I’ve been keeping a secret… a big secret. In a little over two months, I will be closing up the baking shop in Sioux Falls and heading to the University of Iowa to pursue a Ph.D. in Health Services and Policy.
This job has grown me in ways that I never even imagined. I have met the most amazing people and explored a creative side in me that under any other circumstance would have lain dormant. I have been given opportunities to share my love of baking on a platform much larger than I anticipated. In return, I have been constantly amazed by the RIDICULOUS amount of support I have seen time and time again. Honestly, the people in this corner have given me the ability to keep moving forward even when I have wanted to quit (lol ask my family about this weekly conversation ). From the consistent orders, to the creative freedom on your cakes, the sweet words of praise, and the community I’ve met on this app so many of you have shown up for me in the last two years.
But I also met more stress than I thought possible. I (and my family + Seth) have worked our tails off every holiday, worked weekends and early mornings, dealt with a now seemingly constant series of shortages and
subsequent price increases, and put a bit of my heart and creative energy into every cake that goes out that door.
At some point in the last year, I knew that this just wasn’t a sustainable future life. I was absolutely not the best version of myself. As hard as that is for me to admit, this job has not only put a strain on me but even on those around me at times.
I think this is particularly scary because I’ve heard so many times over the last few years that I am proof that following your dreams can work! BUT I don’t want anyone to think that following your dreams can’t work, I just think your dreams have to intersect with some part of reality. Over the past year as the reality of a future in owning a bakery or pursuing cake decorating as a career became clear, I knew it wasn’t something that I could do forever.
I found that I missed the academic setting. (Read: Nerd Alert) I missed reading, discussing, and teaching. I’ve always been drawn to the healthcare field but medical school just never felt like the best fit (mostly because I gag at the sight of blood). So when I found the field of health policy I felt like a big AHA. Catch me researching medicare & Medicaid policy, organizational behavior in health care, and health economics.
So in two months, I will be marking the end of what served as an equally wonderful and challenging chapter of my life. My life will forever be intertwined with sugar and butter, countless bakery visits, and the eternal quest for the best cinnamon roll. I mean that is coursing through my veins (just like all that diet coke). As I get closer to closing this chapter, I have become more and more certain that this part of my life has unfolded exactly as it was intended to. Baking will always play some role in my story and I am looking forward to what will be next. Did someone say online course?
All in all, I just want to say THANK YOU and cheers to a new adventure. Hope you’ll still follow along.
(also, yes I am wearing Christmas fuzzy socks and opted to not retake the first picture because I guarantee I will spend many more hours in this building in fuzzy socks so it seemed fitting)