Dear Twentysomething: Judy Goodman

Dear twentysomething me,

Who knew that at age 52 I would be tackling two new areas in my life. They have given me a new perspective that I think would help you out. As you remember, my dad started me baking a bit of bread when I was nine from some kits they carried at a store called Jensens. They are no longer in business. I forgot all about that until four years ago when I started baking again as a form of mental therapy. YES, baking is very therapeutic; teaching baking is even more fun and so rewarding. The other new challenge is English style horseback riding. I too did a teeny tiny bit of that in my youth, do you remember? Well, Tina put me on a horse; that was about it. I remember loving the way those eyes of the horse looked right into your soul; well that was how it seemed anyway.

So this is some of what I have learned and I think it will really help you out. Some things, of course you will have to learn on your own and have a few stumbles on the way. Remember, you have to live with the choices you make.

Do not be in a rush. Life is short, but you need to be patient and experience all that it has to offer. You gotta feed the yeast and let it rise. Temperature and life experiences will affect the amount of time it takes to be ready. Green rider and green horse also take time to bond and learn together what you are supposed to do. When the “click” occurs amazing things will happen. It takes time to achieve a goal, but the journey is a learning experience and so worth it.

Do not be afraid. I was so scared to learn the canter. Kacie (the horse) was learning with me, and how was I supposed to know how to tell her what to do? I mean, they said just kick her. I had done a little investigating (another hint in life – always check things out and learn how others learn or take lessons. You did not have YouTube at 20, but it sure would have helped) and checked out videos, so I at least knew where to kick her. There is a special place so that they know to canter not just walk or trot forward. With bread it was learning how to manage the water/flour ratio known as hydration. More water equals bigger holes. It is tricky and takes experimentation and experience, so be willing to fall and fail in order to gain the knowledge. The perfect loaf does not come easily and it will not happen every time. My perfectionist self was not having an easy time accepting this. So do not aim to be a perfectionist, aim to be the best you can be at whatever it is you tackle. It really is ok not to be perfect. So take the leap, dare to be afraid but go forward as you might discover something wonderful.

Learn to rely on others. It can be friends and family or instructors. You have to be willing to ask for help. I know that this is hard for you at age 20. You think you show how inadequate you are if you ask. I mean you thought you could or should be able to do it all on your own. I remember you back in college with your stomach ulcers and walking pneumonia, what pressure you put on yourself. That was so silly, but you did not know what a small blip on the radar that time in your life would be later. That was your ivory tower. Remember to look out and see the whole city from that vantage point, not just live in the bell tower, that is what the windows are for.

I could go on, but tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday. Yes, I have an amazing daughter now and an equally wonderful son. Something you have to look forward to. I promised that I would get this done in time for her birthday and I always keep my promises. This is another thing I recommend that you do. Keep your word, honor your promises. People will know then that they can rely on you.

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