“Begin with the most frightening of all things, a clean slate. And then look, every day, at the choices you are making, and when you ask yourself why you are making them, find this answer: Because they are what I want, or wish for. Because they reflect who and what I am.”
–Anna Quindlen

So today, I woke up and painted an avocado.

A little backstory, perhaps?

Day one of meeting Nick, I discovered his love and passion for building, creating, and chasing his dreams. You know those people who talk and talk about creating something great but just don’t seem to have the time or energy to do it? (I’m just as guilty as anyone.) Yeah, that’s not Nick. Nick is a doer through and through.

One such project on his never-ending to-do list is a small diner named, The Avocado. It will be a quaint, homey diner. We’re talking the finest homemade sandwiches with lots of ripe fruit and homegrown vegetables, and perhaps a few baked goods on the side for those as fixated with sweets as I am. AND it will be the only one of it’s kind, as genuine and sincere as a diner comes. No chance of franchising.

Back to reality.

Currently, I’m in the job-hunt and what-the-heck-do-I-do-with-my-life stage, yet again. To some, this is hard. To others, it’s seen as an opportunity — a gift. The first two weeks were difficult for me. In the last six years, I haven’t been able to look at a calendar and see a blank day, followed by another and another. It’s just bizarre.

And you want to know how well I’ve been coping?? About like this. The last few weeks have been nothing short of a roller coaster for me, and by default for Nick. Ask him. He’ll tell you. It will go from all laughs to tears in 30 seconds — it’s rather ridiculous at times. We both end up laughing at the thought of what this particular situation would look like from an outsider’s perspective.

It was after a morning conversation with Nick that my perception of this “free-time” changed. He was getting ready for work, and I just sat and watched him, the same way a five-year-old watches earnestly as her dad shaves before leaving for a full-day’s work.

He could see that long, distant look in my eyes. And that’s when he said it.

“You could really be taking advantage of this time instead of dreading it. When will you have another opportunity like this to explore your interests and rediscover your hobbies? Start a company! You don’t need an excuse nor should you feel guilty to do something for yourself.”

He left for work, and I sat processing his little pep talk. These past few weeks have allowed me to clear my head, refresh my heart, and seek some goodness. But that burning question that has impeded on all of my studies and hobbies, “What do I want to be when you grow up?” always seems to loom overhead, clouding any chance of peace. That’s when I decided to wipe away the frustration, and start on a fresh, clean canvas.

Rather than stressing out and wondering where I “should” be, I wrote a list of things I love. Things that give me purpose. Things that make me feel most alive. And I’m actually doing them–without feeling guilty.  I guess I was so busy speeding through life that I didn’t think to take a pit-stop, let alone enjoy the view. So while I’m putting my feelers out and preparing for the next life decision, I’ll give myself permission to rediscover my hobbies, and realign my heart with my head.

AND why you may ask, did I taint my new, clean canvas with an avocado?? It’s because avocados have rich, creamy textures. Because avocados have a striking, vibrant green complexion that will compliment our art wall quite nicely…AND because avocados symbolize fresh promise, Nick’s contagious “go-after-your-diner” attitude, and our goal to be DOERS not just dreamers.

So, here’s to our aspiring art wall. To actively listening to our hearts. And up next, to a much-needed photography class.


P.S. Any advice/tips/words of wisdom on how you stay true to yourself and your hobbies are always welcome.

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