Yesterday, I felt unsure about my choices. Was I giving up on my dreams, taking the easy route, going for something that was secure financially but might leave me wanting something more for the rest of my life? Today, I found the answer within myself.
Somehow, through the course of my internet browsing, I came across a website called "Fed Up With Lunch." An elementary school teacher has chronicled a year of photographs, consuming the same high-calorie, high-carb, low-in-nutrient lunches as her students. She intended this project as a promotion of awareness, and I was absolutely floored by what I saw. As a kid, I had a wonderful mother who was pretty health conscious- I never once consumed a school lunch. I had never seen those weird frozen fruit cups or square bricks of oily "pizza"; in fact, I had to ask my roommate what the former was. (Yes, the orange mush was that unidentifiable.) Seeing that these are the meals our kids are provided- at best! this is a decently funded school where meals are not government subsidized. That's a whole new horror story.- is a nightmare. It sends shivers up my spine and resolve into my heart.
I know I'm taking a round-about route changing my major to hospitality, but I have a plan. Through this program, I am gaining an understanding of the preparation of food and the running of a commercial kitchen. Next year, I will be taking culinary classes alongside my full university course load. After graduation, it's immediately on to graduate school, during which time I will be pursuing a degree in nutrition and getting my certification as a registered dietitian. In six years, with all of this information and reputability under my belt, I can begin my fight to change this. I've never really felt that I had a calling, just something I really wanted to do---but it turns out, I think this is it. The thing that I'm meant to do. To educate children and families, whether it be in their homes or in schools, how to provide themselves with good quality food at affordable prices, to make good choices outside of the home, consume in moderation, know what their body needs and what's just extra. I want to give people the skills to improve the most basic, important function of their lives- eating. None of us realize how terrible we feel eating the way that it is easy to eat, but if you take yourself off of convenience food, you start to realize- less stomach discomfort, more energy, easier and deeper sleep, regular periods, more mental clarity.... Hey! I'm really doing myself a favor cutting out the junk!
In short, I feel good today, and not just because of what I ate for dinner. I feel like I know who I am and what I want from my life, and I'm ready to make the choices to get my ultimate goal accomplished. I just want to save the world, or at least get them eating fewer Cheetos.