There's something strange about doing something nearly every day for four years and then just stopping. I was a writer. I loved it. I miss it. I identified with it to the very core of my being. Not only was I a writer, I was an advertising writer. I mean, as far as I was concerned, they are the jocks of the writing world, too cool for anyone else. Yes?
And then one day, I stopped. And by stopped, I mean, I was told to quit. (and by 'quit,' I mean fired) But I still had my hobby writing. There was a book. And a blog. And a tumblr. And Twitter.
Well, I still tweet. I guess there's that. 140 characters of randomness typically spewed about cake and all thing cake related- from frosting to crazy wedding coordinators. If you ever liked my words, it's best to seek me out there, as it's my last remaining front. It makes me a little misty eyed that the only place I still get to do something I once loved is in a place where the half-life of my work is about 4 seconds. Talk about impact.
I get to do something I love now, but it's very, very different. It's surrounded in stress, rolled in a giant stress burrito. I spend the majority of my days worrying. I worry about whether or not the lady who very vaguely ordered her cake was going to be ok with the shade of blue we used. I worry that we won't make enough money this week to pay my staff. I worry that I will forget something important. I worry that someone will bump the table where a wedding cake precariously sits and I will get THE CALL. (It happens, I've watched the video) I worry that someone will put a cake in the backseat of their car, destroy said cake then lie and tell me that I must have done something wrong and have to fix said cake disaster. (this happens more than you would think). I worry that I'm going to run out of the right size of boxes. I worry that somewhere someone will use social media to say bad things about me and my business. I worry that someone will think my cake is dry. I worry that the sink might explode. I worry that I'm freaking out too much and taking it out on others. I worry that I've made the wrong decision. But somewhere among all the worry and the stress, there's the joy of creating something beautiful- a delicious ephemeral work of art. And then I sleep. And I wake up and do it all again, hoping that I've made the right decision. That I've course corrected enough to prevent the problems. But all that does is introduce new worry. Worry and doubt that lives in my chest and gnaws at my stomach. Once a week I find myself burdened with a migraine. The stress becomes too much for my body to bear and it breaks. My doctor says that once a week is 'within the normal realm of having a migraine.' Obviously he's never debated using an ice-cream scoop to remove a portion of his brain. But that's neither here nor there.
And then I feel the ultimate guilt- I'm an educated white woman who owns her own business and has a husband who makes enough money to let her go play every day with no recourse for providing to the family income. I literally get to do whatever the fuck I want. And I've chosen cake and icing and celebrations and can't be happy. The irony of which is, I never get to actually attend these kinds of functions. I missed my nephews birthday because I was stuck at the bakery creating desserts so that others could celebrate. It wasn't the first time, it wasn't really the most important time, it was just the time that I realized the utter amusement of it all. And I don't know how to bring on a state of normal that I can handle and I don't know how to walk away from it all. But I must do one of the two. I can't afford to pay enough people to do all of the work and pay myself. But if I have fewer people, then there's too much to do in one week and I live here, an exhausted zombie of a person who perpetually smells like sugar.
And then I worry that I'm being too honest. That I'm too frank. That people don't want to hear what goes on behind the curtain. That Willy Wonka was a sugar-fueled mad man who was driven to perfection by his own sadness and loneliness.