Happy holidays! Can you believe it's already "that time of year" again?
About a month prior to my move to LA, I decided to "start fresh" and create a brand new, California-centric blog called Beverly Hills Bites (as opposed to writing about my new West Coast adventures on my East Coast-born/raised website, The Lunch Belle). In hindsight, this wasn't the best idea (leaving The Lunch Belle in limbo), as I had spent 7+ years building the site from scratch. Literally! Not to mention the email addresses, business cards, contacts, etc. associated with the name. It wasn't until a friend of mine asked why I would "just throw all of that hard work away and start something new" that I decided to revert back to solely writing on The Lunch Belle. Plus, with the exception of a handful of LA event/restaurant pitches, I continued to be contacted by NYC public relations agencies and restaurateurs on a daily basis.
For the past 1.5 years (time that I've been in LA), I have struggled with content - especially Los Angeles-related content. Blame it on my homesickness for NYC, or being underwhelmed/unstimulated/uninspired in LA - or a mix of both. Honestly, it wasn't until very recently that I began working with and showcasing NYC contributors to fill the void and keep my site and content somewhat fresh. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I have to be in a very specific mood/mindset to write - even something as simple as a recipe! And, while I consider myself to be a generally happy person, I have felt completely lost. So, you can understand why my writing has slowly dwindled; hell, I'm lucky if I can publish even one post/week (that would be a very good week, by the way)!
In terms of being surrounded by great friends and family, I am blessed with an amazing - and quite large - group of people in my life. I have a roof over my head and all of the "things" that anyone could ever want/need. I am fully aware of how lucky I am! The big issue that I've been struggling with is my career. While the financial services industry has been very good to me, there just really isn't much any room for growth in my role (Executive Assistant) in terms of moving to a different/higher position within the bank/institution. I have felt completely trapped and pigeon-holed for such a long time (for the better half of 10-years, to be exact), and I kind of feel like I've overstayed my welcome. I have slowly become that angry, bitter employee with a fuse about as tiny as a fruit fly.
Things came to a head last month with an amalgamation of crap. After having a conversation with my family who, quite literally, talked me off of a ledge, my sister chimed in with, "Dude, why don't you go to culinary school?" She was right. Learning how to cook in a professional kitchen was the missing link in my culinary education. After all, I graduated from college with a BS in Restaurant/Hotel/Institutional Management and spent a year in the NYU Food Studies Program (until I dropped out to move to LA), so I had the "classroom portion" down.
And so...Beginning on February 10th, I will be a full-time culinary student in the heart of my beloved Manhattan (I am so excited that I can hardly breathe)! While I don't have an immediate response to "What do you want to do when you graduate?", I do know that this is the best decision I've made in a very long time. The unknown is both scary and exciting but, this time, it just feels right.
In the last few weeks, I have enthusiastically shared my news with friends and family - gave notice to my apartment's leasing company - quit my job - secured a sublet from one of my best friends - lined up a few internships - and booked a one way ticket to New York City for me and my pup. Oh, and that thing I said about having to be in a specific mindset to write? I have a feeling that you'll be seeing (read: reading) much more of me!
In closing, I'd like to wish you and yours an incredibly healthy and happy holiday season and New Year! I, for one, cannot wait to see all that 2016 has in store!
Until we eat again,
The Lunch Belle