To follow my dream?

Or at least the dream of the moment? Right now the only thing I am sure of is my love and passion for cooking. I love creating my own dishes, reading up on other people’s dishes, and watching hours of cooking shows (when I manage to have the time). But is it something that I really want to do? Should I just leave my job, drop everything and go back to school? That’s the question of the day…

Just about two weeks ago, as I was in the process of renewing my contract at work, I started thinking to myself, is this really what I want to do for the rest of my life? Not really…but what else is there? So I sat and thought for a while about things that I actually like to do. And the main thing that came to mind was cooking. I type “culinary arts program baltimore” into google’s search engine and lo and behold the local culinary arts school is having an open house in two days. It must have been a sign (or maybe just a big coincidence). I excitedly call the school to sign up for the open house and anxiously await the two days to go.

The day arrives and I’m majorly excited. Everyone at the school is friendly (of course) and really pushing me to attend (of course) and I feel myself just getting caught up in all the excitement. I decide to go ahead and apply, I even go as far as paying my enrollment fee to reserve myself a spot in the evening classes starting in the summer. I feel super excited and motivated! Of course I have no idea if I’d be able to hold down my current job, take care of my son, and take 5 hours of class 3 nights a week. And I had no idea right then and there what the financial situation was going to look like.

I decide to sign up for one of their shadow days to see what the whole experience is like. To find out that it is an hour of lecture/instruction and then four straight hours of cooking. And being in the 101 type class with a bunch of younger students, I felt older and just out of place. It was a great experience but not to be a snob, I just felt like I already knew the majority of the things they were learning. Afterwards I met with financial aid to get the biggest let down of the day. I found out everything would be theoretically covered with grants and loans. But the loans would put me $9500 deeper in debt.

Now it would be nice to look at this as an investment but right now putting myself into more debt for something I am still unsure how I feel about just doesn’t feel right. I have no idea where to go with all this right now. Classes start in about a month and I am theoretically signed up to go ahead with it. The other big question that is haunting me now is, is this really what I want to do? And I honestly have not a clue…


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