You have offered words of advice: to enjoy, to savor, to live every last minute of those 5 years. With about 21 hours left of these 5 years, I focus on breath. The air I share with you, we shared 5 years ago. It has matured. It has lightened. It has evolved. It moves more energetically through my somewhat tired body. I am older now. My skin is less tight on my face. My forehead (finally) moves. My hands more wrinkled and dry. My eyes can hardly handle contacts anymore.
I look into the mirror, peering past the eyes—gratitude—she takes over. Sharing my last dinners with new friends, old friends, and a dining room of humans who supported us before we knew the name of this 31-seat restaurant brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t realize 5 years ago that places could touch people the way that they do. (Cathi, I found the last message you sent me, which was in 2013, asking me if you could bring me cake for my birthday. You may have been the first person to ever bake me a birthday cake from a home oven. I should return the kisses you gave me the other night.) Our city welcomed us into its community, watched us grow up (have you seen that they-can’t-seriously-be-over-16 pre-opening photo of Justin, Justin and I?), helped us tell and share our story, watched with compassion even when we showed our age, and celebrate our youth. If you feel any of the sentiment I do, think about how you support other establishments in our world. Make a conscious choice in whom you support: where you spend your resources, how you spend your extra gifts. Teach us, challenge us, help us, nurture us. We need you.
Writing my first book helped me time stamp more than the past days. The past few months have been incredibly moving. I cannot wait to reread the journal entries of this year.
I’ve learned to be less sad about things of the past. The universe gifted me with the memories of Oxheart. It taught me I am a good baker. It taught me how to love the people I live with. It taught me that breathing moves me forward. It taught me that my anger wasn’t something I (and probably others) liked to experience. It taught me that I will always be imperfect. It taught me to lean hard into my imperfect. It taught me that tears don’t show weakness. It taught me that being a woman is quite special. It taught me that if I push my body too far, it will give out. It taught me that I live to love. It taught me that sustainability wasn’t a definition meant for just the environment, eco-products, grass-fed, or sourcing locally.
From the beginning, we struggled to find and create a work-life balance. We, on closing day, still work on finding that balance. Better is better. Everyone has asked me what I will do next. I am doing what I am doing next now—and that is being joyful.
I don’t know where I’ll land, how much space I will take up, or what my joyful balance of life looks like. I know to take each day as they come, to live in gratitude for the moments I get with you (with me), and to practice often so that it becomes more innate. I choose to walk with courage, conscious fervor, and softness. I’m searching and working on stillness.
I re-wrote my creed. I wish to share it with you:
I will learn something new every day. I give myself the freedom to love. I strive to be vulnerable and compassionate. I will build up my friends and community to help us see our full potential and expression of joy. I will show myself love and compassion. I will pour energy into outlets that give me strength, creativity, and freedom. I will insist on experiencing more everyday awe. I will not be motivated by material wealth, for it doesn’t equate with my measure of joy. I am participating in this ironman, not a sprint. No matter where the finish line waits, I will breathe in inspiration from the past, present, and future, breathe out with gratitude, sun salutate my way through stuck time, keep moving when the fibers tire, and love endlessly. I will flow like a river, carving my experiences in the canyon walls that echo my gratitudes. I will create memories. I will leave a legacy.
Thank you for being a part of my life. I am truly blessed.
Us now (still nerds):
Come celebrate and karaoke with us, starting at 8pm tonight at Public Services.