I spent much of my night last night, awake, reading a lot of your wonderful comments in the “I’m Back!” post below. Everyone was so sweet and I genuinely enjoyed reading everyone’s holidays stories and resolutions. Seriously, I laughed out loud at sooo many of them.
Then, already feeling a bit emotional, I stupidly went to one of my favorite sites to gather a ton of new recipes to add to my little desktop folders. And I will tell you why this makes sense…
The Pioneer Woman has one of my most favorite sites in the food world. I absolutely adore everything she makes, every flavor she uses, where she comes from, what she does. Her writing is funny, her recipes are easily laid out with some of the most beautiful photos I’ve ever seen — and she even devotes a section to teaching her readers how to take better photos of their food. She gets hundreds and hundreds of comments and still somehow has time to help every single person who asks for it. She has one book, another on the way, and a show on the Food Network. ALL WITH 4 KIDS AND DOGS AND A CATTLE RANCH TO TAKE CARE OF.
And it all started with her site and her personal love for food and cooking for her family.
She is just…thoughtful, smart, funny, and just plain awesome.
My point here is that…that woman, Ree Drummond, does it so, so well that every single time I go on her site, I, without fail, start feeling like a complete failure. I say, “what the hell am I doing, thinking I can be a part of this food world??”….eyes fill up with water as I question and doubt basically everything, ever.
I have no credibility. No schooling, no true knowledge in any one aspect of food. I am an expert in literally nothing. I just know I love to cook. I love to have people over, I love to laugh and make mistakes and drink wine while doing it. I love to travel, try new things, eat everything. That’s all I have. And while that sounds nice, I want to be knowledgeable…to gain the kind of respect from people that this pioneer woman has gained from me.
So as the sun came up, I found myself googling different food-world idols of mine, literally looking for any kind of career guidance. Paula, Ina, Padma, Giada…what the hell did they do to get to where they are? And I learned a lot. Giada, for instance, worked her ass off, going to culinary school in France and then working at restaurants all throughout Los Angeles, then was a food stylist at the Food Network. Now she, of course, has multiple books, a line of kitchen supplies, her own show, and sooooo much more.
But she is a true chef-chef. I know I don’t want to be a chef. I don’t want to run around like a crazy person, “on the line”. I would just crumble in seconds.
So then came Padma. Oh how I’d love to be Padma. Not much of a background in food apparently, but a strong passion for spices and food in general. She’s pretty much an expert in flavors and spices. Obsessed. With. Spices. Also speaks like, 5 languages, which probably helps….somehow….. Sheesh. I speak 1.4 languages…i wonder if that matters…i knew i should have taken more languages in school…or actually finished college and taken some language courses there…or better yet a freakin culinary school…yeah that woulda been smart since i loved it and all…why did i not go to culinary school again….
This is how I’ve been talking to myself lately.
Then I just had to stop. And think about where to start. And it is there that I am lost.
Culinary school means dropping everything. That’s scary. I’m never scared, really. Those “The Devil Inside” promos? I laugh during them. I fall asleep to dead bodies on Investigation Discovery nightly. Being called a model is pretty much all I know. No more modeling (which I don’t do much of anymore anyhow), which would mean no more Sports Illustrated that I ADORE, which means no more year-long endorsements and exposure that leads to fun tv spots that are the core of my work now. But will culinary school just teach me to work a real-life professional kitchen without true knowledge of the food I love? I don’t want that. But I do want to learn from the beginning.
Then what do I even want to specialize in? Everyone in the food world has their “thing”. Ina and Paula make me think comfort food, Paula’s with a bit more of a southern touch (of butter). Giada has Italian, obviously. And then there’s that damned Padma with her spices again. What would mine be? Bacon? Can you make a career off of loving bacon, garlic and onion? I love eating low carb, but it ain’t too much fun makin’ it. I am not a big sweets person. I do love dinner parties and serving others though….I love feeding people and making them happy. I love traveling and trying everything. I……LJDGLKDJSGLKADFHGF;KLHF;HK.
But if I did have a show, do I need to start having my own collection of Chrissy recipes? Recipes I’ve created? I am so proud when I do a dish entirely on my own, but it’s a lot harder than it seems, being that I can be pretty insecure while writing them, as I have no background whatsoever in food. DO I EVEN LOVE FOOD?? Should I just end up being one of those entertainment show correspondents, begging actual talented people for interviews as they run past me to an actual more-talented interviewer??
AM I DOOMED TO BE A REAL HOUSEWIFE?? Okay let’s face it, I’d love that — in 20 years.
Such is life after modeling. MANY great ones go on to act, host, work with wonderful philanthropic groups, have thriving careers in something they love. But many more of us end up going on to be wives with a jewelry-making side project (no offense, I would do it too if I had the patience and creativity and I wasn’t so loud and fun and awesome). Modeling is something I was never 100% interested in doing in the first place. I always have so much more fun with the goofy side of it, the camera part, the fun with the girls. The traveling. All of the behind-the-scenes people that are now some of my best and closest friends.
I feel, right now, like I did when I was 20 years old. Really anxious and nervous and hopeful and excited, but no idea what to do. And I am feeling like I’m wasting time.
I feel like I want to grab cooking by the balls but I’m one of those weirdos on TLC’s “Virgin Diaries” . I have no idea how to grab the balls correctly.
I guess this whole post is just therapy for me. More thinking out loud. And if you’re new, this isn’t the first time I’ve done this, you poor things. I hope it doesn’t come off as anything more than just a currently-insecure and career-confused girl, rambling. No complaining…no compliment fishing…no bragging…just thinking. Maybe you have a similar situation with life?
Did you seriously read all this? I kind of feel bad for you. I’ll make it up to you tonight. Ew not like that! With recipes, silly.
Well, you did get learn about my love for the pioneer woman, so it wasn’t a total loss for you : )
Visit her site here…..there is NO way you are crazy enough to get as sad by it as I usually do. She is amazing.
The Pioneer Woman
And no, I am not on my period.