In a world so fast paced as the one, we all live in today, how do you measure out the correct ingredients to fill a passionate life? How do you make each choice, believing you are not only writing your life on a page, but also creation a personal dish the world will yearn for, long after the meal is over? Is it possible to balance out all the possibilities through every decision and somehow come out, in the end with something more then a messy kitchen? What if you were brought up, believing that your life should always be filled with passion? What if you grew up, but never forgot the deep, rooted desire for that same passion. How would you correct possible years in the absence of passion? I hope the next few pages can account for a few of mine.
As a child I was brought up by a dreamer, my mother, who wanted to teach her children that passion and love were the keys to happiness. Only before I lost her around twelve years old, she had failed to mention how you do that in the twentieth century, less alone the twenty first century. So I was a young child who was brought up in a world of wonder. I saw much of the world before I was in my teens, but for everything I saw, I was never shown, or told a harsh truth; sometimes when you grow up, it is not feasible to hold on to childish believe’s and desires. When I lost my family at twelve, I had to start a new chapter of my life a bit early. I was placed in Kentucky group homes, and they never lasted very long. Bouncing from place to place, I tried to hold on, not only to my past family, but what I believed about the world I was growing into. Simple to say now, not always easy!
I turned eighteen an moved into a home with my older half brother, who had been raised by a very different side of the same mother, with a different father. Very few rainbows and no stuffed animals helped him to see the world I had always felt a part of. Needless to say our life, while somewhat stable, was very different and hard to combine together. We never saw eye to eye, and I felt like I was living in a home with only one heart. We never spoke of the books I had been raised on, “The Lord of the Rings” “A Tale of two cities” fairy tales, beyond memory now. He believed then, as he still does now, that the world is cut and dry, accept that or fall and get left behind!
Between eighteen and my early thirties, I had more jobs then most people would have in three times the years. I attended school’s, universities and vocational programs, but they too were all missing a passion I felt this world may have never had in the first place. I felt lost, alone and without meaning. In my first fourteen years of being an adult, I did not do relationships well. I always feared they would be just like the world, and my brother; cold and without passion. So I simply stayed away. Even when my heart begged me to do otherwise.
The year I was to turn thirty I applied and attended Le Cordon Bleu in the US. I had remembered the cooking in my grandparents kitchen from my childhood. I had remembered being taught nothing can come out right if it does not start and end with passion. I even told a professor/chef in school of my desire to find a career where my passion could be useful, and not an anchor pulling me to oblivion. A man who had attended culinary programs all over the world, and seemed to truly believe as I had been brought up, at least in a kitchen. I felt this may have a chance. When school was over and time came to find a position in a real kitchen, those beliefs vanished along with every other job I had ever had. That was till I traveled to Europe and found the passion I felt I would never find in the US. Restaurants in this country, America, are all about being the same way all the time. No room for creativity, no space for the passion of one person in a kitchen, no thought it could help. In Europe, people still cook as they have for hundreds of years, with their hearts. Family recipes past down through generations. Children adding or subtracting making it their own. The more I traveled, the more I came to a realization, passion was no longer on the menu in most parts of the world. People want consistency, no matter what it costs, both in money an in individuality, and passion to a chosen field.
When I returned to the states, I had found my passion in many different locations of the world, but my heart, mind and blood still told me this was where I would find my simple truth. I married at thirty four, divorced at thirty eight, and found myself almost at an end, no longer believing my passion would ever have a place in this world. I gave up cooking professionally, and returned to university. At thirty nine, I found myself attending Northern Kentucky University, and though I had aspirations of becoming a journalist, I found any passion for writing was no longer part of that job either. Cut and dry. Regurgitate the same thing a reporter for the station over, had already said today, or last night. Truth, as long as it is the truth through someone else’s eyes. That was not going to do it.
My thought was to finish that term, and possibly return to another country and vanish. Throughout my life I had always turned to writing as a way to cope with the world around me. The things I did not care for. The cold of others where there should have been heart. I made up much of my own reality, simply to be able to stomach the world I was forced to live in. At the end of my marriage I had sought the help of a counselor, to keep myself from wanting to die. She had told me to erase the world I truly lived in, and write my own. Take all the pain and suffering and turn it into something I could see, feel, understand and believe in. “Enslaved” became my reality. My ex wife hated that I poured my worthless feelings into a story that, in her opinion, would never be read by anyone. but I continued on. Out of that relationship, into the possibility of journalism, almost out of sight.
It started out very dark, and written by hand. I had no idea what I was doing, I had no delusions of having it published, but it kept me somewhere between my real, and reality. It read more like a bloody S&M tale, then a life anyone would ever dream of living, but it was the way I saw the world, and till I removed the wife from my equation, I never could have seen it differently. I bought an Apple Mac and went from writing by hand, to typing and found I had a talent for it. I shared my writings with others, and never seemed to receive a bad stroke for it. Back to what I thought was going to be my last semester in college or the US, I tripped over a young woman, who was fighting with demons of her own, and we became good friends. I had only been free of a relationship for a few years, no desire to get into another, but I had found a single person who not only wanted to see me, she wanted, for reason’s I may never know, to truly understand me. She found my writing one day, and read it from cover to cover. Interestingly enough it was the first time I had taken the opportunity to cook for her as well. She had come from a world, mostly void of passion, so to find someone who wanted to create her own world filled with passion was of great interest to her. That young woman is now my fiancee. We have two amazing dogs, and a life I would not trade for the world. In my three years with her, I have learned and found the passion my mother told me never live without. I still dream of moving to Europe and an old world in a modern century. People who work to live, and raise families.
Mom had not meant to live completely in passion, the human race is not, at this point, capable of such things. She had meant to find a way, large or small, to implement passion into a life you wished to not only live for yourself, but also share with others. I found that I had enslaved myself to a world I would never truly find. I had enslaved my heart to a chain, I could not break, and a soul, lost in the past. The story I started as a way to cope with my own hell, is now in the process of being printed, edited and published as the first book, a series of five called, “The Eight Expansion Series”, to be released sometime in 2016. I am under contract for the first one, the second is finished, and the third is underway. My passion and desire for darkness through enticing chances may well yet be read by the world at large. You, reading this now, may even find a bit of yourself in the very pages that brought me out of my own enslavement. That is my hope anyway.
I still write as I did when I started. I pour every bit of myself into my writing. As I do with my cooking, and the rest of my life. I have, not only one person that encourages me to continue forward with my truest intentions. I can not answer all the questions at the top of this, but I can answer a few. I have found others to add to the list, but one day at a time. Why do you live in a world without passion? Because you don’t allow yourself to dream for the impossible. Because you don’t want to be let down? Many reasons for the questions, but I find myself believing most in the world I hope to one day find. A world with people and careers, homes and families, and every day lives, daring to dream, for your passion. hold on to the possibilities, and never allow yourself to live, in the absence of passion.