Burnout does exist, it happened to me
I have had a LOT happen in the last 3 years and I still back and think about my life 3 years ago and it seems like a lifetime ago. Truth is I was the Pastry Chef at the Cleveland Museum of Art and I had finally burned out. I had spent a decade in restaurants and private clubs and resorts and learned a ton. What I did not allow myself to do was breathe, enjoy the moments and focus on creating beautiful and edible sweets. I had learned over the years how to multi task, how to survive long days and not stop until everything was done. I rarely took breaks or thought about how many hours I was working or how much I could handle physically and mentally.
The toll it took on my mentally and physically had finally caught up with me. I would walk in to work, do my work, keep to myself for the most part and wait for the days to be over. I had lost the passion that I had for dessert. I did not lose my sweet tooth, thank goodness!! I just remember going by the case in the cafe and being unimpressed with the desserts, I was just over it. I needed a reset. I had no idea what the next step was going to be but it needed to come.
It was hard to know how I was going to manage financially without a spouse to help support me or a savings to keep me afloat for awhile. I had taken a leap of faith in 2006 when I left my full time social work job to go back to pasty school and I knew I could do it again. I just needed the first step to come into fruition.
I remember being in my fitness class and someone asked how I was, I was like, I need a new job ASAP! My dear friend Beth Weber said, I can get. you a job at Starbucks, I said ok, lets do it! The next day I put in my notice. I tend to get in my head A LOT and I was a disaster 3 years ago. Once I finally realized that I had to stop being miserable and do something about it, I started taking one step at a time.
I have spent the last 3 years working on myself, redefining relationships, reigniting my passion and embracing my badass baker self. I feel like I am still working the same amount of crazy hours but I am way more aware of taking time for myself, figuring out what to focus on (most of the time) and eating as many desserts as I can.
I feel like as crazy as my life is most days, I am seeing things more clearly and it feels pretty damn good.
If you are ever unsure of what is next, the truth is there is always going to be an excuse to wait until the next….. whatever that may be for you. If I would have waited any longer, there is not telling where I would be right now. Take things one step at a time, breathe, enjoy life and be proud !! If I can do it, you absolutely can do it!