Do you guys remember this photo? I posted it a couple times on Instagram. It’s a craggy, crusty boule. Nothing special, but delicious. It’s the bread I took with me when I auditioned for The Great American Baking Show in May. Something I’ve never talked about before until now!
This Spring, I was contacted to audition for a TV show which, now that a few months have passed, I can say that I did not make it to the final cut. I made it to NYC, but no further than that. I was never devastated by the loss; in fact, I was happy to have made it as far as I did (considering I’m a home baker, I’m not really as dedicated to it as I had once been, and that I had to travel with bread, iced cookies, and eclairs from my farm in PA to Manhattan in one day).
I had a chance and I took it. I look at this boule as a culmination of my work, of a bit of courage and curiosity, and to the unknowable future of “What if…” that sparked within me a desire to try harder.
I took a risk.
I did not make it.
It did not discourage me. I hung up the phone with the producer when she said I did not make it and got on with my chores. Cleaned the coops and planted some late zinnias that day, if I remember correctly.
I mentioned this only for exemplary reasons. I mentioned this only for background. I mentioned this to color in the lines of where my head is for 2019.
I want to be braver.
This is my resolution or intention or goal or however you want to frame it. Yesterday at lunch, my friend Sarah asked me what my resolutions were for 2019. I rattled them off: be healthier (I don’t work out and I eat line a stoner), less social media, and ended it with a phrase I liked: “advocating for myself”. I want to boil this down to its essence. I want to be fearless in my friendships and my work and my contracts. I want to take the opportunities and not psyche myself out.
I look at this bread and I do not know if I actually wanted to be on TV or compete, or if I just wanted to say I had the chance. Maybe there is no distinction between the two now that it’s been seven months. But I was vulnerable in a way I don’t like to be and I tried it. I did not make it, but I tried it. I did not make it, but 2019 will be a more fearless Brett. One who tries and fails and tries again.
I do not know if I wanted to be on TV. I do not know if I wanted to compete. But I was 26 then and the eclairs were sweaty in the humidity and the train ride was long and bumpy and the world seemed like it had a lot more possibilities waiting for me than the small world I’ve built in 2016, 2017, 2018…