Telling you my story, breaking the block and feeling the fear and doing it anyway (PART ONE)

October 16, 2011 in Life

confessions by Bea Correa

Okay so, this is going to be a post of a different sort. I have been resisting doing this because of how I wanted this site and myself to be perceived, but it’s come to a head that until I share with you an underlying core belief about myself, you’re never going to get the best of me and that’s NOT what I want.

You see, I have been feeling really blocked lately about what to write here. I have ALL these ideas, all these topics, and ALL these possible solutions for us all to try out but I keep being faced with the same voice in my head (no, I swear I’m not crazy) and I figure I gotta honor that voice, not listen to what everyone else thinks I should do and spill the thing that holds me back from really making this site be what I KNOW it can.

Of COURSE, sharing what I’m about to pushes on my fear. The message of fear that says “They don’t care that you’re feeling this way!” and “You’re going to lose credibility if you share this” and you know, it’s true, I might. But I can’t go forward with my sincerest intentions for you, to feel heard and seen in what can absolutely be a very isolating type of relationship, without honoring where I am first.

So here it goes….

I created this site because I wanted to find you. I wanted to reach out and connect with others who are feeling the same way. Those first few years, dating my now husband were REALLY confusing. I had NO idea what to expect, and NO ONE who could understand what I was going thru.

  • The feeling on the outside when I was around his friends because I wasn’t in the industry.
  • The frustration because he came home at 5am, without a phone call telling me he was okay and on top of it he’s trashed out of his mind.
  • The going to most shin digs by myself because he was working.
  • Going to bed alone.
  • Spending most of the weekend alone.
  • The spending his weekend day off with his chef friends than with me.
  • Getting that phone call at 11:30pm to see if I’d go pick him up or the only time I would be able to spend time with him is at midnight (I’m NOT a night person)
  • The “What do you want me to do about it, this is my schedule!”
  • Having my birthday happen to be New Years Eve and EVERY YEAR, I cannot spend with my boyfriend because it’s THEE busiest day of the year (side note: I LOVE my birthday)
  • And let me not leave out, the fact that there are always a new crop of pretty servers/bartenders/etc that would LOVE to hook up with the chef.

Oh yea, I’ve dealt with the SAME things most likely so many of you are dealing with.

Let’s not leave out the awesome things too…

  • Taking your parents to his restaurant and feeling such a sense of pride when the whole experience is MORE than you could’ve imagined (And BONUS: It’s SERIOUSLY discounted or FREE!)
  • Having him make you a whole meal based on your favorite ingredient.
  • Having anyone you talk to (even strangers) perk up when you mention that your boyfriend is a chef (their immediate question is ‘where?”)

There absolutely is the good stuff too.

It took my husband and I TEN years to get to a place where I knew I had what it took to be with him in the long haul. If you ask my husband or read the Washington Post article that features our wedding, he’ll tell you he ALWAYS knew that we were meant to be together. He would always tell me that. It was nice to hear but my truth is that

I DIDN’T KNOW THAT.

I absolutely did not know that I had what it took to make this type of relationship last. I had so much doubt, resentment and NO information to go on that yea… I didn’t feel confident AT ALL that this was the man I was supposed to marry. YEARS of the following: being with each other; something would happen (usually around me not dealing with his hours or feeling like I needed MORE) and we would spend months apart. I would date other people (he would probably start dating the servers..kidding) and after a few months, we’d miss each other and start hanging out again. This cycle would keep happening.

Did I love him? Yes. No question. But I kept feeling like I couldn’t handle all the baggage that came with him being in this industry. I wanted to know what it was like to come home after work and my boyfriend was there, I wanted to have a date to my companies Christmas party and even more than that… my BIRTHDAY!

So, after one huge blowout argument we had while driving in his car, I told him once and for all that I was moving on. I couldn’t do this anymore. I think he knew too, that I was struggling with what came with his career choice, because he sorta let me go in that moment. (Okay, because he always *knew* that we were meant to be, he never TRULY let me go but I think he understood that I had to experience something else)  We stopped seeing each other and within a few months, I was dating someone else…

a 9-5′r.

At first I LOVED it. LOVED. IT. I thought “See, I was right… I can’t DO that type of relationship. I am glad I trusted my gut”. I loved being able to go strawberry picking on Saturdays and getting out of town for the whole entire weekend instead of leaving LATE Saturday nite so we could bust out a family visit in 24 hours.

I’ll admit it, I missed having the ‘in’ when going to a certain restaurant and I missed how awesome it was when I did get to spend time with my ex. I did love him, that was NOT the issue. But this is what I wanted… I wanted to NOT have to deal with all that… crap. Or so I thought…

Of COURSE it’s ironic that as soon as he and I split ways, he soon after changed restaurants to one that had a more regular schedule, a more family atmosphere and allowed him to focus on his personal life. As I said in the article, I KNEW that as soon as I moved on.. REALLY moved on, he would become “ready”. (It’s all about timing, ain’t it?) He became ‘ready’ alright and he came for me with a fierceness. It was like he was saying, “Okay, I get it.. I couldn’t give you what you wanted, NOW I CAN, so come on.”

