When I was a junior in college I took a term off of school and spent a winter in Utah. I learned to ski as a child but only during one-week vacations every couple of years. My winter in Utah was a chance to really develop my sking. I worked at the front desk of a hotel and took a short-term rental with my cousin.
I skied alone and I skied with friends. I tried snowboarding. I went back to skiing. When I was packing up our house before landing in London, I found my journal from my Utah Winter. Most of it is the angst-y drama of a typical 21 year-old. Embarrassingly naive. Shamefully oblivious to how much drama was self-created or self-perpetuated. Not nearly as profound as I had thought when writing it. But there was one gem:
Gravity is love and every turn is a leap of faith.
This quote (which my journal mistakenly attributes to Buckminster Fuller but the Internet now attributes to Unknown) was my skiing mantra. I used to repeat it as I made my way down the mountain. On moguls it was simply shortened to “gravity is love,” willing myself to not fear the fall. Or distracting myself from fear, as the case may have been.
I am prouder of this trip than almost anything else I did in college, other than finishing a degree in Engineering. This was the first time I knew I was in a rut and needed some serious change to wake up my senses and figure out who I was. And I did it. I even drove cross-country by myself.
So this rambly self-indulgent post does have a point. It is New Years afterall and we started the Intermediate Term of school today. I’ll admit that I am feeling a bit apprehensive. I know I have improved as a cook over the last few months, but for every skill I have mastered, I have also become aware of how far I have to go. I have a greater appreciation for the organization, creativity and flawless execution required to be a great chef. I am more in awe of my culinary role models than I was before.
So among my many New Years Resolutions (I am a chronic over-resolver), I am resolving not to focus on the vastness of what I don’t know but just to trust gravity and keep working my way down the mountain. This week: risotto, flaky pastry and Hollandaise sauce on my to do list. Nothing so scary about that, right?
* In researching the source of the quote, I found another Fuller quote which may be the source of my original mistake: “Love is metaphysical gravity.” Not really relevant to this post, but fun to ponder. There should be more romance in sciences.
* Just as I reread my 21 year-old thoughts with embarrassment, I know I will look at this blog the same way in ten-years time. It will likely be even worse because it is so public. And out there in my permanent record. I am even more certain of my future embarrassment after reading this: Why You Won’t Be The Person You Expect To Be.