What happens when you realize that you are turning 50, your son moved out, you’re not on the career path you thought you’d be on and that nothing is keeping you from doing anything? What happens the moment you realize you are tied to nothing and no one … except a dog and a cat?
Well, if you’re me? You start shopping for a converted van.
This year, I kinda lost everything, the career, the kid, the guy, and ended up with a super splintered messed up heart and a whole lot of identity crisis. If I’m not a mom, what am I? If I’m not a teacher, what am I? If I’m not … If I’m not… If I’m not? Am I nothing? No!
I am possibility.
A blank slate.
I can do anything.
Before there was marriage, a kid and a conventional life I never expected, I was a traveler. I was an artist, a seeker and a person who lived out of a suitcase many times. I took off for months on adventures, slept on trains and explored parts of the world unknown in countries where I didn’t speak the language. It was exhilarating to be able to get out there and meet new people, see different places, learn about other cultures, see different art and have these new experiences. This was the journey I was on ages ago, and a deep rooted part of what makes me … me.
A few years ago, I saw a video on Facebook. A man was living in a van with his dog. He told the story of a pup that was unadoptable. The had been picked up at the shelter numerous times, each time, to be brought back because he was anxious and hard to train. In the video, the man confesses that he considered giving the dog back after the dog had torn up his entire apartment. Instead, the man committed to loving the dog and changing his life to make the dog happy. He got a van, and took the dog all over the place. The dog was at ease, the dog was thrilled to run free and see nature and hike every day. I don’t know how this dude funded this life but he showed shots of the dog getting older and him carrying the dog on his back on a hike to ensure he would have a happy day. In the end, the dog does pass, and let me tell you, I was BAWLING to learn the dog had died. I was also thrilled that he lived such a full and wonderful life after not fitting in and struggling in his early years. I thought I related to the guy, but someone asked me recently, “so, how are you like the dog?” Holy shit! I am the dog!
So I did it. I just purchased a converted a van. I’m taking my dog Scoob and my cat Nermal all over the place on new adventures. Scoob saw the beach for the first time last week. We saw dolphins playing in the surf. He got squashed by a giant wave, and ran amuck with other dogs. We are on a mission. Let’s see how long we can live this way, free from the fetters of a shitty landlord, a stationary house and a life that defines me rather than me defining each day with true happiness.
So why Like Water for Brisket? I love to cook, and hopefully, I’ll prepare meals on the road and share them in this blog along with our travels and sites we take in. I plan on figuring out how to find local fresh ingredients and parlay them into incredible meals while living on the road full time. I may also post a plate or two of dining out, but my point is… I love to cook. Food tells a story and creates markers in our lives. Like the book and the film, I relate to Tita’s ability to express herself through her craft. Her heart and passion, her feelings ooze through everything she does. Others feel it. I’m the same way. I put my heart into my cooking, my writing, my photography and now… I’m crafting my life! So like the book and the movie, Like Water for Chocolate, I too want my actions to create magic, evoke love, share tears, to stir others by my heart, and openly share my passion for life. Plus, it’s a cute and catchy name, right?