It was overwhelming, to tell you the truth. Here I am stuck between two worlds that both had things to offer me.  ALL those years of having to just deal with his schedule and the things that came with being with someone in the industry, and now he’s got a somewhat regular schedule, regular days off, and he wants me to just drop where I am.

INSTEAD THIS TIME, IT’S ME WHO ISN’T “READY”.

I had been enjoying the life that being with a 9-5′r  entailed, AND, although he changed his restaurant, I was still not convinced that we were meant to be. I told him this on many occasions but he was persistent (He’s a Taurus, what can you say? Strong willed, stubborn, yea. ***) I needed time to figure this out for myself. So I told him the ONLY way I could (read the Post article to find out what I said) so I could truly see if I was right about what I was craving for. Consistency and stability. It worked, he moved on and I was able to give 100% to my 9-5′r relationship.

Unfortunately it didn’t take too long to realize that something BIG that was missing….

ME.

**I know this is running LONG so I’m making this a two parter and honestly, what I really have to say is still coming, so PLEASE stay tuned.***

I know so many of you are reading this and thinking “Holy Crap! That’s exactly what I’m going thru!” And yea… I know it is.  It may be a different restaurant, different cuisine, and a different part of the country (or WORLD for that matter) but basically when it comes down to it… it’s all the same day in and day out stuff for all of us. If this makes sense to you, please feel free to share your story.

And if you don’t feel like sharing, please know that you’re NOT crazy for feeling the way you’re feeling. I hope that by sharing my inner frustrations, resentments and fears, that I can show you that it’s COMMON for us to feel similarly.

*** NO offense to Taurus’ out there, but if you know yourself even a little bit, you know that being strong willed and stubborn is both your blessing and your curse.

CLICK HERE TO READ PART TWO!

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Telling you my story, breaking the block and feeling the fear and doing it anyway (PART ONE)

18 Comments

    1. Oh, HONEY. I may not be in that specific situation (hell, I’ve been single since splitting from my retail-manager husband four years ago and have never dated a chef) but I SO get that “eep, I really want to say something but I’m scared and what if-what if-what if …” So I’ll be back to read part 2, and in the meantime all I can say is: SAY IT. Share it. It might piss some people off. It might mean some readers go “uh … no.” BUT it will almost certainly speak volumes to the right people — and they will love you for it. Rock on.

      • Thank you Annie!!! I can already tell you I am feeling the wall coming down now that I am sharing how I feel inside and challenging that damn voice that says “Who do you think you are!”. SO excited to see what happens from here!

    2. Sandi Amorim says:

      I’ve no relation to the industry but can still relate, and that’s because of your storytelling and vulnerability. Kudos for sharing yourself fully!

    3. Christy says:

      Loved it Kerilyn…..so proud of YOU going after your dreams…look what you have created for you and others :) Looking forward to Part 2….

      • Thanks Christy! It’s amazing what feeling fear will do to block us from fulfilling our dreams! (Have you been watching Oprah’s Lifeclass? If so, it’s what helped release the block!) Writing Part Two now…

    4. Kimberly says:

      Ahhhh! I want to read the rest of the story!
      I am so thankful for this website and facebook group. To be able to connect with other women who are going through the same things is so helpful and soothing.
      I’ve actually had the opportunity to experience being with my fiance as a chef & as a 9-5r (he took a 2 year break from the kitchen) and although I LOVED having him home for dinner, family events and weekend getaways, I prefer him as a chef. When he’s a chef I get to be with someone who is passionate about what he does which encourages me to do what I am passionate about. When he’s a chef I know I have completely selfish alone time in the evenings which is when I work best. Most importantly, when he’s a chef we cherish our time off together and have more fun. It does get lonely at times and I’m sure once we have children things will change for me DRAMATICALLY, but for now I would much rather be with a passionate chef than a boring 9-5r.

      • Hey Kimberly! Thanks for your comment! I’m working on Part Two right now. Will share it will everyone tomorrow. I’m SO glad you’re happy about the site… I AM TOO!! I am SO glad to know that you are out there, understanding exactly what I’m saying! Makes me feel a LOT less crazy!

        Wow. Sounds like you know what it’s like from both sides of the coin! What an amazing advantage you have! I agree, It’s more fun on his day off when we can really appreciate what time we have together and you can have the time alone to work on your OWN calling!

    5. Mollie says:

      Thank you for this. I have been feeling so incredibly alone. Today was especially blah (something about Sundays?) But I read your post and rode my bicycle and have hope that someday I will be able to make sense of this thing I am calling a “relationship” with my truly sweet and loving Chef. Cant wait to read more!

      • Hi there Mollie! I’m so so glad sharing my story helped you today. I assure you, you are not alone although I desperately know how it feels like you are. Hopefully the weather was beautiful on your bike ride today! I’m here if you ever want to chat!

