter. Lord knows over the vast array and ridiculous amount of different cultures and cuisines I have seen over the years in the business, one would think to themselves, "well hell, there really is no reason this could not become reality." It has not. Truthfully, now- that desire has all but dried up for me.
Sure I do still work in the business, yet I no longer possess the same passion for such as I once held. I suppose it could still happen yet now if that were to be the case it would undoubtedly be from a business perspective alone and nothing more. No way at this point it would be driven by that same passion I mentioned. Fortunate or unfortunate that is my reality. In the world of today it is just not possible to survive on one's passion alone. The tendency to become bankrupt in a short period of time is just too great. So the question does nag at me, "So what now?"
The hospitality industry has been a part of my life for thirty years. I don't want to do this anymore, there are many reasons as to why this has become so. Honestly the list is freakin' endless yet so are the reasons to stay in the business. Now though it's for the paycheque and that alone that I continue. I still enjoy the work and the people especially. Diverse would be a gross understatement. My main issue is in the physicality of the profession. I'm getting older and my body just does not have the same resilience for the work as it once did. Plus, being in recovery, I no longer have the luxury of masking that pain either. It is real and it hurts. Subduing the pain- both emotional and physical by the way, is no longer an option. So again-what now?
Sure I have written two books. Yes they are selling and there are more books in the works-absolutely. A friend asked me the other day-point blank- do you believe you could make a comfortable living from this whole writing thing? Of course after pondering the query for a few moments (I did think about it for a very short time) I am not an idiot and my answer was a resounding- NO! At least not at this point anyway. This is a tough game, a really tough game. So does this mean I couldn't thrive from this in the future? Again the answer would be no. I could, but do I want to make such a drastic change in my later years in life is now the quandary.
So I guess the question now would have to be, "which is the lesser of the two evils?"
I would certainly love to just throw in the towel with the entire food-service thing, just say enough is enough and simply move on. If only it was that easy. It's not that I consider either profession 'evil', I do not. They certainly both have their own pluses and both their own minuses- no doubt.
Now that my decision has all but been made, moving back to Victoria in the new year, what shall I do when I get there is now the big conundrum. Sure it would be nice to just take six months off and think about it for an extended period of time but as with most people I do not really have that luxury. More than likely I shall return to kitchens simply because it is safe (mostly, depending on the kitchen that is). I will continue to write if only for the therapeutic value of such, but it has become so much more than that. School is also in the cards, so it's not as if I won't be busy, or even busier than I have become here in this wonderful place that has been my home for way to long.
The options really do outweigh my past alternatives. That of waking each and every day wondering where in the hell I shall acquire enough money to get myself completely blotto by day's end. No longer an option for me, although as an alternative I understand that possibility is ever present in the back of my mind. One of the reasons I have not made this move to this point is it was a scary proposition for me to return. The memories I have were not good ones initially. They kinda sucked truthfully.
As my counselor has said to me, this is the start of the next chapter in your life. This is when you can choose where that life will now head. You can do whatever you put your mind too.
"Destiny is at your doorstep......"
She didn't actually say that last line, I just made that up, but it sounds promising no? She's my counselor after all, not my personal guru or maharaji (apparently that's not how that is spelled) maharaja, that's it- which is an Indian Prince, so I don't even see how in the hell that has any relevance on the subject at hand to begin with....yet I digress.
In reality, whatever I wish to do, within the parameters of this entire recovery business, is entirely up to me. After all is said and done, it really is my destiny. A new city, a new set of circumstance, a new home for all intents and purposes, time to make some new memories, but properly this time.