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.