Sometimes it takes a moment of stillness to bring you back to where you need to be. I think it’s safe to say that we are all going through that right now. A moment. A day, week, a month? How long has it been since you last saw friends? Family? Your manicurist?
Almost eight full years ago I started this blog, History & Wine. It was created on a whim; one could say I was bitten by the bug of creation. I needed to write, to create on my own terms, and so, this site was born in a little apartment on a slight hillside in Arlington, Virginia.
If I close my eyes right now, I can picture the moment it all came together. It was October of 2012. I had just turned 27, and I was working during the day in the government affairs office of a Danish pharmaceutical company in Washington, D.C. For a student of Political Science with lofty dreams, it was exactly where I wanted to be. Just a couple years before, I had packed up my 2001 silver Ford Mustang with a few belongings that were most important to me, along with my sweet tabby cat, Frisco Bay, and I drove north on I-95 without a job or place to live. You can say that I was bitten with ambition. Armed with a degree, and just two years out of university, I knew that I wanted to be in D.C., and I never, ever regretted that decision.
While living in D.C., I was “bitten” once again by a passion that I never saw coming. I discovered a love of wine. Not just the two-buck chuck I was consuming on the regular while my roommate and I sat on the floor of our tiny apartment eating pizza on our knees because we didn’t have a proper table (or any furniture for that matter), but more of a true, deep passion for the people and processes of the industry. It came on me quickly. I was bitten.
While I worked daily in the government affairs office using words like “policy,” “budget office,” “congressional support,” and “white paper,” at night, I started diving deeper into my writing and creative projects. I became an “on-air” host for a show called DC Hot Spots, and I formed book clubs that explored works by local writers. I signed up for a novel-writing boot camp through the Writers Studio at UCLA, went out to L.A. and met with television writers in fancy hotel bars. I transcribed my grandfather’s story of his life from student to soldier during World War II. He was bitten and joined the Army.
In that tiny little apartment off of Glebe Road in South Arlington, I was happy. I was happy because I was creating something, and it was mine. I was happy because I was living my passion, albeit after my nine-to-five, but it all made sense. I didn’t know then but I know now that I was laying the groundwork for something that would play a much larger role in my life. Something that would sustain me when all else had failed. Something that would linger when all else disappeared. I was creating not only these stories online, but I was creating my life.
The year 2012 proved to be one of my hardest, and 2013 wasn’t far behind, but here we are in 2020, and it has turned into one of those challenging years as well, so I’m back on my blog; my solace in times of turmoil. Maybe I should have kept up better over the years, because those first couple when I was most active were truly the best for History & Wine. I built something over the course of the months I had left in that little apartment with my fat tabby and a beautiful pink tree right outside my bedroom window. That space was full of inspiration, and I let it bite me.
My story has changed over the years, and maybe that’s what time does–it changes you in ways you would have never expected. My days look very different now than they ever did in D.C., and my fat tabby has since passed away. I’ve neglected to post regularly on this blog until recently, until our call to isolation. I’ve picked it back up again with extra time, with that stillness brought on by closures and quarantines. I’m back here at a table, missing the pink tree that bloomed so beautifully in April, and still grieving over the loss of Frisco, but with an equally as stunning view of Biscayne Bay in Miami and two new furry souls to love. I’m trying to remember those energizing moments at the very beginning and what it was that made me want to take that bite.