A few years ago, I think maybe in college, I sat down with my husband, Matt (then boyfriend), and said, “I am a waste of space. I have no talents, no real hobbies… I’m directionless.”
It was a recurring thought I had. So many of my friends can play instruments, sing, write, act, play sports… I liked to do a lot of things, but I felt mediocre at all of them. Once I got to the real world, I was good at my job, but being good at numbers and finance didn’t exactly make me feel like an interesting person. Who wants to talk about leverage multiples at a party? Exactly.
And then somewhere along the line, I found the kitchen, or it found me. It was a place that always made me feel comfortable and at home, a place that I always wanted to be. Growing up, my mom spent hours there. Cooking dinners, baking cookies, making snacks, baking cakes, packing lunches, and baking some more. I’d join her just to talk or even to lend a hand. It was a natural place to be. Send me to anyone’s house for dinner and I immediately find myself immersed in their kitchen with them. I’m just drawn there.
Even when I worked 100-hour weeks as an investment banker, I’d find time to bake and entertain. When my husband ran his first half marathon I made his favorite yellow cake with chocolate icing (which may or may not have been from a box mix at the time). When New Years Eve came around, the dessert menu included truffles, cookies, brownies and more. You may not want to mention the Halloween party where I prepped desserts ahead of time but had to work all that day and Matt got stuck cutting the crudite for the party. Apparently if you don’t want to eat vegetables, you also don’t want to cut them.
My subsequent finance-related job required less hours which meant more time to bake. We hosted Thanksgiving Dinners with our friends where the dessert table was my main focus. How many people were coming? Well that is how many different desserts I would make.
Then, a couple of years ago, my free time opened up. I was looking for a passion again. I saw that my career path wasn’t for me long-term but I had no idea what I really wanted to do. The moment that I am most thankful for is the moment that my sister convinced me that what I needed to do was start a blog. She said I should share my baking and creativity with more than just my friends and family. She said that would help me figure out what I was looking for.
And that was the turning point. My world has come a long way from my first few recipe posts (yikes!). Blogging challenged me to try new things in the kitchen and make my desserts not only taste good, but look good too. I became even more discriminatory in the desserts I would make and the desserts I would eat. There is a whole world of cookbooks, bloggers and cooking shows with magnificent recipes, but you have to know how to weed through the bad ones. I learned to navigate that even better.
So a few months ago, when I was becoming unsatisfied on a professional level, I started to put more effort and passion into baking and into my blog. I met some people that had made careers out of their passions and inspired me. I found myself writing a business plan and thinking about ideas that had been pipe-dreams in the past. Dessert parties. Cookie gift boxes. Catering. All of these ideas whirled around my head in a scary but exciting way. I spent hours analyzing the pros and cons, the risks, the potential unending hours and all the pressure that could come with opening up my own business. There were hours and hours in the kitchen testing recipes, over-salting cookies, throwing away brownies and eating way too many baked goods. If I was going to do this, I was going to do this right.
So here I am, today. And the news that I’ve been wanting to share but keeping secret for what feels like forever is out. I’m scared and overwhelmed, excited, happy and anxious all at the same time. Today I’m telling you that I’m leaving my current job, the career that I went to school for, what I’ve been doing for the last 5 1/2 years, and I am going for it. I’m opening up Keep It Sweet Desserts, a place that will cater dessert parties and ship baked goods as gifts. We will make party favors and cater the sweetest part of your event. I’m living a dream I didn’t know I had.
A few weeks ago, in the midst of planning for Keep It Sweet Desserts, working my current job and running the blog, I had one of my many meltdowns. The roller coaster of emotions that I’ve gone through over the last couple of months can not be explained. But Matt turned to me and he said, “Remember when you didn’t think you were good at anything? Well guess what. You found it. You found your talent, your passion and not only are you able to enjoy it, but now you are going to make it your job. Look at that!”
In the current whirlwind of emotions I need to thank all of you. The comments, the tweets, the facebook messages, the emails, all of it has helped me have the confidence I needed to take this step. To other bloggers out there who have made career changes, written cookbooks or just balanced everything in a seemingly perfect way, you have inspired me. And to my friends and family who have put up with my absence or complaints over the last few months, your support has meant the world to me.
So I hope you follow me on this journey and keep reading. The blog won’t go anywhere, (well, it will move onto a new site when the Keep It Sweet Desserts website is up) and I’ll still be developing, blogging and sharing recipes as much as before.