2010, you were a motherfucker.

2010, you were a motherfucker.  Without a doubt, you have been the most difficult 12 months of my life.  If we were cellmates, you would've had me in lipstick.  I was your bitch.  2010, you ambushed me in the dark, shoved my face up against the mirror, and forced me to look at myself for who and what I am.  I fucking hate you 2010.  And I am forever indebted to you for everything that you gave me.

2010, you revealed my weaknesses by slapping me in the face.  Very public failures that led to sleepless nights that led to wildly aggressive, mildly productive days that led to more sleepless nights that somehow led me to a logical idea of how to proceed in the most efficient way.  You took my dangerous overconfidence and stripped it down to it's core; an inflated ego resting on a wobbly scaffolding made up of too many compliments, too few challenges, and the idea that I could do anything, at any time.  2010, at a certain point you were beating me down in such a brutal way that you made me feel deeply connected to the world around me.  Turmoil, frailty, unrest, rage.  You forced me to find a way to escape myself if only through running until my legs cramped and my lungs ached, and I was far, far away, with no choice but to walk back home alone, insecurities and fears taunting me the whole way.

2010, you made me smarter, by showing me how stupid I am.  It's been a hell of thing, being out there alone, and trying to figure things out...especially after I thought I had things all figured out.  I made my decisions based on a frail mix of past experiences, instinct, and common sense.  And this would work fine for me until I realized I had been being completely inefficient; burning up money, hours, and my teetering sanity.  Then, one moment at a time the pieces would start to come together, and I would quietly curse myself and let in a smile, if only for a moment.  And to think now that I have it all figured out would be ridiculous.  I'm sure that in six months ill be feeling many of these same frustrations with my past self.  For as smart as I like to think I am, I sure am a fucking idiot sometimes.

2010, you forced me to be better.  If for only one reason.  For the first time in my life succeeding had nothing to do with trying to advance my career, or ego, or money.  Cooking wasn't about being the best, or the guest, or self-fullfilment.  2010, you gave me the most profound/terrifying experience of my life when you gave me my son, and you showed me a whole new way to approach my work.  There is no motivation in the world like working for the survival of another person, and as a cook, to experience this...it's illuminating.  Every goal, every idea, every plate, every task, they all end up relating back to who it is that you're working for.  Suddenly the way people react to your craft becomes so much more..personal.  To impact my work this year was to impact my son, and even if it made me unreasonable at times, it absolutely made me cook better, and try harder.

2010, through you I accomplished so much.  Achievement.  Hurt.  Humiliation.  Elation.  The making of new friendships.  The transformation of old friends into enemies.  The abandonment of the familiar, the safe, for the great unknown.  You gave me a son.  You gave me the feeling that everything and nothing was impossible.  2010, you scared the fuck out of me, and never let me act like a little bitch about it.  I hate you 2010.  And I thank you for every single minute.

whats been going on the past 9 months:  SF, father & son, colton, colton, vic, colton, work, sold out, mer mer, last days at nopa, colton, to-do lists