Cook my way out of depression

“Why did you go to this really expensive culinary school in 2015?”

This is the question that I get asked quite often, when making new friends, on my dates, chatting on Tinder (I tend to avoid revealing this because I don’t want guys to think I will cook them fine dining cuisine because of it), oh, and perhaps this question will come up in my final round of interview next week…

Yes, I am a mid-30 something divorcee, in good shape, kind-hearted, multi-lingual and I can butcher a rabbit, guinea fowl, chicken, lamb shoulder etc really well, with speed and precision and the best moment was when I used a piece of blue towel and scooped out the pig’s brain (it’s very small by the way!) when I staged at this well known Michelin star restaurant. I was so proud of myself that I took a photo of this. 

One of the teaching chef said, “rabbit has a very similar anatomy as humans” while we stared at the skinned hare on our red boards. While a lot of girls were screaming, I covered its head with a bit of blue towel and used the cleaver and hacked it off in one smooth chop. Just so it didn’t stare at me, while I swiftly butcher it in the sequence as shown in our demonstration lesson. 

Yes, you should be worried that I am pretty (when I put effort in) and I can use a carving knife, very well. But don’t worry, I am not going to kill anyone, not even my ex.

Sorry I’ve digressed. So, why the hell did I put myself through the most expensive culinary course, scrubbed a few Michelin star kitchens and lifted, dragged and washed and did so many shitty commis-duties for no money?

It’s not just because I got divorced. 

It is partly because it seemed like a more constructive rehab than going to a rehab, which from experience I didn’t really fit in compared to some real hardcore alcoholics and drug addicts. 

“But who will cook for you, making all these meal preps for you?” I asked my ex on day 3 or 4 after he had confessed years of betrayal and other fucked up stories.

Ex: “Well, I will get a helper.”

It was T.H.A.T. moment.

So, that moment happened in autumn 2014. Today, 9/6/2017 at local time 1830, I finished my last shift as a “chef” at my friend’s new trendy coffee shop at USD7.5 an hour (I don’t live in US btw).

When I was washing my face last night, I chuckled to myself how I don’t need these fancy exfoliation creams for my face because my hands are so fucking rough from the constant washing at work. 

For almost 2 years, I went from having “ladies who lunch” nails to “you can’t even have a nail biting problem-nails”. Get your imaginary violins out and play me some sympathy music. 

It’s ok. I don’t care. I knew what I was getting myself into. I re-trained myself not just to outstage the hard working helpers, but I was sacked as a housewife and I desperately needed to know that I am going to drift my dead body safely to shore with a useful lifeskill, so that I can at least flip burgers to earn some cash, should I EVER be dumped like that again.

I was at the peak of my career before we moved to this new country, where he got a very good job and when I decided volunteering wasn’t enough to satisfy my drive to contribute towards our home, he shouted “do you know how many people would dream to be in your shoes?” 

What a narcissistic twat. Beauty of hindsight eh?

There are days and nights like tonight where I feel down. This feeling of knowing that I am too scared to get close to another human being again and feel sorry for my loneliness. I know I was too emotionally dependent because I devoted everything in that relationship, but isn’t that what it’s all about? Love. Love like you give a shit. Love like you’ve never been hurt before and you trust that person unconditionally? 

Prior to my ex husband, he knew I was cheated by previous boyfriend. Before our engagement I remembered thinking to myself how odd it was for my ex to make references to my previous boyfriend who cheated on me and my ex was saying how I have trust issues. I think that was when his cheating started. Because when one is guilty, their subconscious speaks loudly. Love is blind. And I was then.

I wish my therapist is a genie in a bottle with 247 access. He is so popular that I have to book at least a week in advance, but often by the time I turn up the “problem” has shrunk a little. Tonight, I feel empty, a bit lonely, a bit scared about how my future will shape out as I prepare for my final interview in a few days time. Finally, I am making that move, I am physically and actively trying to increase my financial power to drive my life forward. It is a good thing, but it feels scary.

Last night, my wing girl and I went to this French house party. I knew my Frenchie FB (fuck buddy) was going too. I didn’t feel anything when I saw him as he spotted me guzzling down my iced bottle water, I felt embarrassed. I checked him out from a distance later on and I said to my wing girl, “I think I have finally reached that point where I know how guys focus so much on their careers, they don’t really chase after girls as a priority.” 

My motivation to get a job ASAP is mainly driven by the fact that I have moved back to my family’s flat, where my mum has been my “flat mate”, and I am sleeping in my childhood’s bunk bed where my arms can’t even extend straight and I feel like I am sleeping in a coffin every damn night. Money does really buy me freedom in this case. 

There is no one coming to save me. I am going to save myself and get the fuck out of here, as living like this is really eating away my self-esteem as a mid-30 something divorcee. 


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