'I Didn’t Follow My Heart, I Worked My Ass Off,' Says Ice Cream Expert Jeni Britton Bauer

©Kelsey McClellan
By F&W Editors Posted April 09, 2015

While ice cream expert Jeni Britton Bauer could have given her younger self some advice, she chose not to. Here's why.

F&W's #FOODWINEWOMEN series spotlights top women in food and drink in collaboration with Toklas Society. Follow the hashtag on Twitter (@foodandwine). While ice cream expert Jeni Britton Bauer could have given her younger self some advice, she chose not to. Here’s why.

Who: Jeni Britton Bauer
What: Pastry chef/owner
Where: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream; @jenisicecreams

I suppose said advice would only be necessary if there was something over the last 20 years that was consistently a problem for me, my family and those I work with; that was in my control to fix; and that, if I prevented it, I would be in a better place now. So what fits those parameters?

I could say: “Don’t worry so much, you’ll be fine,” but the truth is I do worry, and that’s probably why we are fine.

I could say: “Keep going and always get up when you fall,” but that’s what I have done—not that it’s been easy.

I could say: “Don’t second-guess yourself,” but then sometimes that has worked out very favorably for us.

I could say: “Make time for workouts,” but I wouldn’t have followed that advice.

I could say: “Follow your heart,” but I never did that. I worked my ass off instead.

Your life is yours, and it’s going to suck sometimes and be great sometimes. It’s going to hurt so bad that you want to turn around and crawl into a hole. It’s going to be so high and wonderful that you will wonder how to keep it there (and you’ll fail at that). You’ll make mistakes, but you won’t ever give up—not because someone gave you that advice, but because it’s way more fun that way. And you’re good at it.

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