Somewhere along the line, I realized how immensely satisfying do-it-yourself projects can be. There’s no better way to feel good about yourself than tackling a challenging project and accomplishing it. It’s the same feeling I get from baking, so I started to branch out even further into the realm of doing, making, building and growing things myself. I began by growing herbs and a fig tree named Figaro, and it turns out I am capable of keeping them alive. (Contrary to previous experiences, including in college when my poor flower plant, Agnes, was watered with what was definitely not water and was definitely vodka. Oops.)
So with Figaro and friends thriving in pots in my backyard, I decided to expand my operation. I was suddenly determined to build a plant bed on the roof where all my herbs could hang out and grow bigger. A trip to Home Depot was in order.
I spent a good hour and a half talking to the garden and lumber department, trying to figure out what I would need. When I left I had four, 4′ planks of wood, 4’X4′ plywood for the bottom (which came very, very close to not fitting in my car, if not for the help of two employees), four bags of soil and some nails.
My poor neighbors suffered an hour of me hammering together the planks on a very echo-y roof above a very echo-y alley.
Then, with a combination of nails and kitchen shears I was able to poke holes in the plywood for drainage, then tossed in the dirt and plants. I also found there’s something very satisfying about getting dirt underneath my fingernails.
I cannot tell you how proud I am of myself. It doesn’t seem like much, but I’ve never actually built anything before. And this will be a great practice run for next year, when I’m going to start in the spring and plant as many herbs and vegetables as I possible can. I feel like I can do anything! A feeling I need to hold onto as long as possible because I’m sure down the road there will be many days of shaken-confidence and self-doubt that will come with running a new business.
But then I try to imagine what it will feel like when the bakery does succeed. When I can say, “See? I can do it. I did it.” I can’t imagine a better or more rewarding feeling. And because I’m feeling proud right now, I want others to feel the same about themselves too. So just, go do some fun projects and bask in the glow of your own awesomeness! You can do it!