The Woman

2006 might very well have been one of the worst years of my life.  In that very same way, it might have been one of the years I learned the most and grew the most and thought the most in my adult life.  Funny how that happens, isn't it?

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.