There it is again. That nagging little tick. In the background just watching. Are you gonna blog about it? My mind internally debates the merits of the post, would anyone be interested, how is this moving you forward. The usual crap. So instead I’m just gonna write. At least it’s a start.
2014 seems like a make it or break it year. Things are going well and the holiday crush is over. Now begins a new crush, the year that’s flying by like it doesn’t exist. I’ve made some decisions, predictions and intentions. Nothing crazy on it’s surface but seemingly impossible at times. I’ve decided that 2014 is the year of production. What am I producing and who is noticing. I cook, I read and I think about a career in food. Does that move the needle forward? Some say yes, others meh… I feel like I have surrounded myself with good people and opportunities but I don’t feel I act upon them as well as I should. How to change that? We will see.
Production to me means verifiable, a reference a body. I recently was asked to describe myself in an email to a chef describing what I look to cook and where I see myself going. It was a tough task. I can talk about these subjects for hours but it seems there isn’t quiet the focus of logic that, oddly enough, I often look for in others speech. How am I going to measure the needle going through 2014 if I can’t articulate what that needle is measuring? What makes this year different from the last so that this conversation doesn’t happen again? I see three big areas to drill down into, production through working, production through knowledge and production of physical space.
Working to me is production, it’s resume building, it’s experience gaining. I have not yet worked in a professional kitchen and that needs to change. Do I continue to hold out for a a select few opportunities or do I just start asking everywhere? The main reason I haven’t worked yet can be found in my personality. I want to take care of your needs first. How do you ask someone to help you fulfill their goal when all I can see is the distraction I may be to their goals. Aren’t we all adults here? Luckily I think I’ve landed an audition. A one night spot to assist, observe and most importantly to me make an impression. This is your gig, tell me how to help you make it better. With any luck I can earn a little respect and feel like I have accomplished something even if it is for someone else. Film at 11…
Production to me is also wrapped up in knowledge. I love books, always have. In the same email I decided to count the collection, something I’d never done. Counting each work made me think of what I gained in return for the investment. How many cover to covers where notched in my belt? How many dishes or techniques could I recite from any given selection? I’ve been exposed to a lot (and have lots more left unread) but find myself asking if I’ve learned enough for those I’ve finished. In response to this exercise I already see myself reading with a little more intent and with retention in mind. I’m looking for a system to decide what to read when so that I’m getting the most I can. Production of the mind.
Production of the physical space has a double meaning to me. Physically what am I doing to bring this intangible to reality? Both in the kitchen and in my life. I think of order and repetition in a life running a business (how else are you going to handle the unknowns that will get through at you along the way?). Am I practicing now what I think I’ll be doing then? The host of a podcast I listen to often talks about “the grind” as a way to describe their life. Reading, writing, planning and also failing; sleep and repeat. If I’m going to get more physical to handle the demands of standing at a station so I don’t feel like I am wasting the chefs time where is that going to fit in my schedule? If I am going to read more where am I going to do that during the lunch I’m not taking at work? The fact that I’m writing on Tuesday night because I’ve already prepped dinner tells me I’m on the right path. Just enough time now for some reading before the house is full and the TV starts. Body and soul.
A little less than triumphant return but a return none the less. That tick seems to have subsided for the time being. Unless you count the others it’s activated.