How I became a badass baker

I have been a dessert addict my whole life. I admit that I run on sugar and carbs. I don’t know how, but I do. It’s in my blood, maybe my DNA but it is truly something I think about all day long.

Before I pursued my passion for pastry, I questioned whether or not I would get sick of desserts and pondered if I took this on an ended up not loving pastry as a career that I would have no PLAN B.

Let’s be honest, a planner I am not, but truth be told, I was worried to pursue my passion because I was afraid I would get bored. BOY was I wrong. I have yet to get bored with desserts or pastry.

My love of sweets is always going to prevail. I may not have lost my passion, but I did burn out of a career after a decade in the industry. The industry is basically chef life, kitchen life, the monotony of day in and out doing the same receptive thing over and over. Yes, it happened, after a decade (possibly sooner), I had burned myself out and lost my direction, my passion and was totally confused about what direction life was taking me. I sat down with my boss and tried to have him help me guide me in the direction of what was next and honestly, he was no help. I soon found out he was moving on to bigger and better things and had also pretty much checked out.

I remember at the time seeing the book “you are a badass” all over the place. I am not an avid reader or reader at all but it kept reappearing. At the same time, I needed a mental health break. My yoga studio was offering a retreat to Bali. I remember thinking….who goes to Bali?? I had some money saved but had no idea if it was something I should do. I love to travel so of course it sounded interesting. I kept seeing the sign and finally decided to explore it. Thank goodness for Bali.

I finally took the chance to give myself a rest and reset in a magical place. It was there that I found some clarity and support that I needed.

I realized that I need to stick with Pastry because it was truly my passion, but I was not sure what the next step would be. I came back and got the book, “You are a badass” by Jen Sincero. It was exactly what I needed at that time in my life. I read a couple chapters at night before bed and it literally answered any questions I had been pondering and helped me find the courage to make some big changes in my life. Big changes like, quit my full time pastry chef job at the Cleveland Museum of Art and take a job as a barista at Starbucks and start over. So I did. I started over, gave myself some time to focus on myself and what was next.

Last week I was give the opportunity to meet the author of the book that literally put me in the place I am today. I am still a passionate baker and I have learned that I am a badass and that I am owning the good, the bad and the challenges. I am a better version of myself because of all of those things.

We all tend to lose our ways at some point, question our direction and what we “should” be doing. What I have learned is that the more I do and less I stress about the little things, I have opened up so many more doors, become more confident and am way braver than I ever gave myself credit for.

I don’t have all the answers but I am willing to take more risks than I have ever realized. 2018 was a huge deal for me. My hard work is finally getting recognized, acknowledged, and my confidence continues to grow. I hope that whatever direction life has you going, you give it a shot, take time for yourself and find your passion. Life is way too short to not embrace your badass self.



Ann LoParoComment