A New Chapter | Midlife Culinary School Student


I am 37 years old, and I have worked for a website design company for the last 12 years. I have decided to go to culinary school.

When I fall asleep at night, and I try not to worry about things big and small, I imagine my life if I could do anything, be anything. My most common and favorite scenario is going to culinary school and opening a beautiful bakery/yarn store. As my job felt more and more robotic and less and less exciting, I crept closer and closer to actually quitting my job and actually going to culinary school.

How do you know when the time is right? Is the time ever right? Can you ever know? For me, I reached the point of staying at my job felt scarier than going to culinary school. In my heart, I knew if I didn't go, I would regret it for the rest of my life. I don't want that.

I don't know if I'll be a good chef. I don't know if I want to be a chef. I don't know if I'll be successful. I am terrified of leaving a job I know, people I love, and a company that has supported me for 12 years. I really am. I am terrified to go to school and be surrounded by 18-year-old humans who may not realize how lucky they are to have this experience at such a young age. I am terrified to be surrounded by 18-year-old-humans. I am a 37-year-old woman who loves to cook, garden, and knit. What on earth could we possibly have in common?

I do know that I love food. I have spent the last 12 years working for a company that builds and develops beautiful and inspiring websites. My coworkers are incredibly smart and passionate about the work they do. I am not. I have loved my job. I have been able to travel the world and see some fantastic places and meet some incredible people. But my job is not my passion. It's not what I want to talk about at the end of the day. At the end of the day, I want to cook. What if I could cook all day and then at the end of the day, cook. That. I want that. I want to have a career that is focused on and around food. I want to be excited about the work I do. I want to share my work with the world. I don't want to have a work-life and a home-life and try to balance the two. I just want to have a life surround by my wife, delicious food, people I love, knitting, and two stinky Boston Terriers, Eleanor and Fern.

So, this is my journey through culinary school and towards a life that inspires me deeply.