Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2010 Holiday Season

I shut down this blog along with all my other personal blogs to try and get away from living in my own head. I've distanced myself from friends, family, and most other forms of social interaction because I preferred expressing my uninhibited thoughts to a faceless audience rather than live people who have a propensity to piss me off. A faceless audience can piss you off, too, though. The pitfalls of blogging, I'm told.

My Thanksgiving 2010 season was fantastic. I hit my quota and made a nice chunk of change. Of course, I didn't sleep for nights, lived off energy drinks, and wrecked my back in ways that will leave me in crippling pain for most of this winter. I was excited. I was debuting my new box labels with my logo. I also had my awesome new business cards to attach. The pie boxes were decorated beautifully with ribbons and scarecrows, along with the new labels I was jonesing to show off. They were received fantastically.

My new Wordpress site has increased in traffic since I put out my Thanksgiving Menu link and I get hits from all over the world. Very exciting stuff! I'm still not totally happy with the layout, the background, and a few other minor things, but I guess I just need to be grateful it's getting the job done and making my customers happy. I don't exactly have the extra capital to hire a pro. Who does these days?

Since my Thanksgiving success, I've been booked solid almost every night with dessert gigs and small catering gigs. It's exciting and I enjoy the reactions of the people when they bite into my food, but it's hard doing this by myself. I have not slept since 4:30am Saturday morning! My body is feeling abused and destroyed. My gray matter is turning into mush within my skull. My speech is slurred, and sometimes I'll zone out with my eyes wide open while people talk to me.

To be quite frank, as satisfied as I am doing a job well and making people happy with what I make; I still find myself looking for more. I'm not truly happy and I can't decide if it's my personal life, my business life, or just my entire life in general. In the middle of the night while rolling out my 8th pie crust, I find myself muttering that I just don't think I want to do this anymore. Is that wrong?

I feel like I'm betraying my business by entertaining these thoughts. I have wonderful customers who come back time and time again, with heartwarming compliments and encouragement. I have a mother who bends over backwards to help me when I can't help myself. Still, in all this positive energy, I still feel all alone when it's time to get things done and it's starting to break me.

Mentally, emotionally, and physically my business is growing faster than I can keep up with it. I feel like a mother who had a child too old, and is now too feeble to keep up with him in the park. I feel guilty, but most of all I feel lonely. I miss the partner I had in Joel who could skillfully take the reins when I started to stumble. Put Joel aside, I just miss having someone to back me up when I falter. Maybe I just miss another voice next to my ear reminding me I can do this when the voice in my head is screaming that I can't.

I'm hitting an all-time low at a time when my orders are coming in at an all-time high. I don't know what to do. I want to run, but I know I can't.

I got a solid favor this morning from someone who gave me a ride into work with my 5 bags of baked goods and massive cake. (He was paid for his services, but it's hard finding people like that in the middle of a work week.) With the lack of sleep, the pain in my back, I nearly started bawling like a baby because the last thing I wanted to do today was come into work, sneak off into an empty conference room to finish decorating the cake, and then set up for a party I could care less about. Mentally, I had hit a wall. Emotionally, I felt completely alone in my despair. Physically, my body was ready to die.

He rubbed my back for a minute, not really saying anything. What could he say? Doubled over, with my face buried in my hands, my head towards my knees, I swallowed back my tears, terrified of letting myself breakdown in front of this person. I tried my best to plaster on a cheery disposition. I failed. But I didn't cry. (There is no crying in the kitchen!...or on the car ride from the kitchen!)

I'm trying hard to find the enthusiasm I had a few months ago. Really hard. It's a fading target though, and my sight isn't getting any better...in the dark.

On top of that, my boss called me into a meeting that we never got to have today. No reason. Just an email that says- "See me ASAP". Why do they send notes like that? I guess this means I get to start worrying all over again tomorrow. Excuse me, I'm gonna go throw up again.


  1. And this is how I know you're a real artist, not because you can draw but because you can understand the pain of doing something you absolutely love, to the point at which it is actually killing you, and you don't know why you're still doing it, but you trudge on because you're a goddamn artist and you finish what you start.

    I think your art is harder than mine though. I will spend months animating something that will take a person seconds to watch, but at least it can be watched over and over. You work days (or weeks? I'm a horrible cook) on something that can be eaten in minutes and it can be enjoyed only once. Maybe twice with left overs.

    Every artist feels alone, stranded on an island only he or she understands, but they're not alone; they're interconnected by a big interwoven blanket thingy by all other artists who understand their plight. You're not alone. I don't even have to give you words of encouragement because you're a great chef and your food is delicious. You already know what you must do. Keep cooking!

    And your writing is wonderful! You should do more of that too.

  2. A culinary artist isn't the same as a sculptor or an animator, and that's the kind of art I WISH I could create. I'm envious of you guys! If I could really draw or sculpt the way talented artists do, my cakes would be sooo much more impressive!

    Thank for you writing this fantastic comment. I woke up last night at 3am in this awful state of "Hello, Wide Awake in the Middle of the Night. We meet again..." and I read this and it was so calming, I was able to get back to sleep again. That NEVER happens!

    Your island analogy describes it perfectly. And it is very comforting to know that other creative people feel the same way sometimes. My frustration lies in seeing something perfectly in my mind and lacking the right kind of talent to execute it properly.

    And thanks for the compliment on my writing...I didn't know anyway was reading this! lol