You Can’t Always Get What You Want.


Presently I am seated in my living room finishing a pot of cold coffee and trying not to think about sorting and packing.*

When I moved to London, I was planning on coming back within 3 months, maximum 6 or 7. A friend who lived in a tiny sad apartment gladly replaced me in the co-op, allowing me to retain my residence in the beautiful hundred year old building I loved so much. Upon my return, I went to Calgary because my friend wanted to keep my place until September. Apparently this contravened co-op rules, and they promptly tried to evict me.


The last thing I wanted was to lose my home, especially since I don’t have a substitute. I was given two options: move back in very short notice, which would mean leaving my employer in the shit during film festival bonanza, leaving me with no job and a resume with 5 restos in a one year period (circumstances aside, that looks like a pattern even though it isn’t) or move out in short notice and keep a job that I really love despite the frustration and exhaustion and homelessness.


I couldn’t help but want to move back here. The first-world-problem in me wanted my books and dvds, furniture and paintings. The sounds of jack-hammers in the streets, and the kid who lives upstairs who still plays the recorder (maybe it’s always been a flute). I wanted to sleep in my bed and sit on my balcony. I wanted to drink coffee with my parents and pints with my friends.


But I’m not getting any younger. My years in restos is winding down just as I’m beginning, I started my pastry career very late after all. Worrying over job availability, not knowing where the food scene had gone in my hometown, options of working in cake shops or the local fair-trade coffee chain swirled in my head, but am I ready to calm down and make cakes?

I’m not.

Most decisions come fairly easily to me, but the pro-con lists, the coin flips, the tears, and my partners support could not make up my mind.

My chef did. His passion and unrelenting support for my own crazy love of my field made me realize that I should hold on to this good thing, for the restaurant and myself. Giving up now would make all the hours, all the sweat, all the tears, all the effort to build something amazing that people are finally starting to recognize and love moot.


When I used to paint, draw, and sculpt I never wanted to get rid of anything I’d created as it was some kind of proof that I existed, that I’d felt something and acted. Baking, I discovered, allowed me to create something from any feeling, sadness or happiness and of course hunger, without concern that it would disappear in order to be enjoyed. The discovery was terribly freeing, much like how traveling around, living with nothing more than necessities, love, and my own thoughts, has freed me from objects. I have found myself keeping the things passed down to me, keepsakes from friends, books that have inspired me, and not much else.

So I interpreted my fear of moving back to my hometown as proof that I wasn’t ready to come home, that I have more to learn elsewhere.


I’m sitting on my balcony and it is midnight. It’s raining. And in the distance I hear the whistling…

You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.



*Written 3 weeks ago. I haven’t had a day off till now 😦

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