Hi, I'm Caleigh
Lately I've been satisified by Simple Things like Breathing In and Breathing Out...
When I think of my journey leading up to this point of needing a double lung transplant to survive, it is similar to the process of making a warm chocolate soufflé; I've made this dozens of times in the several kitchens I have been blessed to work in. I, as well as the soufflé, start as an egg. We both enter into life with goals. Mine: to be a good person, make myself proud, be a great athlete, become a pastry chef and defy the odds of Cystic Fibrosis. The soufflé: to rise.
As our journeys proceed, we beat hard, whisking away like egg whites, working hard to develop into its purpose. I joined gymnastics and cheerleading at a young age and competed at a professional level, until moving to San Francisco to pursue my biggest dream of becoming a chef at the Le Cordon Bleu. Along the way there were set backs putting me in the hospital, but that only drove me to work harder at accomplishing a degree. I interned before and after the program, absorbing every bit of knowledge I could. Like a mise en place (for all you non-chefs mise en place is the meaning for “putting in place”. It is refers to the preparation before production begins), I gathered my skills instead of my ingredients, working sometimes 13 plus hours a day on top of my medical regimen. But, I wouldn't wish for one second of the experience to be gone. Waking up when it was still dark out to do my breathing treatments and staying up way past the point of exhaustion to be sure I was getting enough calories for the day, was worth every second in the kitchen.
After my externship, I began working as a pastry cook. The adrenaline and excitement of the fast paced kitchen brought me such passion that I would go home unable to sleep, waiting to get back into the kitchen. The feeling of accomplishment that the culinary environment would bring me while working is unimaginable to a non-foodie. Creativity, texture, temperature, taste; all the things my chefs in school would look for. Those are the things as time went by that forced me to strive increasingly harder to be the best I could.
With so much happening in my life personally and professionally, I had reached my peak. I had all the love, support and energy around me, similar to the chocolate and sugar whipping vivaciously around the yolks.Then all at once the whisk was snatched from the copper mixing bowl, and just like that I lost control of the souffles journey, my own journey as well. The feelings now are peaked whites, sugar, yolks, and chocolate in a bowl slowly being folded to combine into the next step. The ramekins are ready with sugared edges, uniform to my own career, waiting for my talent to grow. In the meantime, I'm in a bowl trapped. This disease is present but I am not powerless, it is gripping but I am brave. Though it is surely the most frightening and unsure roller coaster of my life- I am making the conscience choice to take the very front seat because I can endure and fight. My struggle makes me who I am. I take this invisible disease; naked to the uninformed eye for what it is and let it be. Now it's time with your support to enjoy life with all that it comes. To embrace the experiences and capture the moments, whatever they may be and fight through it. I've known pain, struggle, and defeat that others will never have to experience, nor should anyone. Cystic Fibrosis has made me the friend, sister, daughter, who I am today- I have accomplished many goals, but I am not finished yet, not even close. Please follow me on these social networks and help support my journey as I fight to breathe. Donate to help me rise and breathe.