A Year to Remember

A look back at my blogging history shows precious little sentiment around New Years. This is in part because the last week every of the year until this one since 2000 was spent sitting in a cubicle killing the long days between Christmas and New Years when the corporations shut down but still require their employees to go to work. Thank god I’m no longer part of that waste of resources. But this year I feel like I should spend a few minutes and make a few notes about what the last year has meant to my life.

I have to say that 2010 was about as momentous a year as I have had for quite some time. First and foremost, I got engaged. To be married! Holy crap! Dr. Fiance is finally going to make an honest man out of me! Second, Dr. Fiance also was able to pry me out of my beloved New York City and we moved to St. Louis. I quit the corporate job, bidding adieu to the cubicle and hello to the home office. I launched a freelance photography business. And I started cooking, and blogging about cooking, and making photographs of what I’m cooking here on Shoot To Cook.

St. Louis Food Photographer Jonathan Gayman

And I have to say that I haven’t felt this relaxed, this productive, or this creative in years. I’m working harder than I have in a really long time, and the difference is that I am working for me, rather than working to pay rent on a Manhattan apartment. I don’t want to marginalize my experience in New York, of course. I wouldn’t give up my time there for anything in the world. After all, that’s where I met Dr. Fiance, and where I learned how to do what I’m doing now. On a personal level I feel like New York City and the experience of moving there in my early 20s really shaped my adulthood (using the term loosely of course). I miss my city, but as each day passes in St. Louis I’m realizing that I’m worrying less and doing more. I’m stressing out less and I’m being creative more. I’ve done more (and better) personal work in the last few months than I did in the last few years in New York.

I miss my folks and our friends back in the New York dearly. When I get emails from them I am reminded that our lives which were formerly running parallel are now veering apart. My unwillingness to spend hours a day on Facebook makes even that tenuous link inadequate. I cherish the times when I go back home to PA and to New York and have the opportunity to reconnect, to drink and laugh, and to get the hugs from these people who have meant so much to me over the years. Unfortunately these visits happen all too infrequently. Christmas at home with the folks was wonderful. And the week between Christmas and New Years was packed full of fun and food and booze in the city, and it would not have been the same without the company of our amazing friends in the city.

While new friends can never replace old friends, in our short time in Missouri we have met some truly special people in St. Louis. I am sure that in the years to come I’ll be writing similar teary-eyed New Year’s posts about the people in our new city who have made us feel so welcome. They have opened their lives to us with the same love and enthusiasm that our friends in New York welcome us back when we visit. As I’ve mentioned before, despite the fact that we’ve only been in Missouri for six months it is a rare occasion when we are out and about in St. Louis that we don’t run into someone we know. This fact has helped to make St. Louis feel more like a home and less like some random stop on our journey through life.

St. Louis Photographer Jonathan Gayman

I had a lot to feel lucky about in 2010 and I’m looking forward to 2011. There are a lot of challenges on the horizon in the upcoming year but I am feeling confident to face them. My very best New Year’s wishes to all of my family, friends, readers, cooks, bakers, chefs, sommeliers, sauciers, pâtissiers, baristas, wait staff and everyone else who loves food. Happy New Year!

1 Comment

  • Emily
    January 3, 2011 at 8:50 am


    It is wonderful to read about all the positive changes in your life and the creative growth that they have brought to you. 2011 will be another year of growth and change and I look forward to reading about it. Hopefully I can toast you in person soon, too!


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