I was derailed by a life changing event that took place over half a lifetime ago. Forcefully thrown from my tracks, which at the time were taking me in a bright and promising direction. I was a senior in college and on the Dean’s List, entering an exciting new relationship, working as a pantry chef in a well-paying gig, and in the midst of a coveted internship at UCSF. At the top of my 24-year-old game, I had a long way to plummet from just one bit of news.
The game changed dramatically and for a number of years, I wasn’t sure what sense to make of my future. Was it only as long as what I could see at the end of my nose, or was it out-stretched in front of me? With all this uncertainty, still a personal pact was made somewhere deep within, and took an enormous leap-of-faith. The years – they continued to stretch out before me. Life lurched forward and I was along for the ride.
Love came into my life – deep, unconditional, I will walk with you to the edge of the earth kind of love. One day at a time, it blossomed into a commitment that resulted in a spectacular and emotion-filled wedding, surrounded by the most loving circle of family and friends wishing us many, many years together on our journey. Two beautiful children were born out of this union, and they are now five and eight. You could say, that when it comes to love and family, I was no longer derailed.
However, when it came to my professional journey toward my life’s work, my higher calling, I still very much felt like I was laying helplessly on the side of the tracks. This repair job has felt much trickier and illusive at times. This leap-of-faith has been more terrifying to take for reasons only a deep talk over a glass of wine could explain. Only recently have I felt like I was making huge strides toward boarding that new train, heading in my right direction with help from family and friends. I will be writing more about this in upcoming posts. For now, I want to tell you what I did last night with my family!
I orchestrated an exotic dinner-time picnic in our living room, with table cloth splayed over the carpet, our best dishes and cloth napkins, and platters brimming with French Brie, truffle-flecked Gouda, ACME bread, thinly sliced Italian prosciutto wrapped summer-sweet melon, Spanish olives, French radishes dipped in creamy butter and fleur de sel, dry Italian salami from our local meat counter, vine ripened cherry tomatoes [oye - these kids don’t know how good they have it!], and a glass of wine for the grownups.
Around the world in one evening, our family delighted in a tradition we began less than a year ago. Picnicking in our living room just because and playing impromptu games of who can hold a straight face for the longest without laughing (Mateo), and how many countries have we represented in this meal (seven: France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Holland, Mexico, & the U.S.)?
Where is this heading? The family Mateo and I created, this blog you’re reading, the adventures we go on together, the food I cook with my children, the special dates we make as a family to eat together, to commune, connect, and laugh – this is all part of that new, trippy journey I’m on. I believe I am on the right tracks again, and we’re heading somewhere really amazing. I can feel it.