There are momentous occasions that come along in every lifetime. We all know what they are. They have their own section in our favorite Hallmark store: graduation, wedding day, congratulations on your baby girl (or boy), or a new house. We expect them to be life-changing, and in so many ways, they turn out to be exactly that. But there are other instances, the ones that lead up to the Hallmark moments, that also had great meaning for us, and are often more poignant when we look back on them. There’s the moment when we finished that horrendously difficult senior project, without which we would not have graduated, that left us feeling emotionally depleted, flooded with relief, and filled with joy, all at the same time. There’s the moment when we realized that the person we were seeing was going to be the person with whom we’d build a life, and have children, and create a home. Remember that one? It was overwhelming, but so incredibly sweet, especially if you were nineteen, like I was. And then there were the glorious, but terrifying plus signs on the pregnancy tests, and the moment we set foot in a house that was so filled with possibility that we knew it had to be our home.
In addition to all of these pre-Hallmark junctures, there are other points in our lives when we are affected deeply by something that creates a kind of a crossroad for us. These moments can be very private, or known only by those we are closest to, unless you happen to write a blog and feel compelled to share, like yours truly. There is great catharsis in it, and always the hope that my words might reach someone who really needs to read them. When these private epiphanies occur, they often bring us stunning clarity and we suddenly can see the choice we have to make. It’s not always the easy one, but it will be the right one, even though we will go through a period of pain and wondering. It can feel as though we are standing on the edge of a precipice, looking into something completely unknown, about to take that first step in allowing ourselves to fall. Once we do, that descent can take a while, and we may feel intensely alone, even if we are surrounded by people who love us. It’s part of the process.
One day an amazing thing happens. We hit the bottom of that fall, and we realize that we have survived it, and not only are we very much intact, but we have regained that sense of ourselves, that very essence of what makes us who we are. We look around us and see that we are not alone, that our lives do not exist merely in this particular point in time, but rather are a culmination of all that has happened to us up until this point, and all that we hope for the future. We don’t have to move forward alone. We carry with us all the moments in our lives, big and small, that have such meaning, and we carry with us all the people who have shaped us, and supported us, and loved us, and who see us for who we really are. It’s the knowledge that we don’t have to relinquish all we were before, in order to move into the now, that allows us to open our hearts to the possibility of everything that can be. Our lives are built on all that has happened to us, they are awakened by what is happening to us right now, and they are brightened by all we hope will come next. And what accompanies us always, is that deepest sense of who we are, who we love, and who loves us. That’s the true north on our compass, and it will always bring us safely home.
Today’s drink could be nothing other than an equal parts cocktail, where each component shares importance and makes a contribution in a profound and powerful way. I chose the combination of three flavors that I love: mezcal, chili pepper, and grapefruit. These flavors also seem to represent the essence of everything that life has to offer, and the journey we all make to discover its intensity, its bitterness, and its sweetness. These components are always present, and although they might overwhelm us on their own, when seen together and when shared with others, they become a beautifully balanced whole. Cheers everyone. Happy Friday!
Before, Now, and Always
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir until very cold. Strain into a cocktail glass over one large cube. Garnish with a grapefruit twist. Enjoy!