Every morning for the 3 months in Virginia, I'll hit my alarm clock at 7am on weekdays, breakfast in the apartment then off to work; we would drive past the quiet and beautiful neighbourhood in Old Town Alexandria before getting to Maggie's work studio and getting home was something only 9 hours later- which is nothing as compared to my friends who braved their souls to Paris chasing after their pastry dreams. Work shifts were probably 13 or 14 hours and they had to wake up at 4am in the morning. But, it was tiring nonetheless, I'd be lying through my teeth if I were to tell you everything about the internship is amazing, I mean it IS amazing but humans are humans, as much as I always complain how tiring I am at the end of the day, I always give thanks to the experience absorbed during the day. It's always a give & take thing.
Good times as it is, always pass in a blink of an eye. Looking back at it from now, from an emotional viewpoint, my most enduring memory is number one, the big elephant steps we would take every morning stomping down the extremely hollow stairs of 4 level apartment and waking our neighbours up (I'm kidding, not sure about waking them up but steps were loud), we did try our best to silence them, but to no avail. The stairs were too hollow, not to mention when I was carrying my two 50 pounds suitcases, a backpack and a heavy tote bag storing my tablewares 5:30am in the morning down those flight of stairs on my last morning in Virginia, only to receive a message from the cab company that my cab is only a mile away from my apartment (I was on the way to catching the plane home). Running was all I did. Or sprinting. I really wish my neighbours were up but I was alone. Number two, the beautiful rows of shop houses on Old Town Alexandria, on Henry Street in the Fall, nothing close to home, yet my heart feels so warm. The atmosphere just emanates itself, maybe because it was nothing like home and fresh things always entices me, or maybe its been the mornings I have been yearning to wake up to. & I finally did it.
And, if you have read my very first post after arriving in the States, you would have known I signed a NDA (Non-disclosure Act) with Maggie Austin Cake, and hence the amount of information I shared on the social media was so restricted. Gotta follow the rules~
Maggie, from what I know her from the screen in front of my computer is nothing much different in real life- she is always so helpful with information what would aid and help us in any ways, her stories and her experiences really inspires. How many could really build themselves up almost immediately after such a bad fall and having to find a passion that brings out the glow they used to have? I guess sometimes life's limits either build or destroy a person, Maggie did the former and that really inspires me. For me, it was a bumpy road of getting lost and discovery, not getting into a school I always wanted and slowly finding what I truly love to do, & also garnering support from a social media platform really pushes me. Its amazing how sometimes people you never met before behind the screens of your smart devices could give so much encouragement and some even revives you when you feel like your life is worthless. Come on, admit it we all have those moments, its nothing to be ashamed of, we are humans.
A very HUGE thank you if you have ever left a word of encouragement/ comment on my posts, I just want to let you know it means the world to me and I know it takes a lot for silent followers to voice something out from the bottom of your hearts. Thank you once again, you guys played a really big role in making my journey to pursuing my dreams possible. You have no idea how much it means to me. :')
And also, this woman, Kristen Ostrowski is the sweetest girl I have known, and my very first American friend, turned good friend after living for 3 months together, we only met on the day I arrived in D.C., voilà, how amazing things work out sometimes. We exchanged so much information and backgrounds about our cultures, which always leaves either one of us feeling amused/amazed because of the vast difference in where we grew up. Supporting each other in duties during our internship, she would drop me and pick me up from work even though she is sick and I insisted she stayed at home and me taking the public transport. Such a sweetheart. Life in the States will be an entirely different experience without her. Really cannot wait for our reunion in some parts of the world!
During the last day of the internship, I looked up into the pitch dark sky, in all silence and stillness, closed my eyes and absorb as much of the atmosphere at that point of time as I can, draw a deep breath unencumbered by the paramount stress I had back here at home, granting myself that last bit of remininse because I know I will miss running out to the chilly sidewalk beside the studio, carrying pounds of sugar and flour, baking big batches of cakes, slapping buttercreams and making sugar flowers for the White House with the gang of usuals. My heart was full of content and it still is, because as much as I sound like I'm probably lying saying I cannot believe I did an internship with Maggie Austin when all I could do was to appreciate her and her works from my computer screen, I did it. I really did, they will be the most golden memory I have in the States, and they will live in my heart forever. I hit my first goal in life at age 23. More exciting ones to come ;)