It’s been a while and some of you have been poking me for Jo Bagel news and updates. I appreciate the thought and high gluten bagel love. Jo Bagel has been an important personal project of mine for over two years (and online for over a year!). When I first baked a batch with my bagel bud Lew in January 2016, I couldn’t have imagined that bagels would become such an intense part of my identity, that this project would in a way recalibrate my feelings about my personal and professional life, and actually move me enough to, uh, move [me to the west Texas desert]. Jo Bagel is inextricably linked to who I am right now.
But, I have to be real with y’all. Right now, I’m not very excited to bake bagels.
It’s a lot of factors going on (and maybe some of which I’ll touch on in a future post?), but long story short, my mental and physical energy, in good ways and bad ways, is just focused on other things at the moment. When I first recognized I was burnt out on bagel baking, I may have had a 5-minute identity crisis. You know, the type in the realm of “this town knows I’m the bagel lady/I literally have 80 Jo Bagel stickers sitting in my messenger bag/if I’m not baking bagels wtf am I doing?”. But you know what’s great? Jo Bagel is an important personal project of mine, and it’s just that- a personal project. I’m not building a bagel empire, no one’s livelihood rests on my barley malt and lye boiled bread. I’ve been baking bagels out of my house, feeding buds, and finding joy. And when I’m just not feeling the joy on a personal project, the lovely thing is I can take a step back and work on some other things.
Lately I’ve been keeping super busy professionally- last week, after baking hundreds of beautiful sourdough loaves and making hundreds of not as beautiful lattes (so sorry for some of my accidentally phallic latte art!), I wrapped up my life as a barista and baker at Do Your Thing. I’m still hanging in the shop, just as a customer sitting on my laptop and doing remote work with some really cool teams in the Austin game and VR/AR scene like FarBridge, Mighty Coconut, and the lovely Davey Wreden. Personally, I’ve been trying to read more and actually play videogames for fun more, I’ve been running again, and I’m doing a lot of summer hiking and swimming (okay… maybe mostly like, pool lounging.). Late spring and summer has historically been my favorite time out here in Marfa (and also, fuck winter), so I’m really trying to bask in the sun and enjoy this great community right now.
I don’t think I’m done here, and knowing how my brain works I suspect I’m gonna feel some urges to get tactile in the kitchen this summer and take on food and baking projects again. Right now, let’s just say I’m taking a Bagel Breather.