My kitchen is my therapist
Making the decision to move from Omaha so that I can pursue new adventures closer to family and friends was not necessarily an easy one. I like to kid my friends that I am your typical Taurus, which means that the creature comforts that come with a stable paycheck are important to me. Giving up a good job with a stable income seems a little nuts to me, especially when I’m not 100 percent certain if I will get the job I want most just yet.
I know this isn’t an odd position, per se, but I do know that there are plenty of other folks who don’t have the same need for stability that I do. My best friend from high school is a perfect example of someone who is free enough to pick and up go to the places that have most suited or interested her. I remember getting postcards from her and marveling at the fact that she was in yet another new place and having a great adventure. And those amazing adventures led her to Australia with a great husband and a beautiful, smart-as-all-get-out son.
Whatever jokes I might crack, I didn’t make this decision lightly. I thought about it … a lot. And when I need to think, I cook … a lot.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent goodness only knows how many hours making an absolute mess of my kitchen while making casseroles, soups, cakes, breads, cookies and more. My fridge and freezer are practically groaning under the weight of all the leftovers I have stored away.
For me, even when a dish goes awry, the joy comes as much from the process as from the end result. And along with the joy comes a clarity of mind that gives me a chance to think about what it is I really want or how to tackle a particular challenge. Some people go to the gym (that just empties my head while I pray I won’t die doing whatever it is my trainer is making me do) or go for a run (again, empty head while I pray that I make my running goal) or meditate (that just puts me to sleep). Instead, I cook.
Although, you might think the only thing going through my head while wielding a chef’s knife would be “don’t cut yourself!” It’s not. Instead, it’s while I’m cooking that most of my answers come to me.
So I guess it isn’t too surprising (to me at least) that the joy and comfort I found in my kitchen these past few weeks is what convinced me that being close to my family and friends is what is most important to me right now. I have always associated the kitchen with family and comfort. I want to be able to drive over to my parents house and bake up a batch of scones with them. Surely, if I was baking scones with my Dranny’s oversight, she would have stopped me before I messed them up this last time. Or, she and my Mom would have a good laugh with me over how very not like scones they turned out to be.
So yes, the kitchen is my therapist, but the kitchen is all about being with family and friends, and being close to home.