Cant Leave Profession!!

Joined May 14, 2008
I cant seem to get this profession out of my head, even after two years of being out of it (somewhat).  Even after changing professions, going back to school, currently having a 4.0 GPA in healthcare where the hours are MUCH BETTER.  I still find myself looking at damn cooking websites, checking out restaurant industry related books at the library, and "breaking down" every restaurant I go to.  I literally am not able to sit down at a restaurant with friends and not point to the back of the kitchen to either praise or be worried about BOH operations. I want to leave this industry, its been so hard on me because I loved what I did so much. I enjoyed working with customers, I loved working with young cooks, I loved meeting new owners with great vision. But I'm so afraid that if I go back to the restaurant world I'll just realize that I wont be able to raise a family, or be a good father to my children.

I cant tell you how many chefs I've met that has either changed careers or wished they chose to do something else just so they could be with their families more. I tried the whole corporate kitchen thing, and its nice I suppose. Yet here I am at 11:00pm in the evening type away, skipping my homework for the first time ever just to rant about how much I cant get this industry out of my dang head!

What makes matters worse is that both my spouse and I used to work in kitchens, and we both changed careers for the sake of family. We both loved the kitchen and the type of work it was. Whats more terrible is that I havent been full time in a kitchen for two years. I did a few quick stints here and there while floating aimlessly for a while. Helped one owner cut down food costs and speed up the cooks. Worked for free at another place, they liked me so much I was going to be their head cook, but turned it down again out of fear.

Can any of you cooks tell me how to get out? I tried doing small stuff (non restaurant food service) to perhaps act like a nicotine patch and get off of cooking slowly, but it made it worse! I NEED some advice on this, how do I get this out of my head?!?!?!

I need to get excited about my new chosen profession but I cant! I even locked away all cooking related items (books, uniforms, knives) in a box, but that didnt help at all either. I've got a great GPA in a competitive major, shouldnt I be happy for this? Instead of yearning for a life that is super unhealthy?
Joined May 5, 2010
Did you ever see the movie "sister act?"

Whoppee Goldberg tells a student the following:

"If all you think about when you wake up each morning and go to bed each night is singing, then that's what you are supposed to do and love"

You can't get it out of your head because the restaurant business is in your DNA.

Try as you might, you won't be happy anyplace else.

This is a life choice you face now, both you and your spouse.

This is a decision only you can make.

IMHO I would go for what makes you happy. Families have been raised for hundreds of years with both spouses working full time.

You can do it too.

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