When I was a kid, before we had cable or the Food Network, I would spend hours watching cooking shows on PBS. These shows were hardly optimized for their entertainment value but I LOVED them. I loved learning the difference between a slurry and a roux, carefully watching them dice and mince, and creating beautiful, elaborate, and delicious (looking) meals.
I would often kick my family out of the kitchen so I could “surprise” them, then I would scour for ingredients and put together whatever I could. There was a period of time in which I was only allowed to use the microwave, but I didn’t let that stop me. Eventually I was deemed capable of using the stove and my excitement expanded.
As I entered my teenage years, I still watched my cooking shows (this time on the Food Network), but I stopped cooking. At this point in my life I was more concerned with my Weight Watchers points than actually creating for fun and as a form of self-expression.
I dropped my dream of going to culinary school and instead went to business school. That seemed more “practical” and a better plan for the future.
The only cooking that happened during college was 2am egg sandwiches in which I impressed everyone with my ability to flip an egg with the subtle flick of the wrist. Watch enough chefs on TV do that and you, too, can impress your friends!
A moment happened shortly after graduating college where I realized I had very little passions, hobbies, or interests. Also as this point, the 2am eggs sandwiches caught up with me and I was feeling sluggish and dispirited.
While I was on the course the world told me I “should” be on, I had veered so far off my own course.
Who am I? What do I even care about? Why am I not happy following the “path” laid out for me?
I decided to focus on my energy and health. That has to affect my life positively in some way, I thought. It did, of course, but the best benefit was that it forced me to be creative and get back in the kitchen again. There’s only so many times you can eat some variation of the same salad. It also led me to a deep fascination with nutrition and the healing power of food.
Creative energy and passion were unleashed with me and I wasn’t turning back.
This period was a huge inflection point for me where my unique happiness became a MUST. Where I committed to never again let my passions fall to the wayside. That more important than anything is making sure I do what I love every day for the sake of doing what I love. That I follow my fascinations without them having to have some “practical” benefit.
When you’re immersed in an activity that you love and time seems to stop, you’re in a beautiful state of flow and presence. This is where a deep sense of happiness is experienced.
What do YOU love? (It doesn’t have to be creative.)
Remember your favorite things as a child. What were you obsessed with? What have you forgotten?
Where can you easily get lost?
If you’re not sure how to create the exact perfect life of your dreams, simply start by doing more of what you love. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it will lead you in the right direction.
My passions for nutrition and cooking led me to nutrition school, coaching and helping others (hello! here we are), and a fun hobby of food photography. More creative expression, more joy, and a career all followed from the simple act of starting with what I love.
When thinking about the questions above, think about what really fills you up. I can get easily lost in Facebook, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.
What are the activities that are unique to you and fulfilling?
Do more of what you love. You never know what will unfold.
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