This last year has been the hardest of my life, which is saying a lot. My mentor gets extremely irritated at me when I have a freak-out moment, so I try to keep it calm and collected, but with this being the 2nd Hanukkah without my pumpkin, I can't lie and say it isn't so painful. It is. I'm kind of high-strung, which can be a bonus when trying to run a busy restaurant, but when I am alone in quiet thoughts race through my mind, I find it extremely difficult to relax. It's like there's always that little gnawing at your heart that only one thing will solve, and all I can do is pick up my heart off the floor and try not to share my feelings. It's so counter-intuitive. As a woman, we need to express ourselves, but it's a man's world. Still. And to play the game in the man's world you need two things: chutzpah and charm. I have the chutzpah, no doubt (often to my own detriment), but the charm is difficult when you're having to be nice to people who've said some pretty harsh things about you personally behind your back--especially when they don't know you know, and even more so when you know that what they said is incorrect. It's not easy to play nice without being two-faced, and I am no good at faking it. The joke among my friends in L.A. was that I had no filter whatsoever. It's cost me acquaintances, but it's also brought me some of the most supportive and important friends of my life.
With that being said, none of my emotions really matter when it comes to business. Here on this blog is my catharsis, but in my kitchen is my calling. I've worked so hard to somehow get something off the ground that many believed wouldn't happen. When we ran out of money in July to finish renovations, there was then a whole other wave of people who then believed, once again, that we couldn't make it happen. I never stopped believing. And thanks to my mentor, I was able to hang by a thread to my building long enough to find two more great partners who are making sure we come to fruition. There is a reason that vegan food is still on the rise and won't stop--it's the right thing to do. There are more greenhouse gas emissions from livestock production than from every car on the planet. It's nice to recycle, drive a hybrid, and conserve water, but it's better for our general well-being and the planet on every level to avoid eating animals. I know my gift is that--to bring something to the table that tastes awesome and creates a positive environment for everyone, including myself. Can't wait to open those doors to a city that really needs us.
Until Next Time, Eat Raw, Live Long!