“I have a dream, a fantasy
To help me through reality
And my destination makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness, still another mile…”
If I had to choose one theme song that would define the last year of my life, this would be it. I’d never actually thought about it and I definitely did not stand up on my desk in my cubicle at work to spontaneously burst into song (that happens only in Abba musicals). But I recently found myself quietly humming this to myself on a quiet street as I waited to meet some new friends. I stopped and looked around and quickly drew in a deep breath as I realized that I was finally living my dream – I was in Paris! Not as a tourist, not on a short layover as I traveled for work, but as a bona fide resident.
This post has taken me a long time to write – literally and metaphorically speaking. Usually when I conceptualize a post, it begins with some research, then comes the actual implementation and finally the finishing touches. Rarely does a post have me changing the course of my life (which is hyperbolic but true nevertheless). A year ago, I was sitting in an office in front of a computer screen analyzing business requirement flows, while actually wanting to be in my kitchen as I day-dreamed of the next confection I wanted to create. I baked for family, for friends, for people at work and only smiled as they joked about me changing my profession. But there comes a point in time when you really have to take a good hard look at your life and decide if it is the one you want.
Someone once told me that life is a matter of choices. If you want to live, choose. And so I did. I applied to ESCF Ferrandi, the French School of Culinary Arts that I had been cyber-stalking for the past 3 years. I sent in my application and waited with bated breath until 4 months later I received an email with those magic words “We are pleased to inform you…” I had been lucky enough to be accepted into a small group of 24 students, who would be learning the art of pastry and bread baking for the next one year. I informed my bosses and colleagues that I was leaving and to my great surprise, they could not be more excited or supportive.
I held the news close to my heart, because when you’ve wanted something for so long, you can’t help but be superstitious about it. It took some time for the news to sink in as I swung between pure elation and utter panic at what I was doing. But here I am – writing this post from my apartment in Paris. This is my life, right here, right now. And I intend to savor every minute of it.