This Is My Embarrassing Life Dream

September 26, 2013

Wednesday, 8:34am. “So now what?” I ask Cass via Facebook messenger. This is a constant game we play with my life. I ponder (usually in a panicky manner) what’s next with my life and Cass plays devil’s advocate in response. “What do you want to go after?” Cass replies. I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past few days and with the overwhelming love and support I’ve received this week combined with the relief of releasing that burden of a frosting secret off my shoulders, I think I have an answer. It may be the wrong answer but it’s an answer for now. “TV.” I hit reply. “I can’t help myself. I know it’s so unrealistic but when I think of everything else I could do… I keep coming back to TV. You know I co-hosted this really awful local show once, right? It was really awful.” Just then my email dings so I check it. Subject line reads: Now Casting: New MTV Cooking Show & Food Network Star 10! I immediately forward it to Cass. I’m not one to believe in signs but… well hell, yeah I actually am. I wouldn’t go as far as to take this as a sign. An opportunity, maybe. I’ve auditioned for my fair shot of shows so I know how pie-in-the-sky it is to get chosen for one. Especially a show like Food Network Star. A lot of it comes down to having a really wow video. Oh, and luck. You need luck. I’ve always been embarrassed to admit how much I want to be on TV. How much I enjoy being on TV. I’m embarrassed because I think it makes me sound vain, narcissistic, and egocentric. How many girls are in LA right now steaming soy milk for pumpkin spiced lattes at Starbucks and praying that an agent from William Morris will walk in any day now, recognize their beauty and talent, and sign them on the spot; making them the next big star? I’m not that girl. But I don’t believe that I’m any more special, talented, or deserving than that girl either. Hold on, Donald needs to go outside for a poop. …………… What happens when you write a book is that you have a short window of opportunity before becoming obsolete. Your book will live on forever but you will eventually (in less than a year) become irrelevant. Unless you’re J.K. Rowling. Or Stephen King. Or Nora Ephron. But even if they stopped writing, one day (many hundreds of years from now) they too would become obsolete. Or say you’re Martha Stewart. Or Rachael Ray. Or Bobby Flay. How many new products/television shows/books do you see them continuously developing? Just the other day I walked into Macy’s and was accosted by a Martha Stewart section. A whole section. From Macy’s I drove over to PetSmart to grab Donald some pill pockets and what do I see? More Martha Stewart. Martha, what are you doing designing dog-wear? What’s next? Martha Stewart gas stations? But if you want to grow you cannot stop creating. Not for a second. So you have to sit down and think about what you really want to do. I try to envision myself in certain life scenarios. Such as public speaking or writing another book or reopening a cupcake bakery or selling jars of frosting. But I’m not just envisioning myself it, I’m feeling it. What’s it feel like? Does it feel good? Does it feel natural? How clear is the feeling? How clear is the vision? If the vision is murky and the feeling is terrifying or repressive, then I’m hesitant to move forward on that path. Mid-April 2012, Cass and I were sitting at her kitchen table playing the ponder game with my life (I told you we do this often). Cupcake Wars had aired that February, my cupcake shop was crazy busy, and I was in near tears with panic over what to do next, knowing again if you don’t do something fast, you become obsolete. “What do you want to do?” Cass asked. With my head down and eyes red I ashamedly responded, “TV.” So I started researching how to pitch a television show. And then I wrote several show pitches. They were terrible. I felt defeated and decided I didn’t have the fame or the prestige that it takes to make it on TV. So I decided to try my hand at writing a book instead. While standing behind my booth at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco last January, handing out taster spoons of frosting, I met this lovely woman who took a liking to me. Her husband was a TV producer and she wanted to tell him about me. Three weeks later I received a call from her husband—he wanted to set up a Skype meeting with me. OH. BOY. Positioning my “Penfield Business of The Year” award in the background, I turned on my computer, and prepared to wow the producers. My “Penfield Business of The Year” award looked like a T-Ball trophy opposite the two sparkling Emmy’s in their office. “We think you’re great. You look great. Great personality. But who’s your sidekick? Where’s your cast of characters? Where’s the drama? Find a cast of characters and some drama and call us back in a couple months.” I never called them back. Sometimes you don’t pursue your dreams because you’re not ready, frightened, or feeling unworthy. But dreams are like that Whac-A-Mole arcade game. You can keep pushing them down, whacking them with a hammer even. But they’re going to keep popping up at different turns, maybe when you least expect them to. Just don’t wait till the buzzer sounds to decide you want to go after them.

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