Thursday, November 19, 2009

Behind the cerebral curtain

As you are well aware, I am quite known for disappearing for a while only to return with bombshell after bombshell, no matter how small the shrapnel pattern. Today shall be no different than any other day.

* * * * *

The most important lessons learned from the medical marijuana clinic: Don't Trust Anybody But Yourself; and Don't Let Anybody Steal Your Joy. Amen, brother Ben. Shot a rooster, killed a hen -- as Granny used to say.

What I have learned most pointedly in losing my cafe, Granny, my marriage, my perfect family, and any semblance of self-worth in this world is that I have almost nearly but not quiiiiiiite developed the ability not to trust anyone but myself -- even though it's the one thing for which I long most. I miss you, Granny.

* * * * *

In coming to terms with the status of my current life station, I have had to painfully and objectively as possible scrutinize everything and anything at which I have ever tried and failed -- which is a metric fuckton of assloads. That said, it should be noted that more or less, I have reached every goal I have set for myself, even if I ultimately failed in one way or another. By trusting in myself, my abilities, my inabilities and my potential for creating some sort of minuscule greatness, I have overcome personal and professional roadblocks, pitfalls, shortcomings, incompetencies and debilitating fears.

I have no fear of failure. No fear of loneliness. No fear of letting my own self down. Just a fear of trusting in others, letting others I admire most trust too much in me, loving anyone other than my own flesh and blood without reservation -- and even then with some learned trepidation (not including my progeny), and of course fear of great success. The only way to learn is by failing harder. And I have never met anyone who can fail in the successful fashion that only I can, for I am deeply flawed.

On a side note, I bring to you this quote coined by a recent but intense acquaintance who decided that I am nothing but a cancer to this world, for I bring the promise of inspiration, motivation, and dedication, but when one needs too much of me, I evaporate. Much like dating a rock star it is supposed. This is not at all all together untrue. All fun and games for an appetizer, and nothing but a steady diet of dis for the main course. When I suggested that maturity was the one thing my antagonist lacked most, I was informed by way of intended insult that "a conscience is but one of the many flaws you lack." I could not have put it more eloquently; and I've always loved a good compliment dressed as an insult.

Back in April when my life fell to shit, I killed off my created online persona Bite My Cookie: Professional Amateur; probably to run as fast and far as I could from the things that I loved but decided to hate because true love betrayed me. When I was the woman who created Bite My Cookie, I felt rather unstoppable. By the time I realized The Manny had molested my heart and left me for dead, I felt quite literally like nothing. To numb the phantom limb pain from my amputated parts, I swore off writing professionally forever. I swore of baking forever. I swore off restaurants forever. I swore of business ownership forever. I swore off blogs and BFFs, my own self-wrought public humiliation, and trying at anything at which I could fail very hard. The full force of my life's rejections had all at once emasculated the unstoppable me, which seemed implausible for a broad with self-diagnosed diamond-encrusted balls of titanium. I felt angry and abandoned, blaming everyone who was obligated to love me by blood, true friendship or money, ultimately marriage for deserting me when I needed them most. Karma kicking my ass at point blank range, I suppose. A cosmic check cashed in arrears, with a tragic side kick of automatic payments of humiliation humility at regular intervals for a lifetime of future transgressions. Because really, as loyal a friend as I can be, I can also be a rancid tempestuous sack of liability laden anchovies. Not very admirable.

In making these realizations, I think I have come to the penultimate crux of my social and interpersonal requirements for success. Some people I observe and were formerly married to surround themselves with and keep people close at hand who deeply admire them. To keep themselves admired they twit and book face readily for envious minions so as to fuel the admirement machine. I sheepishly admit that perhaps the bitten cookie was my face twitting. I suppose I thought I had cause for admirement, although we all know what a farce that turned out to be.

If I ever was a person who shamelessly bullhorned about my perfectistic existence, /clears throat/ please forgive me for being such an asshole and continuing to do so ad nauseum. In my pathetic defense, I have always rattled out the good news bones and the bad news bones from exactly the same closet.

