Making It Official…..

I am going to keep this short and sweet.  After some soul-searching and some really hard thinking, I have decided to withdraw from the Culinary Institute of America.  Over the last few months, I struggled to find my niche at the school and the greater surrounding community.  The CIA possess an abundance of opportunities for its students and provides a level of hands-on education that many of classmates found enthralling.

I did not.

However, my time at the school is one I will treasure less for the education and more for the amazing students who I was surrounded with every day.  If anyone is curious where tomorrow’s culinary leaders are being made, take a trip to St. Helena, CA and talk to some of my classmates.  I respect their passion and their drive. I envy their focus and determination and wish I could bottle and drink it myself.

What is next for me? A little down time to lick my wounds, recenter my focus and then get back on the saddle to see what is out there. The Partner has been fantastic in all of this and has been a bedrock of support.  Aside from being cute, he is amazingly wise. As I lamented to him on feeling like a failure because I was considering leaving school, he said “You are not a failure. School isn’t always  learning about what you like. It is also learning about what you don’t like, what your limits are and what is important to you as a whole. Sometimes school isn’t about learning the skill, but about getting to know yourself.” Deep stuff huh?

So with that, I am closing the door on one thing and seeing what lies behind the next. Just like 2010 was full of surprises, 2011 appears to be just as packed full of twists and turns.

18 thoughts on “Making It Official…..

  1. Dear Courtney you are a brave soul. Good for you: for taking a risk, checking it out, discovering it’s not for you, and having the strength to make your exit, with grace and pride. On to other passions! Thinking about you guys. xo

  2. Your Partner is right: school often leads to unintentional education. It takes courage to recognize your need to pursue a different course. That’s not failure; it’s a demonstration of self-awareness and strength.

    Best of luck in whatever comes in 2011, Courtney. We all wish you well, and will support you as best we can, on whatever path you choose to follow!!

  3. I’m very happy for you. I had some moments like that: one in college deciding to drop a really hard math class that I was “sure I would need” for grad school…
    And the second was deciding to leave grad school with a MS instead of a Phd. Both were very liberating decisions and I am very happy I made them.
    Do something to “celebrate” and de-stress. Have a massage, or paint something! :-p

  4. It is better to have tried and to decide that it was not for you than to always wonder if you took the wrong path… Like I previously shared with you, my journey has taken me down all kinds of roads and I have learned from all of them. It will be exciting to see what’s around ‘your corner’!

    • Exactly Shannon. That is why I asked about your journey. I am finding more and more than few people led their life on the straight and narrow. After so many years of having friends from Stanford who knew at 18 they wanted to be I-bankers and did just that, I am finding that my path just isn’t so defined. Thank you for the support….

  5. I really like your post and think you are brave and courageous! You will know if/when something is a good ‘fit’–pick your road and don’t look back. I wish you the best of luck!

  6. Pingback: Decide…and Conquer | The Writer Nubbin

  7. Just found your blog via a comment on mine! I can’t tell you how many times one door has closed only to see another better one open…it’s all good! And loving your coffee filter wreath, couldn’t tell what that gorgeous white material was until I read the post. Really?! Janell

  8. Pingback: Ring Around the Coffee Filter….. « Living Life Out Loud

  9. Paul and I are very proud of you for stepping far outside your comfort zone, and we are especially proud of Walter for supporting you while you make such difficult decisions.

    Like you, I never found my “path” at Stanford. I was forced to look for it after moving to Sonoma County. I’m confident that you’ll find a passion that you can turn into a living.

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