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A Secret

So, I’ve been keeping something from you for the last few months.

No, don’t get excited yet… it’s nothing too juicy.

Last January, I announced that after a stint in publishing post-graduation and several years of work in restaurants, I was going back to school for physical therapy. (You can read more about how I came to that decision here.) While it’s a career I think I would ultimately have been happy with, the path to get there was draining me both emotionally and physically. I’d hoped that my passion to be a PT would make the hard science and math classes easier (or, at least, manageable), but even passion can run thin in the face of excessive strain and stress. I was balancing morning classes and work throughout a particularly trying summer, and even when I was no longer working this past fall, it was just too much and I really wasn’t happy. So I made the decision back in December that I wasn’t going back to school.

Am I disappointed? A little. It would have been great to call myself Dr. LVP, and I love the idea of helping physically rehabilitate patients. Do I think I made the right decision? Absolutely. Sometimes, you just know in your gut if the end result is going to be worth the journey. And unfortunately in my case, it just wasn’t.

What now? No matter what, I have an undeniable need to be around food and restaurants. So after a seven month hiatus, I’ve found myself back in the industry. I’ll be serving again at a spanking-new place, one whose concept and ideals I’m truly excited (and yes, passionate) about. Will I work in restaurants forever? Who knows. There are so many ways to get your feet into food and food service, and I’m only just now starting to figure them out. But I’m so much happier now than I was a few months ago. Sure, there will be long days and trying situations, but those are always the ones I look back on and appreciate the most for showing me how to grow. And although by the end of the year I’ll be the ripe old age of 25, I’m still learning. I’ll always be learning.

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I went from having a TON of free time during the day (to cook, to go to the gym or take a yoga class, to meet friends for lunch) to having a completely different schedule. Once I get into a schedule I’ll figure it all out; things are always a little shaky when you’re working out a new routine. It’s exciting, though! I’m a person who doesn’t always like change, but I’m really happy about things right now.

Anyway, my meals have been 100% about comfort and ease lately. A new recent favorite is Angela’s Cozy Millet Bowl with Mushroom Gravy and Kale. I used dried mushrooms instead of fresh, and used the water that soaked them for the gravy. I also used dried rosemary, and substituted broccoli rabe in place of kale and polenta for the millet. Polenta is so good! I used to eat it so much in college but now rarely think to make it. This dish was so delicious and comforting, I loved it!

polenta.JPG

I transformed the leftovers yesterday morning into a breakfast bowl when I topped it with a runny egg. I was in a rush, so this ready-made breakfast was a nice hot alternative to Overnight Oats.
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My dessert tooth has been raging (as you’ve seen) and I was very excited to try out Jessica’s Minute Chocolate Fudge S’Mores Cake. This recipe makes a pretty big cake, so I ended up eating it in two servings. It also calls for quite a bit of butter, which I learned made the graham crumbs on the bottom of my ramekin quite soggy! So next time I won’t use butter in the graham crackers. I did, however, substitute half of the butter in the batter itself with Greek yogurt, and my cake was still nice and moist.  

s'mores cake.JPG

In other news, some fun new-to-me Trader Joe’s finds: Roasted Gorgonzola crackers (they taste like Ritz!), garlic-herb pizza dough (you’re not long for this earth, friend), frozen chocolate-covered bananas and goat cheese with honey.

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What do you do professionally? Have you switched careers before? When did you *know* what you wanted to *do*?

20 comments to A Secret

  • Meg

    Good for you for going with your gut – it’s hard to figure out what you want to do and what you can do about it.

  • Switching careers is SO normal in your 20s – the biggest mistake you could make is sticking with something you don’t like just because it’s safe.

    I just switched careers from Editorial to PR this past September, and honestly, I’m still figuring out if I like it. It’s kind of like switching from defense to offense on a sports team – publishing and PR need each other, but they’re opposite sides of the field.

    Every job has its pros and cons (or it wouldn’t be a job), and I’m willing to roll with them, but sometimes I find myself missing being on the magazine side. OK, I miss it a lot. We’ll see!

    You figure it out and learn as you go. Such is life; we’re never stuck.

  • GLAD you’re following your heart. Being crazy stressed out is never worth it. Heart ya!

  • PS…I’m going to start calling you Dr LVP just because

  • melville

    morning sunshine :)

    oh my, how you make me happy when skies are grey! i’ll call you later today. for now, just a note to say that i couldn’t be prouder of you. as long as i’m on this planet i will always have your back. love you so much. xx

  • kelsey

    good for you!!! i’m so happy you’re following your heart instead of feeling like you should be on a certain path that is ultimately making you unhappy. sure it’s scary, but in the end you’re going to be so happy doing what you love!!