    6. Laura says:

      As I read the article, it was like reading about my self. Right down to the birthday. I too am a New Years Eve baby. I have felt & been through everything that you described. The funny thing is when I mention that my husband is a chef people ask straight away if he cooks the meals at home or does he comment on the meals I make him. Trust me if he did comment, there wouldn’t be any food on the table at dinner. At the moment I am going through the guilt phase of organising things on the weekend for me to do then finding out he doesn’t start till 2pm & I have already made plans. I feel bad if I cancel on my firends & I feel bad that I’m not spending time with him. It is a vicious cycle.

      • Hi Laura! Thank you for your comments! Wow, you’re a NYE baby too, huh? Cool! Isn’t it almost aggravating that people instantly think our chefs are cooking for us every nite! I know most of us get the SAME question from people who have NO idea. Feeling that guilt when you realize he’s got an open morning is SO common. I still find myself wanting to cancel my original plans when I find out he’s opening and will be home in the evening. I inevitably say “I can’t wait around for you to tell me what your schedule is” and he always says “I know.” I’m a planner and I usually plan one week out with my activities. (Doesn’t change the fact that I still feel that twinge of guilt when I go, knowing he’s home) If I may… how would you feel about having a pre-game action plan with him, kinda a “GOING FORWARD” plan, including how you’ll handle last minute changes to his schedule, how much time you need in order to change your plans (if you wish to). What if you decide that TODAY, the cycle stops and you put some plans into place that will allow you to reduce the amount of guilt you’re feeling. Just a thought. :)

    7. Marissa says:

      I’m so proud of you for sharing something that is hard. That takes real guts! I must admit, that when people put themselves out there and have the ability to show their vulnerabilities, I always admire them even more!

      That schedule has to be tough, and I’m looking forward to the 2nd part of your story. My husband has worked an odd schedule for the past 9 years. Not having a weekend together can suck – especially if we want to get away, but I love my Sundays to myself too :) Glad you guys have found a way to find your own personal balance. xo, M

      • Hi there Marissa!! Oh my goodness THANK YOU! Admittedly, my desire to be my most authentic self and really share my intentions with my people absolutely began to outweigh my fears around my credibility. Totally agree with you, not having a whole weekend together can suck but at the same time, I DO love my Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons to do WHATEVER I want to do! It is all about finding that balance, isn’t it! You’re the best! :) Kerilyn

    8. Kat Sheff says:

      Thank you, Kerilyn, for sharing such a beautiful, honest post. I always think that there must be other women out there dealing with exactly what I am, but I never realized how similar the issues we all face really are until I read this. Reading the list of bad things…honestly, if I hadn’t known someone else wrote them I think I could find them written in a journal somewhere!
      I come from a little different background since I was in the industry when we met and got married, so our lives fit together quite nicely. Add a baby into the mix, get out of the industry, and everything changes.
      I have been struggling with many different issues lately now that there is another person to think about. Many of them have to do with the day to day stresses of being the only parent at home to do, well, everything. It still boggles my mind that when he leaves at 10am I have the power ability responsibility to decide whether or not she will see another person during the next 10 hours before bedtime. The other thing I am really starting to think about is the effects it will have on my daughter. She’s only two, but she is already observant of everything. As I was rocking her to sleep tonight she said, “Daddy not here. Daddy cook restaurant. Daddy tired, come back sleep.” I know that may seem a little incoherent, but the part that got me is the Daddy not here. It broke my heart. And the worst part is that even though I would love to share with him how much she loves him, I know it breaks his heart too. How can you explain to a 2-year-old that Daddy is an amazingly talented and passionate person who followed his dream instead of playing it safe with the corporate job? I may have to save that bedtime story for another night.
      I just remember to take it one day/hour/minute at a time, be the best person I can, and give the most I’m able to for the love of both of them. I definitely didn’t plan it this way, but this is our one life and I want to get all I can out of it.

      • Thank you Kat for your wonderful comment and sharing with us your own experiences. I do not yet have children, but from what I hear from so many of you, it can really be like being a single parent at times. It gives me so much hope to know that there are other women who have successfully maneuvered through the world of being married to a chef AND being a mama. Sounds like you know what’s important to you, despite the things you cannot always control, and THAT is what makes you STRONG. I am very grateful to know you are there.

    9. Kathleen says:

      You are doing great! I love this website, the facebook page, and twitter. Without your energy to pull this together and keep it going I would still be feeling alone and misunderstood. Thank you.

      • THANK YOU Kathleen!!! I can’t tell you how much that means to me! I also gotta say, having you and the other DC other halves to get together with CONFIRMS for me that I want to arrange get togethers at different locations around the country (heck, around the WORLD!!!) Getting together with other women (so far) who are in the same boat is KEY to us feeling not so alone. Thank YOU for being a part of my tribe.

    10. [...] early years, when I was CLEARLY unsure that I had what it took to be connected, those moments of feeling jealous would inevitably be the cause of an argument. [...]

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Telling you my story, breaking the block and feeling the fear and doing it anyway (PART ONE)

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