I have a confession: I have two new obsessions. Active addictions. First, Wiley Wallaby Australian Style Outback Beans with Chewy Red Centers. O.M.G. To die for. Second, I can’t stop watching Cake Boss. Which is so bizarre. I typically avoid reality television, and a show about making cakes? What? Alas, Cake Boss has grabbed me and won’t let go.
I just watched an episode entitled “Pizza, Pooches & Pop-in-Law.” Buddy, a.k.a. “The Boss” (think thick Jersey accent) is commissioned to make a cake for a pizza shop’s anniversary. While discussing the pepperoni pie cake with the pizzeria owner, Buddy shares that although he is a baker, he can also make pizza. The customer laughs and says, “You make cakes; you don’t make pizzas!”
Yesterday I was offered a professional opportunity that I couldn’t have dreamed up. I will be teaching at a local university. Although I have an intense background in studentry (I have been in school for ages!), and I have worked as a teaching assistant the past two years, I have never actually taught. Not only is teaching a brand new gig, but I have to verse myself in the material I will be teaching. December will be total immersion in philosophy and sexuality. I am stoked.
If you know me, you are likely chuckling and/or rolling your eyes right about now. It is kind of laughable. I am notorious for taking on strange, seemingly wrong projects. The thing is… I am just showing up for life and the Universe continues to throw bizarrely wonderful opportunities my direction. How can I not go for it?
For 21 years I lived life pretty conventionally. To the outside observer that is. I was a good student. I played field hockey. I joined a youth symphony orchestra. I ate my peas and carrots. I finished prep school at 17, went directly to college, and graduated in four years. Then one month before my 22nd birthday, my father died. It rocked my world.
The past 13 years have taken me some weird, frightening, exhilarating, trippy places and directions. I couldn’t have orchestrated a stranger path myself! While I am certainly more risk adverse today than I was when I drank, I am not a traditionalist. Franky, I adore the idiosyncrasies of a life fully lived. Call it serendipity, chance, fate, luck, a higher power– that’s semantics– there has got to be something WAY bigger than puny ole me calling the shots. It’s the only satisfying explanation I have for being offered this teaching position!
While I reflect back on my past and continue to cringe at some of my insane choices and careless nondecisions, I can truthfully state that I have zero regrets. I don’t and can’t believe in regret. Regret is shoulding… all over oneself. It’s self flagellation. And I am done beating myself up. I find it exhausting, self-indulgent, and a waste of precious resources.
But for the rocky and, at times, dangerous trails I have walked thus far, I wouldn’t be in this life. To quote Brother Ali’s Fresh Air, ”I love the life I lead.” I pull no punches when I say would not change a thing. Even my alcoholism. My disease forced me to be retroactively introspective. My disease continues to require daily self reflection, awareness, willingness, humility, and lots and lots of faith.
So, maybe I don’t make pizzas every day. I have been accustomed to cake. But my sweet tooth (Wiley Wallaby Australian Style Outback Beans with Chewy Red Centers aside) is satisfied and I am going savory. I leave the cakes to Buddy. While I am nervous and anticipate being overwhelmed at times, I believe I can handle it. I can learn to throw dough, mix up a tasty sauce and experiment with proper proportions of cheese and toppings. It might not be Pizza Luce or Leaning Tower but I think it will be edible. Tasty even.
Peace and love to all.