Lately, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on the subject of what we all “should” be doing — professionally. It’s a topic that Derek and I frequently discuss, and agree is a topic so many people overlook. I’m glad that society, as a whole, seems to be shifting to the conclusion that it is collectively beneficial for individuals to pursue careers in the direction that makes them happy, not necessarily in the direction they’ve been pushed. Why be an unhappy, mediocre data analyst when you could be a happy, brilliant artist sharing your joy with the world?
I know I’ve said it before, but I’m really grateful that I’ve been able to take the last year to plunge into what makes me happy, and what I think I really want to do (food! blogging! EATING!). It has not been easy, and I often find myself doubting if I’ve made the right choice: will I be able to contribute and support our family? Am I going to reach X goal and deem myself “successful” anytime soon? Am I kidding myself and should I go get a “real” job? It’s a struggle for me because I like to think I’m practical. I’m very good at making “emotional” decisions unemotionally, almost too detached, rather than being rash — and this choice to be a budding food blogger seems entirely irrational and careless.
Whenever we discuss this topic, we always come back to the following question: what did you love to do as a kid? Sure, we change as we grow and discover new pursuits, but I do think our natural tendencies as children are probably in line with our current, albeit perhaps stifled, interests. I wholeheartedly believe that we should pay more attention to this, but I have a hard time figuring it out for myself. What did I like as a kid — before being persuaded by friends and society and family as to what I “should” like to do? And what does that mean for me now?
I loved climbing trees. I loved reading. I loved singing. I loved babies. I think I loved baking, but I don’t have any memories as a young child as actually DOING any baking. But how does one make a career our of climbing trees, reading, singing, and loving infants? Perhaps my initial instinct, to be a kindergarden teacher, was right all along. For years I thought that was my career destination, before changing course in college. I can’t even offer an explanation as to why I made that decision, anyways!
None of this is to say I’m discontent in my current occupation — in fact, it’s quite the opposite. I love the freedom I have, and I enjoy doing the work. I’m still learning a LOT and know I could maximize my potential as a food blogger way better than I currently am — and I have no desire to change careers. I just bring it up as a topic to ponder in your own life. Are you doing what you love? If not, what’s holding you back? What would you do, if your 7-year-old self had pre-determined your career path?
I’ll leave you with a short word on these cookies, although there isn’t much to say: they’re phenomenal. They’re sweet, and VERY soft, with a perfectly spiced blend of flavor to keep you hopelessly addicted. They could probably pass as a Christmas cookie, as they remind me a bit of drinking some GoodEarth Sweet & Spicy tea. These won’t look very done when you should take them out of the oven, so be careful not to over-bake!
- 1¾ cup flour
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp all-spice
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp honey
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp ground vanilla beans (optional)
- 1 Tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and the spices. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter with the sugar. Cream together until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg, and mix until fully incorporated.
- Mix in the vanilla and honey, then the flour mixture until just combined.
- Scoop the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 8-9 minutes. Cookies will not look done.
- Let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before moving them to a cooling rack.
- Combine the powdered sugar, ground vanilla beans, and milk, then drizzle over the cookies.