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sigh, sigh + sea salt

April 19, 2010

In an attempt not to press my nose to the non-existent glass door of my oven as my caramel sea salt brownies bake away, I am dreaming of the ocean.

Particularly this ocean (gorgeous photo courtesy of Olivia over at everyday musings, a new discovery o’ mine):

Whether the hoped-for road trip happens or I just end up plopping myself in a plane and scooting out yonder, I can’t wait to see the ocean again. As I sprinkled the sea salt on my brownies tonight, I couldn’t help but crane my ears just a little to hear that gentle whoosh, lap, lap of the blue, blue water.

Sometimes it hits me how lucky I am to be where I am — a place that I often identify with uncertainty and anxiety, but is also a place with a great freedom and space to move and dream. Don Miller, that wonderful and wise man, said in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years:

If I have a hope, it’s that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm, as though to say, Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you.

He goes on to say later (perhaps in his book, but possibly only his blog) that we need to ask ourselves the question writers often do to begin a story — “What if?”

“What if I forgave my father? What if I quit the job I hate so much? What if I became the kind of daughter/mother/sister/friend that I know I could be?”

I don’t mind telling you all where I am in life — right now, I am hot-footing back and forth between the decision to go to culinary school, specifically for baking and pastry arts. One minute, I’m confident and ecstatic and proclaiming it to perfect strangers, like they should be excited even though they don’t know me. I’m shot through with the electricity of creating in the way that God created me. The next, I am freaking out and insisting to myself that it’s a horrible idea and will blow up in my face. I want to do it but I am plagued by “What if?”s.

“What if I am no good? What if it’s the wrong choice? What if I can’t find a part-time job while I’m in school and I end up in a box with no money?”

I realized something today, as I was sifting sea salt through my fingers and dreaming of open roads and aprons:

Perhaps I’ve just been asking the wrong questions.

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