This Is Weird

I have a few days left as a practicing lawyer, and it’s weird. That’s the most accurate description of how I feel.

The end of August was the deadline I set with my boss to leave my legal job. I’ve had time to plan and prepare for the moment I’d wake up and not have to jump out of bed to rush out the door to a legal brief that needed to be written or a meeting that needed to be attended. I had been looking forward to dedicating myself to my craft full-time and thought I’d be ecstatic and relieved. And I am . . . most of time.

When I first thought about leaving the law and becoming a chocolatier a few years ago, I had thoughts – probably every couple of days – when I said to myself – WTF? Are you crazy? You’re going to give up a career that you have given so much to and that has given you so much for a lot of uncertainty, for a path that requires you to figure it out, and for being vulnerable by sharing with strangers what you create. But the more I studied chocolate and worked with it (and ate it, of course!), the more this move fit.

At this point, my “freak out” moments are rare, and they are always the result of my thinking too far ahead and feeling overwhelmed about how much more I want to create and how fast I want to do it. I do understand that this adventure is akin to a 100-mile ultramarathon, not a sprint around the track.

This will all be weird. But the “weirdness” disappears when someone says “Damn, that’s good” or “Wow” after they’ve tasted something I’ve made.

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Sandals or Chocolate?

As it starts to get consistently warmer in the DC area (though this past Memorial Day weekend was an exception), my Miami roots are excited to be able to wear sandals daily, but I find myself getting worked up about how the warmer weather and higher humidity will impact working with chocolate.

I grew up in Miami, so all I knew for years was flip-flops and sandals—anything that didn’t suffocate my feet.  In college, I happily walked around the University of Miami campus amongst palm trees, under sunny skies, and in flip-flops.  Then I moved to DC for law school, and for the first few years in DC, as fall began turning to winter, I waited until the absolute last minute to pack my sandals away for the season.  I was so stubborn about it that I remember a time during early winter, when I got on an elevator with a woman who looked down at my open-toed shoes and said: “I hope you like pneumonia because you’re gonna get it.”  That was a bit harsh since she didn’t know me, and if it was possible to “get” pneumonia by wearing sandals, she wouldn’t be the one taking me to the hospital.

You get my point about sandals.

But when my life started to revolve around chocolate, I’d become conflicted as spring and summer approached.  The sandals would come back out, but I had to be even more vigilant about working with chocolate because the changes in temperature and humidity affect the finished product.

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