Desislava Ivanova, introduce yourself in a few sentences
The introduction is always the hardest. My name is Desislava (sometimes just Desi or even Daisy) – book confectioner, editor-in-chief, avid reader, and equally avid writing enthusiast (but definitely not a writer). I like to go everywhere, and do everything, I get excited easily, I am most afraid of mediocre people, I have a million wonderful ideas and I will be happy if, during the time I have on this wonderful planet, I make some of them a reality. I have a little son and I still call his dad my boyfriend. I hate arugula.
Your dream is to promote reading by cooking meals you find in different books. Tell me how the idea was born and developed.
To this day, I’m not sure exactly how the idea came to be, but I remember the very moment I thought of it and knew I wasn’t going to sleep until I made it happen. I was very afraid at first that people would think I was crazy (here I have to thank Prolet, who immediately supported me and without whom there would be no Trouble Bakers) because what I do is not something typical, but as I see the interest it turns out that we are all slightly crazy. 🙂
So my idea has been evolving for 6 years now, becoming bigger and more complex, but at the core, it remains the same – promoting reading through food in fiction and cooking meals mentioned in books. And all of this with a cause.
How does it feel to have your dream related to a cause?
I don’t know if it was a dream because I never had time to dream about it – I wanted it and made it happen (not without the help of dozens, even hundreds of people). The feeling is strange – every event and a new initiative is as exciting to me as the first one. I am still worried a bit, but also happy that I have chosen to do exactly this.
Causes are my calling – I can’t imagine a life without a mission, I think we all have one, but often we don’t notice it because we have a certain (often wrong) formed idea of what our calling is. The truth is, sometimes what defines us isn’t invented and doesn’t exist yet, meaning it’s up to us to make it happen.
What helps you find inspiration when things get hard and times ahead seem dark?
People often (again wrongly) think that if you do what you love you can’t burn out. You can do it much easier. Because you invest all your time, and all your energy, you want everything to turn out as it should great and above all (at least in my case) you hope that no one is disappointed.
Things almost never go according to plan (but it’s still very important to have a plan, preferably with versions at least to the fifth letter of the alphabet), you become overtired and what helps me is actually very simple – to rest. Slowing down for just a little bit is enough because immediately I start missing everything. Rest is necessary and must be full-fledged – it is not possible only to work and hustle, for me these are very toxic understandings.
If I’m going to rest, I do it at 100%, otherwise, my batteries will always be dead and it’s not possible to charge to 50%, not for me, because I’m doing too much. I’m inspired by other people who do their thing and believe in it – we should all be “glowing” when we talk about what we’re passionate about.
How are you going to develop the idea that you are already realizing?
I do not know. I never knew in the first place. I constantly have new ideas and my goal is to see as many of them become reality. We started with thematic events, followed by Book Brunch with a Cause, Book Bazaar with a Cause, and a Silent Book Club. We did readings and cooked with women and children who had experienced domestic violence.
Something I’ve had on my mind since last year and really want to do is a Literary Cocktail with a Cause at a beautiful (secret) location. I want to have book cocktails, where we serve the favorite drinks of famous writers. And many more. I have figured out everything, except where (and with whom, because you need like-minded people) to do it. I realize that this is a rather large-scale event and I can’t handle it alone, so I’m waiting for the book fate to meet me with the right people. 🙂
Why do you think that every person should follow their dream?
Who said I thought so? 🙂 I think that in order to be useful to ourselves, our loved ones, and society, we must be happy. This sounds simple in words, but it is more difficult in action. The path to happiness always goes through the things that really excite us, and the more of our dreams we fulfill, the more new ones are born.
Sometimes dreams are meant only for dreaming – even just thinking about them and imagining them helps us feel happier. Other times that’s not enough – that’s why it’s important to be surrounded by people who aren’t afraid to dream big and fail. It is all part of the journey of pursuing our calling and finding ourselves.
Do you want to share something with all those who are reading but have not yet started working towards their goals?
The beginning is hard as hell. Always. The first step, the first failure, and everything that you do for the first time. But once you start, you can’t help but want to keep going. They will tell you that goals should always be specific, but a goal can also just be to be happy and do the things you love. Not every hobby needs to become a full-time job, and you don’t need to be good at something to enjoy doing it. Just do whatever you want and start as soon as possible.
Only you control your life and it is (for now) only one – don’t waste it listening to others (including me). Embrace your feelings, breathe deeply (preferably fresh air), and take care of your physical and mental health. You only have one home and that’s your body, everything happens there (at least for now) – love it and love yourself.