I burned myself this last May… badly. It wasn’t a rush-her-to-the-ER kind of burn, but it wasn’t something you put aloe on and forget you had after a week. It was a bad burn. There was… not to be too graphic… flesh missing from the section of my wrist which had met an extremely hot pan of lasagna. Mostly, I was really proud that I hadn’t dropped what I was holding when I burned myself and that only about five in the twenty-five people present even noticed anything was amiss.

On a nearly unrelated note: my aunt bought a house this summer. I got to meet her realtor – a very nice woman. Over lunch, my sleeve slipped up and the large, scabbed burn was visible, so the conversation drifted over to my day-job. I explained that I was a chef. She said, with a charming sort of self-deprecating humor, that her husband had banned her from the kitchen, or at least the use of the oven, for fear of further burns in her domestic cooking career.

Looking at my wrist now, at the slowly healing scar, I realize that the two different mindsets are the fundamental difference between someone who cooks and a cook. In fact, how ANY person in ANY profession reacts to failure is what differentiates between those-who-do and do-ers.

Someone who paints… a painter. Someone who writes… a writer. The difference between a chef and a person puttering around the kitchen is the difference between looking at singed flesh and thinking, “Huh. I wonder if that white stuff is bone? Better shove this under some cold water, throw a band-aid on so I don’t get blood in the food, and put a glove over it to comply with the health code.” and muffled screaming, cursing, and swearing off lasagna for the rest of life.

So, in the ‘About Me‘ section over *waves hands* there, when I say, “freelance digital artist, photographer, writer, chef, tile-layer, horse-rider, breakfast queen, “Age of Sail” obsessed, free spirit of a girl.” It means that I got burned, bucked off, broken, bullied, or otherwise pained… I didn’t give up. That doesn’t mean I didn’t cry. It doesn’t mean I didn’t have to elevate certain limbs until swelling subsided. And it doesn’t mean I didn’t pay for my mistakes. It means I found something I loved, and I refused to give it up until I found a degree of competence which reduced the number of mistakes, eased the way, and made each risk worth it.

There’s a lot to be said for determination – for the stiff upper lip and the shaky, “I’m fine.” Which a beginner utters when they stumble into their first road block.

I feel like you know you’ve made it to a whole different level when something which would send lesser mortals into shock makes you shrug your shoulders and say…

“It happens.”

Now, get you hence and create until your fingers bleed; then shrug it off and keep on working. And people think I don’t understand motivational sports movies. *scoffs*

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By the by, Essential Oils are a boon for long-term care of cooking injuries, and I doubt I’ll even have a scar in another few months.

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