Baking has taught me many valuable lessons. Preheat the oven. Give yourself plenty of time. Avoid high altitudes. And sometimes you just need to scrap the whole goddamned thing and start over. While I am currently not doing much baking (or getting baked for that matter), I am making a whole lot of big changes in my life and starting 2012 with a bang. After a raucous family cruise filled with more eating and boozing than even I am used to, I am giving sobriety a chance, albeit just for a brief stint. Looking ahead to the New Year, I find myself looking for a new job and a new roommate. After flirting with graduate school for years, I am finally, seriously investigating the next step in my education. Though if this 2+ year stint in NYC has been anything, an education is certainly a valid description. I have read, watched, tasted, and seen more than I can imagine; the depth of my experience has been the highest of highs (literally) and the lowest of lows. I have acquired skills and tasted big city flair. Through everything, I have dug deeper into myself, knowing myself better, attempting to love myself more. While it would seem I have set childish dreams aside, those dreams have simply evolved with me, the path veering to the left and becoming clearer. Now, this isn't to say that I have all the answers or any more of a clue where I will be in a year than I did last year at this time, but instead my priorities have been realigned, my passions reinvigorated. All my life, I have been really different. Why should not my life be an exception? I have often told people that it takes a lot to wake up in the morning, look this in the mirror, and choose to accept it. Most laugh and dismiss my ridiculousness, but I believe that the path of an unconventional person is not always the easiest to walk down. Much of the secret of life lies in the ability to love one's self, not out of conceit or narcissism, but to look within oneself, knowing and accepting that person within. Out of one's true self springs all creativity, love, passion, the spiritual blood and guts that make human life the most fascinating occurrence on this planet. Surely at times I have longed for the comfort a traditional trek. The high school sports, the college girlfriend, the established career path, the steady job, the mortgage and the marriage and the children. Though I suspect I would fail miserably at most of these things if I tried. The most difficult thing about being a square peg is finally realizing that you will never fit into that circular hole. A few times I have borne the bruises of all that ill-fitting thrusting (conceptually speaking, of course). I don't know what this year will hold for me exactly, but I am betting on good things, progress towards my ultimate goals and dreams.
What I'm Reading: Barrel Fever, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
What I'm Listening to: Aretha Franklin: Greatest Hits, "Mine" Taylor Swift (don't judge!)
What I'm Watching: The View, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Get Him to the Greek, Rebecca