River North Baking Studio & What’s to Come
It has been quite a year for me, and, as usual, when I get busy, I tend to let blogging slip. And boy has it slipped. To be honest, ever since the old blog died its slow and anticlimactic death, I’ve struggled to figure out exactly what I want to do going forward. I’m sure that struggle has been tangible for those of you who have made the transition with me. It’s coincided with a series of crises about picking a lane in life, which feels more and more urgent with every passing year. But things have been pretty tumultuous, and I’ve had some trouble taking hold of the reins.
I’ve always been able to see the vague outline of a future I might someday want to arrive at, but I’ve never been very good at plotting a course to get there. At least that’s how it feels. I’m impatient and afraid to commit to anything that might not work out. But I’m getting just a little bit too old to keep hopping on every semi-enticing vessel that drifts past, just to see where it will take me.
I don’t usually do New Year’s resolutions, for many of the reasons listed above. But this year felt different, mostly because of the massive struggles I faced in the year preceding it, and I made one simple resolution that I knew would be easier said and done. I wanted to commit. To stop dreaming about all of the dozens of things I might like to do one day, and choose a thing — one thing — and do it.
I thought, for just a minute, that that thing might be to buy a house. But that goal still felt foggy, for some reason, like I wasn’t really ready for it. Nonetheless, I carried on browsing real estate listings in the hopes that something might click into place, and it would suddenly feel right. But I came across something else instead — a shop for rent a short walk from where I currently live for a phenomenal price, that was already zoned for another one of the things I had on my admittedly very long list. It needed a lot of work. Like, a lot of work. And it felt risky, because it was. So I tried to ignore it and pivot back toward a more reasonable plan. But I found myself idly checking to see if it was still listed several times a day. And then, one day, it wasn’t listed anymore. And I felt my heart sink. B was home visiting his family, and I called him in a panic to say that the space had disappeared — that had to mean someone else had rented it, right?
The hour he returned back to Seoul, we placed a phone call while I held my breath. It hadn’t been rented at all. The realtor had just let the listing lapse.
And so, over the next few months, I rushed to finish the novel I was in the middle of translating, while working mornings at the radio station, and spent what was left of my evenings and weekends transforming this…
For now, the space will operate as an order- and take-out-only bakery, but I hope it will transition into a lot more in the future. And in addition to dedicating more time to my own workspace and business, I want to put more focus back onto this blog. I don’t get paid for writing here, obviously. I do it because I love it. And my love for blogging hasn’t disappeared. It’s just hard to find the time and mental energy when you’re producing a script for a two-hour radio show every day of the week, translating a novel, and doing loads of other paid writing work on the side. My hope is that compensating for some of that income through the bakery will give me back some of the mental space I need to do more writing of my own.
The bakery is set to open at the end of next week, and I’ll post more information then. But for now, I just wanted to take the first step to following through with my second commitment of the year, which is to show some love to this site, and to those of you who have so patiently hung around through all of these dry spells.
Freelance writer and editor. American in Seoul. I write about Korean food. I blog about all food. Last year I wrote a monthly column about traveling to different places around the country to explore Korean ingredients and cuisine. This ignited my interest in local foods and cooking, which I blog about regularly now. I also blog restaurant and cafe recommendations, recipes and some background and history about Korean food.