Momma has dreams, things that she really wants to do. I have things that seem impossible, so why should I bother.
A line that's run through my head so often lately, a line I've typed into posts I've begun and deleted, I was not raised to follow dreams; I was raised to do what god told me to do.
I don't intend to blame my parents for where I am now, but I can't help sometimes but wonder, the whole nature versus nurture argument tag teaming with the absurdity of my insular childhood and youth. Keener minds than mine have wrestled with this, and I'd love to think they've gotten closer than I have, but part of me doubts very much.
Who doesn't want to write the great American novel? And I'm so sure I'm the guy to do it. What story could be more American? Ultra religious childhood, rebellious teen years, acceptance of at least bisexuality coupled with some amount of experimentation, decade plus heterosexual relationship with attendant children with the first volume published ending in the early coming out years. Seriously, find more American than that. I'd like to see you try.
As a child I was sure I was going to be either a missionary or that I would work in advertising. How the advertising part came in I can only imagine due to some childhood fixation with the show Thirtysomething. I'm not sure exactly how that works in, but it's a memory and the only logical conclusion I can draw. That I ever watched the show is possibly linked with a youthful attempt to emulate the cool brother. That those were my childhood ideas of my possible future says something.
At some point I started writing, lots of real crap for the most part, most of which I currently have in a tucked away and ignored stack of Mead composition notebooks. I don't know that I ever got to a point where I wasn't writing crap, but I did spend a few years not really writing anything. I finally discovered the joy of blogging, thanks to the coolest of homeschoolers and homeschooling families all across our bit of the continent, and at least on occasion practice writing. Writing has always been there, hanging in the background of things that I can sometimes enjoy and might not suck at.
Cooking I discovered quite by accident. As a child I helped in the kitchen by staying out of the way. At the same time, my best childhood memories of my mother involve watching Julia Child and Martha Stewart and Jeff Smith and Justin Wilson. This was when Martha was a cook and not some clenched ass lifestyle expert. Jeff Smith you'll remember from The Frugal Gourmet, while Justin Wilson brought us cajun cooking and the phrases "oooooeee" as well as "I guarawntee."(yes pronounced like that) Julia, of course, needs no introduction.
I held a number of restaurant jobs before the one I consider to be the first real one, the one that led me to a life in the kitchen, a giant whore of a place in Charlotte NC which is not so sadly no longer there. Some other idiots have bought the building by now. I washed dishes. I did a lot of LSD around this time and sometimes dreamed of squadrons of the various dishes flying in formation. I hated it and quit, swearing I'd never work in another restaurant ever again.
My next job was in a large national chain as was my next job. From there I did some work as a general laborer with a drywall contractor. It sucked, and the first chance I got I was back in a kitchen. I've done local stand alones, local chains, national chains, sports bars and once worked in a place where I cooked so many wings that we dumped cases (one case equals forty pounds) of wings into large drip pan, and I scooped them into the fryer with a two quart scoop.
I can write anytime, but the nightmare years of kitchen work made me grow a new dream. I really want to open my own restaurant. I have more ideas for places I think would work in my town, and I'm not telling you any of them. Now that I'm not in the closet I have room to hide my ideas, because I know bitches will steal my ideas.
But even so, it's hard for me to think of it as a dream, as something worth pursuing. There's a certain petulant "why can't I?" but beyond that I just don't do anything. There are also random measures of guilt and laziness and fear mixed in along with other feelings. Fucking feelings!