Of all the things I thought I’d accomplish in my six months at a ramshackle kitchen in East London, I didn’t think finding the sturdiest community of my life would be on the list. I come home from work everyday with flour caked in my pores, my back aching, and an eagerness to go back tomorrow and do it all over again.
I get into work everyday and we bake. We talk, in great depth, about what we made for dinner last night. We tell embarrassing stories of being teen girls. We drop quiches and start all over again at 4:45pm. We dance to Beyonce. The days are long and there can be tears. Sometimes they’re mine. Through the familiar motions of rolling pastry and browning butter, I’ve learnt of the worlds and lives of women I would have never encountered otherwise. I’m a better person for it. Through the strength and courage of these women I’m inspired and empowered to try harder, not just in the kitchen but in every facet of myself. I can always find an extra inch within me to give. Chocolate brings down barriers.
I came to Luminary with my guard fully up. I wanted to get bakery experience and hone my skills, never one for vulnerability. Five months in and I can’t remember where I left my guard. The community here is always in flux. Growing and changing with the quirks each member brings with them and the impact they make. Goodbyes aren’t easy but no one ever truly says goodbye here, the blessing of a growing and changing space is the safety of knowing you always have a place. In my more morose moments I find myself wondering what the Kate shaped hole here will look like. Probably a little wonky, wearing precious dresses not fit for a kitchen, and with a fair helping of perhaps ill timed brash wit. But what I do hope is that that hole, or at least part of it, is filled by the next wide eyed young woman with a chip on her shoulder who isn’t prepared for how much better her life is going to get.