Crossing the marshlands in the first bluish light, New York in the distance looked like a foreign city, someplace where you could live and be happy.
James Salter, All That Is
This post is not so much about going somewhere as much as leaving – leaving Brooklyn, NYC, my job, my spots, my family, my friends (not to mention: takeout Thai, America-sized cups of good, strong coffee, the chance to see any one of 1,000,000 films playing any day, the dialogue on basic bitchism, Sundays in Cobble Hill, springtime and the occasional impromptu klub night). I’m not going to pretend I’ll miss brunch. I. Do. Not. Like. Brunch. (Except homemades.)
This post is also about fear – fear of leaving all of the above-named things for an uncertain future, in the face of doubts about whether I can hack a career in the food industry, and people questioning whether I really want this ([Redacted]: think of the varicose veins you’ll get from standing up in a kitchen all day).
What would you do if you had no fear? Each person has a song he’d compose, a website she’d launch, an erotica novel she’d write, a city to which he’d move or an instrument she’d learn. Instead of denying my fear, I’m acknowledging and pushing through it, and focusing on the opportunities, risks and new experiences that I’m welcoming into my life.
One thing that has me stoked about the new: I received a letter from the restaurant where I’ll be doing the stage (stah-hzh), Nerua, giving me the logistical infos and an explanation of their philosophy – “we identify ourselves with the local, with the provocative, with the innovation and with the surprise inside the world of plants and ecology.” I love when people speak with passion about preparing food. The letter also laid out the internship schedule (which begins with a week of culinary classes at a Basque culinary institute), operating hours of the restaurant (closed Mondays), what I need to bring with me (chef knife, pairing knife, peeler, thermometer, clogs, 2 chef jackets, 1 pair kitchen trousers, 2 tea towels) and details about accommodations. I thought the program would be providing a shared apartment, but it turns out I’ll actually be sharing a bedroom. With whom? No sé – another stagiaire, I’m assuming. Considering I haven’t shared a bedroom since my sophomore year of college (except for two weeks I worked at a summer camp in Valencia post-college), this will be an experience.
So this post is dedicated to those things that I love and am leaving behind (for now) and to barreling forward in the face of your fear, whatever it may be. Because sometimes it’s as easy as just DOIN’ it. So long, Brooklyn!