In 2006, I started the year by getting two very severe flus back to back, resulting in a net weight loss of something like 13 lbs, which on me was pretty significant. It took me back to a weight I haven't seen since middle school, to give you an idea, but I was far closer to 30 than 20 that year. In the springtime, I lost my aunt to cancer, my boyfriend to a 5-month long music tour, and my job to federal cutbacks and a fire that cost our non-profit the building (and 10 jobs).
Fortunately, when you hit the bottom, there really isn't anywhere to go but up, even if you take a twisted and convoluted way out of the hole. Sometime around the end of June that year, things started to look up.
With no job, I was able to join my boyfriend on part of his tour, and experience Rock Star Life (not to mention, spend time with the man I loved). I got to spend hours wandering around my beloved city, Philadelphia. I learned how to cook more than veggie burgers and spaghetti. In fact, I found that I loved cooking - the creative process was very healing for me at that time. Considering I'd lost so much weight earlier in the year, there certainly was nothing to lose (ha, ha, not-so-clever pun) by investing my energy in cooking tasty food.
Despite spending hours every day poring over a dozen or more job search websites, sending out my resume with passionate cover letters, and praying for the Next Great Thing, it took me nine months to find a new job. More than half of that time, my boyfriend was on the road, and shortly after he came home, he had to head into the studio to record a new album. What I'm trying to say is, I spent a lot of time alone (well, with my cat) that year. My favorite inexpensive way to spend my time was by making myself a little chick-picnic (red wine, strawberries, chocolate or ice cream) and watch all of my favorite chick-flicks: Dirty Dancing, Muriel's Wedding, Save the Last Dance, 10 Things I Hate About You, Picture Perfect, and of course....Pretty Woman.
It was one day, after a day of unsuccessful job hunting and erratic brainstorming, I saw this movie through a slightly different lens. I can't even guess how many times I've watched this movie. I wouldn't even be able to tell you how many times I watched it that summer alone. For some reason, I was in an entrepreneurial mindset this time, though, and I examined everything about the service at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and how they interacted with their high-paying customers. It occurred to me that the world would be a better place if everyone was treated with that reverence and respect - as though everyone was actually worth a damn. I kinda feel like people are.
To continue the story, click over to The World.