I grew up in a world of magic knowing I could do anything I set my mind to. Every night when I came home from school my mom would make me dinner and read the Harry Potter series to me. As I grew I continued to love books and movies that connected me to a fantasy world of magic. Visiting lands like Middle Earth, Narnia, Hogwarts, or even places that only existed in my imagination shaped a large part of my life.
In those days I wished that all of this magic was real. I wanted magic of my own to change myself and change the world. My head was full of potions that could give you luck, change your appearance, or make you live forever. As I grew and the magic faded I wanted to keep this magic as close as possible.
You could find me at home mixing my own “potions” with lemonade and hot sauce and saltine crackers (I was a kid, it’s hard to find eye of newt). During this time I was always helping my mom or grandma in the kitchen, mixing ingredients to make a cohesive dish. Mom and I had contests to see who could make soup taste the best with whatever we had leftover in the fridge. And when she worked long hours when I was a teen I would make dinner for myself. I fell in love with food and with cooking up my own formulas (I mean recipes, oops). I never stopped cooking.
When it came to high school and figuring out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I briefly considered culinary programs and cooking professionally. Out of fear I decided that I didn’t want to let long hours and hard work to kill my passion for food. So what else could I do?
Chemistry class pointed me in a new direction. Combining chemicals together to create something entirely new reminded me of the potions classes I grew up dreaming of. At this point my choices were narrowed to chemical engineer or pharmacist. I wanted to make a good living with reasonable working conditions and still be a potions master.
So I did. 6 years of college education and I graduated with my doctorate in pharmacy. I found the love of my life who I am now happily married to. I had a job lined up. Everything was going better than I could have ever hoped. I was quickly promoted to be the manager of a pharmacy with a major retail chain. I worked my tail off to make it the best pharmacy I could.
While everything in my life looked amazing from the outside there was only one problem; I wasn’t happy. I spent most of my time ringing a register or answering phone calls. The pace of work was faster than I had been led to believe and no breaks in sight even on a 13+ hour work day. Working conditions continued to deteriorate in retail pharmacy and only got worse with the pandemic. I was not doing magic, I was a cashier. So I did what I had to do and left. Now that I have more time on my hands and the world has changed, I can finally spend more time on the things I love.
Hopefully in my long winded life story I can inspire you to join me in a world full of magic, wonder, fantasy, and well… food of course.