On the first day I baked a vanilla yogurt loaf cake layered with lavender infused buttercream and topped with whipped creme fraiche frosting all before noon.

Birthday Cake

It’s Tuesday. Normally, I’d be at work. If I still had a job. The oddest feeling — once the fears of living in the tent with the dog and cat get pushed into a dusty corner — is never again walking into the office I’ve known for the past six years.

On the first day after completing my last college class I had no assignment due, no reading to complete, no test to study for — ever again if I chose — I felt free. And adrift. I can remember the feeling, but not the actions. I feel like that day I went to work. On this first day, there is no where I have to be, nothing I have to do, and it’s also my birthday.

There is a lot of expectation to have an amazing day when it is both your birthday and your first day of unemployment. That’s a lot of pressure. On this day I feel adrift, sails are raised, and what adventures I’ll find is unknown. As soon as the wind picks up. I’m staying home. At home is the kitchen. In this 6.5′ x 8′ space there is a place for everything. I can explore and eat exotic dishes or find comfort in the familiar. At the end of every travel I can return here.

As first became tradition five years ago I baked a birthday cake. In this year’s cake my plan…my fantasy came true. I’m quite proud of creating four layers out of a single loaf cake. The lavender flavor is very subtle — just enough to be noticed without being commanding. The cake batter is barely sweet to adjust for all the powdered sugar in the filling. The frosting holds it all together. This cake looks and tastes smooth, calm, and delicate. That’s how it should be described even if it means endowing the cake with emotions and giving sight the sense of touch.

I’m not thrilled that this cake was entirely finished, including photographing and eating a slice, by noon. (My pets wanted to make sure I got up early in order to wish me Happy Birthday…that’s a lie. I was awake very early and woke up both pets through thoughtlessly petting them.) It left a whole day of nothing ahead of me.

Work is in my future. Since person of independent wealth seems to be a career outside of my skill set…actually, I want to feel productive. More than that I want to feel happy applying myself to a task, to new skills. I’m not interested in sitting at home watching TV all the time. I want to get out. Explore.

It’s Wednesday or day two. There’s a bit of a storm at sea today, (Really. A storm and cold front blew in last night leaving Austin gray.) but the wind has picked up along with the thunder and I’m hoping the ship lands somewhere amazing. And, hopefully, this will be the last of my metaphors about work and letting go and all that. ‘Cause really I think it’s time to bring in this particular kite.

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