  • Good for you making that choice. I’m kind of in the middle of a career change, I’d like to be a holistic health coach for private clients as well as offering community programmes around healthy eating (my background is in working with community groups and young people) but its very scary. It takes a lot of guts to make big decisions like that so well done you!

  • I’m proud of you, darling :) good luck with getting into a routine with the new job and I hope to see you soon!

  • I think it’s wonderful to know your limitations and ultimately what makes you happiest. It sounds like you made the right choice for your mind, heart & soul – something you won’t regret. And you gave it a try. I know for certain that I couldn’t survive the math or sciences either. It’s tough for us creative types.

    Proud of you lady. This sounds like a good move for you.

  • Rebecca

    Yay, Katie! I can’t wait to hear more about this new path. It’s such a great fit for you. I’ve been reading this book, “The Happiness Project”, and it talks about how one o the rules is “Be You–you can’t change who you are, you can just do the best possible job at being you. That feels very applicable here!

  • Danielle

    Congrats on starting the new job! Let’s have a date soon!

  • aj

    Good for you! You are still so young, there is plenty of opportunity to switch your mind, back and forth and back and forth. Also, there is no clause in life that says you must decide on ONE thing to do for the rest of your life. I’d say just go with the flow and you ARE passionate about food, so nurture that! I’m only 27 and I’ve switched careers/goals multiple times from advertising to nanny to ad sales to education and back to advertising. And that was with two layoffs, so that goes to show you can only plan so much. Sometimes you just have to deal with the situations you are dealt and you know what? It always works out just fine. Especially for a smart, focused, passionate gal like yourself.

    On a side note, I have purchased and chowed down on every last one of those trader joe items! They are all favorites!

  • GOOD. FOR. YOU.

    I am so excited that you are doing what feels right for YOU! Eventually, we’ll all get there…you, me, everyone included. We’re definitely due for a Gchat – can’t wait to see what new ideas you have for your obviously bright future.

    Mucho love,
    Holly

  • i am a research scientist (biologist) working on a cure for lou gehrig’s disease and some other neurodegenerative diseases (alzheimers, parkinsons etc). i started out an athletic training major in college then realized it wasn’t what i wanted to do for life so i double majored so i have 2 degrees and i just don’t use the one lol. i have to say it has helped me though in my holistic view of the body so that’s nice! i only recently figured out i’m doing what i am supposed to do because i feel completely fulfilled in my current position and am challenged on a daily basis to better myself!

  • Floey

    I don’t comment much (or, ever!) but I just wanted to say HELLO and that this post really made me think a bit. I graduated last june with a BA in journalism and haven’t been able to find a job since. I’ve been doing part time work at an after school center, but was seriously thinking about going back to school for nursing. The thing is, I am very much not a math/science person — and would need to do alll the pre-reqs and start from square one.
    …so I really think I need to figure out if I’ll be okay with all the studying I’m going to do…I know I can work hard, but I don’t know how far I can go with that.

  • I’m so glad that you reevaluated your happiness and what you wanted to do with your life. I was thinking about being a registered dietician to give me better qualifications for food policy (I didn’t want to actually practice, it was more so for the knowledge). I took one chemistry class and thought eff this. Studying for RD involves, chem, gen chem 2, biochem, biochem 2, orgo, orgo 2, and if gen chem 1 was giving me so much grief I knew it wasn’t worth it. So now I’m a history major and loving the very nutrition related field of photography and considering grad school for it.

    Best of luck, Katie, and keep us in the loop!

  • So glad that you made a decision that makes you happy. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.
    BTW, I filmed a recipe segment the other day using your rosemary kale chip recipe (and gave you credit, of course!). They were delicious!

  • Whatever you path you decide to travel down, you’ll be great at it; I’m sure of it!

    And oh my gosh, I need those chocolate-covered bananas! They sound sooo appealing right now!

  • yay yay yayyyyy tell me where you’re working i’ll come visiiiiiiiiiiit! so happy you’re happy. you’ll find your right pattern! it’s hard at first but you know whats best for you xoxo

  • life is SHORT. you’ve gotta do what makes you happy today, and what you think will make you happy tomorrow and the days, weeks and months after. years? meh, we’re young. i’m proud of you for making this change (well, a couple months ago :) ), even though change can be pretty scary. rock on, lady.

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