Why Found in Food?
Here’s my story in a nutshell. I am the eldest of three sisters born to English parents. We were raised in Phoenix, Arizona. My father a business man, my mother a doctor. Both with varied and accomplished careers. When I was very young I felt a fairly compelling desire to pursue medicine, due to complete admiration for my mother. That fantasy was brought to a screeching halt after I witnessed a knee surgery on TV. I sometimes wonder if I was a bit too rash in my decision , but I just couldn’t see any way around the instant nausea the sight of blood and flesh induced. With “surgeon” firmly crossed off my list, I found myself pulled towards my father’s work. The only problem was I didn’t really know what my father did. I knew that he’d started the first commercial radio station in London when he was 19 (not single-handedly) and had run a number of other businesses. But at the time I started dreaming of working with him, I didn’t have even an inkling of what his day to day consisted of, what he produced, and how he contributed. But the dream persisted. And maybe because I didn’t develop a strong calling to anything else, it continued to persist. As my undergraduate studies began, I didn’t know what I wanted to major in, but knew I wanted to learn a language, and not just in theory but in practice too, I wanted to speak. So I declared French as my major. I spent a few years overseas speaking French and when it came time to graduate, I was fluent. I then dabbled in Fashion School, which lasted less than a year. And then I moved to Australia, for a boy. And then I moved back to Phoenix, for a boy. And then I had to get serious. So I studied for the LSAT, applied to law school and talked my way into Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law. I blew through law school not really planning on actually practicing law, and somehow used that as an out for not enjoying it or truly engaging.
I took the Arizona State bar and passed.
And then my father hired me.
So I had achieved my dream of working with my father. (The law degree was a pre-requisite; he would not have hired me if I did not have a professional degree.)
I had been working with my father for 4 years and 2 months when he passed away suddenly in the middle of 2012. In the blink of an eye, I lost my amazing father, my best friend, my biggest supporter , the person who taught me to live, to love and to fight. But to describe what I felt during those first few days, weeks, months as “lost” doesn’t even begin to capture the emptiness that seeped into every aspect of my life. Although I was 30 at the time I suddenly felt so small, so young, so in need of my father’s protection. We spoke 6 times a day. In business I looked to him for guidance and knowledge. He was the one who pushed me out of my comfort zone, taught me to move through fear and to take risks. In life he taught me to be gentle with people, to never take myself too seriously, to have fun and to love. My life plan had completely changed. I thought I would learn from my father for years to come, both in life and in work, and at some point feel experienced and comfortable enough to continue without him. I was not ready to lose him so soon.
So here I am, coping with the loss of my father and confronted with the preciousness and brevity of life. I have a law degree but I am fairly certain I don’t want to practice law. And although I am still involved in the family company, the state of things is EXTREMELY stressful and the future of the company unclear. In the face of all this uncertainty, I have decided to focus my efforts on something that truly makes me happy, de-stresses and inspires me. I have decided to follow the philosophy of doing what you love with hopes that all else will follow.
Remarkably, arriving at my new focus was easy. I love food. I love eating, cooking, imbibing, pairing and creating. I love thinking about food, I love reading about food, I love talking to people about food, and I love traveling for food. I even take pictures of everything I cook but I have never written about food.
So my intention is to continue doing what I love, only now it’s with proverbial pen firmly to paper and who knows, maybe I’ll feel a little less lost in the process. Hence the birth of this blog Found in Food.