There was this chef my junior year of pastry school that would every so often pull out my friends and fellow classmates to tell them that they didn’t belong in this profession, they were not meant to be pastry chefs. I struggled in his class, the stress got to me and I was always waiting for him to say- “Allie Dow, you are not meant to be a pastry chef, you don’t have what it takes”. But it never came. And sometimes I wish it would because then the stress would be gone, but I was really happy to have the assurance that I was better than I thought. Getting my advanced degree in pastry arts was all part of the plan, my big life plan.
I was 15, and sitting in gym class watching a tape on proper swimming practices when I decided to write out my long-term life plan. I’m not a detail person or a planning type, I’m the big picture kind where I can see what I want in the future, but I don’t always know the details to how I will get there. So there I was with my trapper keeper open, writing out a list that went like this:
1. Go to school to become a pastry chef
2. Go to library school as a backup
3. Be a food writer (I once told the cutest boy in school [the football captain who called me iMac, because I was as smart as an apple computer] that this was my lifelong goal to impress him. He wasn’t impressed.)
4. Become rich- naturally
5. Live in a big city where I can have an indoor swimming pool.
6. Prove everyone that doubted me wrong!
7. Meet man of dreams (which at the time was Rider Strong of Boy Meets World), travel a lot, have a small wedding, eventual children
8. Make a difference in life.
9. Keep learning, laughing and living (seriously that was the end of my plan).
Now there were 10 parts of the plan, but the other one as I recall, not only did I meet but is not worth putting up here for you all to see. You can imagine, I was 15, I had to be somewhat silly.
Overall, I never veered from this plan; I’ve doubted it, tried to change it, but I knew myself then just as much as I do now. At 15, I was writing food critiques for school papers, and dreaming of big things while also working in the library. My life in that essence has always made sense, unlike that nursery rhyme about the cow jumping over the moon. No cow can jump over the moon, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve taken it to mean something else. I am that cow (not in a self-insulting way) jumping over the moon, impossibly determined to live among the stars. Impossible things happen all the time, whimsically yet amazingly. I graduate next weekend and I’m moving to the big city. Already three (four) parts of my plan have been met.
P.S. If you wrote out a list of things to do in your life, how many have you met?
P.S.S. That was me way back, I feel so old and different looking at it. Therefore, to be vain, I put a newer one up. Bahahaha.