Confessions of a Chefpreneur
"Your vulnerability is your super power!"
Last year I posted on my Instagram stories that I felt the need to share my journey thus far as a new food entrepreneur. Well here it is! I have been reflecting on what I should say in this blog. As a true Virgo I contemplated deeply about it, analyzed, overanalyzed, "waiting for the right time", etc. During one of my daily walks I was listening to some people on the Club House app talking about affirmations and engaging in inspirational conversation. There were so many gems and powerful stories being shared. During their dialogue, one of the participants mentioned a quote that really resonated with me. It's the subtitle of this blog post. This statement is from the inspirational Brene Brown. I recognized her name once it was brought up because I listened to a Ted Talk that she did awhile ago. I was also introduced to her at my former job during a workshop. If you are interested in learning more check out the video here.
That quote resonated with me because I would consider myself to be an advocate for mental health with vulnerability and transparency at the forefront. Growing up I was not given the privilege to express my truth in full context. If you grew up in an African home or immigrant home then you may be able to understand where I am coming from. Expressing how you truly felt was seen as a sign of disrespect or talking back. So I think the way I internalized that was to not speak at all and/or not be honest with myself or others. After several years, I am still in the process of unlearning some things that were culturally and socially ingrained. I've learned it's okay to be honest with yourself and others. It's okay to show that vulnerable side. It's okay to be transparent about the good and the bad. In the context of food, it's like cracking that hard layer of candy to reveal the sweet center. The more I did it, the easier it became.
Back In August 2020, I quit my 9-5 job working in public health at a non profit organization. It was one of the hardest things I had to do. However, at that time, I decided that I needed to be honest about how I felt. While contemplating on the dilemma, I found myself repeating sentiments that my supervisor at that time often stated during team meetings. She would observe employees and partners who were not pulling their weight or failing to meet deadlines. "Some people are just not honest with themselves," she would say. I realized I was that employee but had a hard time admitting it to myself because I wanted to impress my boss while trying to convince myself that I should be in the public health field.
Unfortunately, I knew good and damn well that my heart was no longer in it. Deep down I knew it was time to leave but it felt like the hardest decision EVER! I discussed it with my husband and we decided to put a plan together. I had his full support which gave me the confidence I needed to take the next step. I had to tell my supervisor that I was resigning right before we were going into a very busy season. So the guilt was immense at that time. My anxiety felt like a ton of bricks on my chest. Whew chile! The day I finally had the conversation with her my nerves were so bad I cried on the Zoom call. My anxiety was through the roof!
I broke the news during an evaluation. As I finally confessed that my heart was no longer in the work, my supervisor's reaction was a clear shock. I can tell she was trying to not show any emotion. The reality was that my heart was no longer in the work and it showed in my performance. Add a global panoramic (pandemic lol) on top and ya girl was struggling! I just didn't want to be there anymore. I was also stressed out from this job. Initially, my supervisor thought I was quitting because of the evaluation. I assured her that it was not about the failed evaluation. Although it was unexpected for her, it was a long time coming for me....