I've been in the kitchen and cookin' for 3 weeks now and I can say that at this moment I love it.
I feel like it is what I was built for.
I get butterflies everyday while getting ready and driving to work.
Once those checkered pants are slid on and that chef coat is buttoned I feel the nerves wind tighter and tighter around me.
I have 20 minutes to get all my prep and my station set and then it's go time. Then it's fun and crazy and hectic and loud and HOT! Oh, so freaking HOT!
Everyday I learn something new and everyday I find a better way to do it. I'm having a ball and I couldn't imagine life any other way. Once our rush dies down you can find me in my little corner just giggling away because I just can't help it.
Then at the end of the night I feel the sweat drenching me from head to toe and made extra slick with all the grease and vapors and cleaning chemicals. As I try to change into my clothes for the drive home at midnight I can feel the fresh burns on my arms searing from the touch of my clothes. I notice my feet are swollen and take an extra push to get them into my sneakers. And I relilsh every ache, and every drop of sweat.
Once I'm home I get to repeat the process of stripping down to get in the shower. I wince as the water hits my forearms and clench my teeth. I scrub and scrub my body and face until it FINALLY begins to feel free of grease and slime. I put my lotion on and try to massage out the pain in my feet, my heels, my toes, my arch. I take some asprin and hope that when I wake up I can still move my right hand. And I go to bed so damn happy because of it.
Now when I drive to work it's not the nerves at being bad at cooking its the nerves of wondering if today is the day my hand will stop working.
I was diagnosed at 14 with acute rheumatoid arthritis. It would hurt on occasion but was never a thing to slow me down. Now it terrifies me.
What if I finally found what I love and adore only to have it taken from me at such a young age?
I stretch my hand and my fingers all day everyday hoping to help make them last. I see them swell to double the size they should be every morning and it scares me. My wrist is having a tough time taken the extra strain of cooking and I just don't know what to do.
I'm too damn young for this bullshit. So I keep pushing on.
I will live my dream and I will love what I'm doing for as long as I am able. One day at a time.
Because this is my life and this is who I am and what I love.