I've been putting off this post because trying to tell you about partying with Saveur Magazine at the Best Food Blogger Awards in Vegas would be like trying to take a sip from a fire-hose.
I met Marcella, Naz, Lilian, Maureen, Sarah, Cheryl, and so many more. (For a great play-by-play, see Lilian's post. Or Stephanie's. As you know, details aren't my thing.) We watched chefs at the Bellagio make dim sum and chocolatiers make truffles. Scotch, champagne, and gelato were delivered to our rooms, we had a little time leftover for the pool, and the Bellagio welcomed us on the jumbotron. Miraculously, I got over my imposter syndrome ("What? Me? How did I end up here?") and enjoyed every minute of it--Yancey in his suit, champagne cocktails, iPhone photography mania, and being in the company of such creative, generous people.
The headlines for me might go something like this:
Being an expert doesn't call to me as much as being a connector does. This is news to no one. But I realized again that being in the kitchen is a generative place for me--it's the gateway to so many other things I care about. Family, community, neighbors, creating gracious space where people can be honest with one another and with themselves.
I'll just keep being myself. My shadows might say otherwise. Stuff like, "You really need a nicer camera. You should put more time into editing your posts. You're not active enough on social media. And quit talking about spirituality so much!" My deeper self says, "All is well. It's okay."
I'm going back to Vegas. This was our first time there, and I didn't expect to like it. But we have such cheap flights from Bellingham, and I'm definitely going back for some more pool time and late-night snacking. Yancey and I had a magical 90 minutes sitting at China Poblano's bar, people-watching and licking our fingers.
You must be present to win. I first heard this from Jack Kornfield, and have since seen it on pendants and plaques. It's corny, but true. To get the goods in this life (love, connection, friendship, contentment, curiosity, beauty) we have be awake. All the glamour of Vegas (or careers, possessions, and notoriety) doesn't mean a thing if we're not present to the reality--suffering included!--of our daily lives. I loved the crazy hotel lobbies. But even more, I loved holding hands with Yancey and drinking coffee across from him in the morning.
This blog isn't going anywhere. If I can sporadically plod along for 5 years and still have readers, I'll do it for another 5! Or more! I'm reminded again of how all of us die on the vine if we're not finding places to be creative, to be producers instead of just consumers. To put our loves and fears out into the world instead of just letting our lives happen to us.
And the biggest headline of all: YOU! Writing for an audience is what keeps me going. Thank you for the huge torrent of LOVE I felt before and during my trip. I just soaked it up.