a year’s end.

This past weekend marked the end of our holiday catering season at the Depot. My hands are all cut up from pulling hundreds of pans out of the oven, chopping case upon case of potatoes and carrots and rubbing salt and herbs into Lord knows how many pounds of chicken and beef.

With all that being said and thankfully done, the one thing, among many things that I love about cooking happens: reflection.

I suppose the purpose of contemplating a year in a life is to recognize the things we were able to accomplish and how the year chiseled us into the shape we are now. It’s safe to say 2016 was a chisel. More so for different people who wanted different things. But, here we are regardless. Some, more hopeful. Some, still a little frazzled with how the world seems to work.

My days start off with so many hopeful intentions. Today, I want to be present. Today, I want to build something good and be good and maybe take a jog around my neighborhood.

And then the sink breaks in the kitchen at work. Sequentially, this throws me off into a state of chaos and quiet rage, and all I want to do is go home and lay in the quietness of a space that I can usually control. I suppose if I’m honest with myself, my world is not about control, and never will be.

I learn more and more what I have to hold loosely. I keep my distance from things until they feel safe – sort of like I did when I was a kid, hiding behind my mother’s legs because I was unsure of strange things. Things like that may never change, though I am now a whole foot and a half taller than my mom. I don’t have the luxury of hiding anymore.

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This year has been about power, and learning how to use it. Power is scary and I walk through each day knowing that I have, in some capacity, the means to use it for tearing down rather than building up. I don’t mean some sort of high executive power. More so a power to decide what people will eat or how my co-workers need to chop onions.

Then there is the other power – the power to use your gifts for good. Maybe that’s being a leader or a teacher or a listener. The world will always need what you have to offer. This power that you have is uniquely and profoundly yours. We may all be more alike than we are different, but what you have is special and you are responsible for it.

I have learned over this year that I am still going to hurt people unknowingly and understand that it’s not my place to say when a person should and should not feel something. I am learning to own the person I’ve become, even when I wish so badly I had all the right things to say and do.

Regardless, 2016 has been one helluva year. We have pushed ourselves hard. Harder than the year before, and as always, I am so stinkin’ proud of my co-workers and friends for believing in something bigger than ourselves.

Maybe it is just food. Maybe it’s just taking someone’s order and hoping from that point on, they enjoy their experience.

But in between all of that, are people who all want the same thing. Safety. Balance. Belonging. Community. Love. (And something super delicious.)

Wherever this wild road is taking me, I feel safe with the people around me. That in itself is a gift I will never be able to ask for, but one that I found I had all along.

Cheers, and thank you for an amazing year.

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2 responses

  1. This is coming from somebody who’s been following your blog for two years now. You were one of the very first people I followed when I joined WordPress and I have held on to every word that you have posted and got a glimpse of your ups and downs through the beautiful way you use them to craft such a vivid picture of the work you do. I hope to one day achieve that level of expertise and derive that amount of satisfaction from the work I am passionate about.

    No, it is not just food. It is the things that you do to make these people happy for just a moment even though you’re breaking inside yourself. I want you to know that you inspire me, one blog post at a time.

    I may not ever get to experience your cooking finesse but believe me, I can sense it through your words, it’s almost like it’s happening in front of me. Like I am a part of it.

    By writing about your own lows and losses, you have made me confront mine.

    Yes, sometimes the sink does break in the kitchen but you inspire me to deal with it, to fix it.

    Maybe it’s just the state of mind that I have been in lately, but I read this post and thought that I have to let you know how grateful I am for your words. It took a lot of courage to do this but that is all the word is about, being unabashedly thankful for the things that move you.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and feelings.

    Please know that from somewhere across the globe, they are valued and looked up to.

    I wish you the very best for the New Year and for the ones ahead.

    ~Justanotherpapergirl.wordpress.com

    (Swati)

    ________________________________

    • Wow. Thank you so much for writing me! You may have gotten me a little teary in the process! Life is certainly a load of a lot of things, and I have no regrets on the things that have happened. I coped the best way I could, which was to be a blubbering mess…and I came out of it alive and strong and I think more hilarious. Ha. Anyways, just know you are strong for pushing forward, and confronting those hard things. It is so worth it — as hard and exhausting as it is to feel those things, it is so worth it. Again, thank you for your words. Happy New Year to you as well! – Josh

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