I have a degree from a highly respected culinary school. Cooking has been a huge part of who I am for over half my life, now. I've always loved it. It has always brought me a lot of pleasure, creating great food, and especially sharing it with the ones I love. I absolutely love to cook for the man I am in love with. It is even more rewarding when he appreciates good food, and knows the difference between something I have worked hard on and something out of a box, or frozen.
As my marriage became increasingly miserable, I cooked less and less. For the last 6 months of it, I rarely cooked and he stopped expecting me to. I filled my grocery cart with things he could easily fix himself--hot dogs, frozen foods, canned soup. Sometimes I'd think I felt the urge to cook, and I'd buy things only to watch them rot in the refrigerator before I ever did anything with them. For some reason, I just couldn't do it.
I cook for a living, and I always have. Now I have my own business, and I sell a specific product. I love my work, and I rarely miss the hustle and bustle of a busy commercial kitchen. Professionally, I'm fine with where I am. It works for many reasons, one of which is it allows me to be with my children all the time. I do wonder if I'll ever rediscover my love for creating food.
Now that I find myself living basically alone, not even having my children here but 4 or 5 days a week, I still feel lost when it comes to what to cook. I have been living on peanut butter and Lean Cuisine's for the better part of a year now. I walk up and down the grocery store not having a clue what to put in my cart. It feels stupid to cook for just myself, even if I ever manage to rediscover my joy for cooking.
It is a big part of who I am. I don't expect everyone to understand, but some will. I wait for my heart to heal, the fog to clear from my brain, and to feel like "me" again. In the meantime, there is nothing wrong with peanut butter sandwiches. I will say, if I ever see another Lean Cuisine again it will be too soon.