For this 40-day initiative, I’ve been intentionally seeking to encourage people whom I am not in close contact with. There are several reasons for this decision but the weightiest is this: forty days is simply not enough time to accurately represent my gratitude for all the people in my life. That said, I will break my own rules eventually. The inevitable is drawing near. I apologize for the cavity-inducing syrupy sweet tributes I fear are on the horizon. For now, I’ll applaud from afar.
Before Lent began I asked God to stroll with me into my memory and help me recall people who have – whether they’ve known it or not – participated in my life story. Some of those people planted seeds; others shaped my abilities. Some have known me longer than I’ve know myself; others have opened mind-blowing restaurants and couldn’t pick me out of a crowd. Clearly God has a sense of humour.
Today’s recipient is not a stranger, nor is she only alive in memory. She is not an author or illustrator – she is a very dear friend. She is sitting on the other side of the world so technically she is absent from my day-to-day, regardless of the emoji-heavy texts we exchange from opposite sides of the globe. In my eyes, she is eligible.
So I would like to formally conclude this week’s worth of praise by recognizing the person who spurred me on to abandoning university in the name of pursuing my passion for food and love. She was my catalyst and my enabler.
Dearest Alisha Kusic Adams! My beloved earl-grey-drinking, fuschia-lipstick-wearing West End girl. Thank you for calling my bluff all those years ago when we were prancing around selling stretchy pants* on Robson Street and I said I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. Thank you for gently advising me to honestly assess the state of my heart and step beyond my comfort zone. I cannot imagine how different life would be if I hadn’t been so foolish. Dropping out of university was the best thing I ever did. Just don’t tell my kids that for a good twenty years, okay?
*Pants in the North American sense. Don’t get the wrong idea.