What an amazing year, set off by the awesome experience of being a finalist on The Rachael Ray Culinary Tuition Competition.

I can’t help but look back on the experience and reflect on how big this opportunity was.  The pride that I have in this life changing experience is not about the appearance on the show, though it was amazing.  The biggest thing that I got from the show was the opportunity to reflect on my life.  Let me explain what I mean.

I have lived my thirty something years on this earth planning and strategizing every single move that I have made in life and career.  When the opportunity came around to send a video in to the show with the idea that the final step would bring me back to the city that I love, to shoot an episode of this amazing show, I didn’t exactly jump at it.  I don’t typically jump at opportunities like that, because this was completely out of my comfort zone.  My sister sent me the opportunity and I contemplated for about a day and decided, what did I have to lose. My job has taken me to a place that I am very far removed from any support system or close friends, I take very few risks, and take less opportunities to just try to see what I may be good at.  So WHY NOT?!  That is what I asked myself, what is the worst thing that can happen, they don’t like my video?  Big deal.  So I put together a video and at the 11th hour with my sister’s help sent it in.  The rest of the story is in my original post.

This being the 1 year anniversary to the day of the first airing of the episode I was featured in, I wanted to give some motivation and encouragement to someone that may need it.  (Please feel free to comment and share this post with others that may need encouragement.)

The process of being selected as a finalist really helped me.  Each conversation with the producers about why I deserved to win, and why I felt so drawn to cooking, and finally writing the essay about my love for food and the culinary experience, led me to exactly where I needed to be.  Though I didn’t win the final reward of a full scholarship to The International Culinary Center, I won the opportunity to discover my passion.  I realize that some people don’t get to even dig in and understand what they are most passionate about because they are so busy living the life that they or others carved out for them.  Once you determine what your passion is, it is important to not ignore it and bury it to never explore it again.  Once you have uncovered your passion, find a way to enjoy that passion, and if you are lucky use that passion to explore your purpose and you just might be able to find a way to monetize or at least regularly explore it for your own personal growth.
Everyone does not get the opportunity to be asked the probing questions to lead you to understanding your passion and purpose.  So, we have to ask ourselves those questions and force ourselves to answer them, and create that vision board that helps you map out exactly what your journey WILL  look like.  Create your intention, and map out the steps it will take for you to follow your passion, in what ever timing you decide is right for you.  But by all means do the work, what is life if we are just living it to complete the next 24 hours, imagine life with dreams and achievements, that you had no idea were possible but you made them possible.  Whew, its powerful just thinking about it.  Know that you have your destiny in your hands, and when you ignore your gifts, you are depriving others of sharing in that gift.