I look around and I don't wonder why I the friends I choose to keep close at hand at this time and who I would twitface regularly if I did that sort of thing are people whom I admire. People who possess the skills, abilities, talents, and expertise to which I aspire but have usually failed. People who were born and are hardwired to be successful. People who know what I know but have used it for success in all the places I failed to achieve it. People from whom I can learn. People who don't need anything from me but reciprocity of admiration, rather than the one way street of you think I'm great and I think you're OK. The people who I admire are happy to share information in exchange for nothing but the knowledge that it will be gratefully received and retained. It's the same rush I get from teaching my class.

To keep myself, my mind, and my body occupied whilst trying to avoid debt collector calls, inflammatory text exchanges with The Manny, and pining for appointments with the ever-vacationing Scrams, I have been spending all of my spare moments behind an apron, wearing sensible shoes calling out incoming and behind to my co-ed passersby as an intern apprentice pastry chef at a restaurant co-owned by three people who I greatly and mutually admire. My moonlighty internship is at the same restaurant where I can now be found every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights bussing tables, slinging housemade Cajun potato chips, filling water glasses, and washing dishes. During the weekdays I hustle around a commercial kitchen making salty bourbon pecan bars, pot de creme, biscotti, and coffee.

I almost can't believe that I really work in a restaurant again. Further this internship is unpaid because I am getting a first-rate higher education in all of the places I failed before: ops, books, employee management, overwork, organization, and grace under glorious pressure. I will be cross-trained in all back of house ops, bartending and bar management, pastry cheffing, and prep cooking. So far, I'm fucking good. That is, when I'm not fucking things up. As a result, I have been approached about making a slice of the Cajun taco my own by a mutual admiree.

I smell the stink of my own fear, my friends. The success bug is biting me and I am tempted to bite back.

Further making a liar out of myself, I've been writing professional style again. Three books in the can and a heartbreaking screenplay of cookie biting, katie barring, tragically comedic proportions, if I don't say so myself. It's not hard to write a book or a movie if you're grandiose enough to blog your dirty secrets on the interwebs, complete with dialogue. Where the blogs leave holes in the swiss cheese, texts and emails do the talking. Sometimes I feel like my own best luck charm.

So I'm back at doing most of the things I swore I'd never do again. The ashes are still smoldering, but I'm feeling competent and confident enough to poke my head out and make sure it's safe to wander back into what I thought I lost forever. I do not think I will ever marry again, though. Not a person, at least. That concept I will swear off altogether until muchmuchmuch further notice.

In the meantime, don't look now but I think I'm becoming an Amateur Professional. And I kind of like it.

But don't tell anybody,


Staci M.W. said...

This entry left me smiling from ear to ear and I am oh so happy for you, my virtual friend.

Anonymous said...

Reading your words makes me feel strong. I don't know how to explain it. Thank you

mama without instructions said...

lovely. simply, lovely.

korin said...

don't forget abt your cracky in the AM. xo xo doc to the K

H.P. said...

YES!!! I knew it! Knew you'd pick yourself up and get back to the things you were most passionate about. Good luck! But then again you don't need luck... You are getting what you need... More skills!

Patricia in TO said...

all I can say is:
The Phoenix is rising!

Learn well and prosper (to paraphrase a wise Vulcan)

My word verification is rulemit - seems apropos....

Anonymous said...

I know it sounds cheezy...but I'm glad you're starting to get your mojo back. You deserve to have some happiness in your life.


J at said...

Confession time here. I love your writing, and I find no joy whatsoever in your pain and troubles this year. However, I'll admit that I stopped reading BMC for a time, because your life was just going SO DAMN WELL, it felt condemning to those of us on a more mortal plane. Ouch. Kinda hurts to admit that. But we're all flawed, right?

I regained my love for you due to your pain, sadly. Because as you said, you are just as honest in writing about your pain as your pleasure, which helps me to connect. Do I always want to read about sorrow? No. Did I think that your success at the top was too much? No. Not too much for you. But I worried that you were missing your babies by all of the hours that your cafe and baking took, and I judged myself for judging you for that. Shame on me.

I wish you peace and love and much success, and I hope that you will be able to reach great heights again, if you wish to do so.

heather said...

Happy hour? Here I come. It sounds like you feel at home there. I hope so, at least until your next adventure reveals itself.
Restaurants are interesting places where it seems EVERYONE who works there has a story. You've got grist for the book/screenplay mill forever there.