Thursday, May 14, 2009

Back Story Blues

So I can see that this blogging business is not much different than keeping a diary and I'm having much the same anxiety about it as I did when I was 12 and it involved a small upholstered-in-fake-leather book with an impossibly small key or when I was 23 and made efforts at what was now referred to as "journaling" in a composition notebook. My anxiety is about this: what, if anything about my life is worth recording, and once I record it how embarrassed am I going to be to read it in the future. much backstory do I have to provide? 

Unlike a diary, a blog is meant to be read by others, so do I have to catch everyone up with 
everything that ever contributed or led to my decision to go to culinary school or do I just jump in with the present moment? Or are there no rules and I just have to "stop analyzing so much" as my dear, wise, exasperated-with-me German mother was compelled to shout at me from time to time.

So I think this is how I'll proceed. Stay in the moment, unburdened by the responsibility to write my back story here (blah, blah, blah) but if the moment requires or inspires a flashback, then so be it. I say "stay in the moment" as if I'm freakin' Eckart Tolle and I have mastered this ability to hang in present time, unattached to the outcome of things, Piaf-like in my lack of regret, but the truth is I spent 99% of my life either looking back (why did I do that? why did they do that to me?) or looking forward (someday, when I win the lotto I'll....).

So....present moment.

I'm 52 years old. (All comments about how much younger I look are welcome.)

Wife to Douglas, actor, chiropractor (, loving husband whose endless belief in me and patience for my damaged-goods craziness leads me to conclude that he is a walk-in from another planet sent to study how humans react to unconditional love and support.  I am his lucky case-study.

Mother to the handsome and hilarious Max Robbins, 20, currently enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America, Culinary Arts degree program, Hyde Park, NY. It was touring culinary schools with Max last summer that began this for me. Walking the halls of CIA and later, FCI, I couldn't stop my eyes from brimming over. The kitchens, the smells, the din of cooking, the hustle and concentration of the student chefs, the passion of the teachers made me feel like ET raising a glowing finger to the sky and hearing the distance call from a long-lost home.

Mother to the fierce, fiesty and fetchingly beautiful Lily Willen, 13. Honor student and incredible athlete. I am delighted with her humor, wit, insight and ability to live life so joyfully and our growing closeness as she matures... and scared out of my mind at what that maturity will bring over the next 4-5 years.

I'm enrolled in The French Culinary Institute's Culinary Arts Program beginning June 25, 2009. For nine months I'll be spending 5 hours each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings in FCI's SoHo facility training in classic French culinary technique and re-inventing myself in the process. Stay tuned. 


Brenda said...

Rachel - Your ability to constantly reinvent yourself does not surprise an old friend like me. Go get 'em girl! You were always a great you can be a fabulous one. I will certainly follow your adventures! For musical inspiration please refer to the lyrics from that great old song:

I Can Cook Too!

Oh, I can cook, too, on top of the rest,
My seafood's the best in the town.
And I can cook, too.
My fish can't be beat,
My sugar's the sweetest around.
I'm a man's ideal of a perfect meal
Right down to the demi-tasse.
I'm a pot of joy for a hungry boy,
Baby, I'm cookin' with gas.
Oh, I'm a gumdrop,
A sweet lollipop,
A brook trout right out of the brook,
And what's more, baby, I can cook!

Susan said...

I'm Brenda's friend, and she told me about your blog. You go, girl! What an exciting way to "reinvent" yourself. I hope the journey is a pleasurable one, and that you'll write about it often. I also started a blog, after writing my daughter's caringbridge journal for eight months. Check it out at The caringbrige site is Brenda has been like another mother to Nicole, and we couldn't have made it this far without her. Ain't friends grand???