100 Days

Photo Credit: emergingrnleader.com

June 20, 2020 is day 100 of sheltering in place in my single-person household and without full-time unemployment. I had a job that I passionately loved, which began Monday, January 13 and ended Friday, March 13. For those two months, I felt like I had finally discovered my sweet spot, a place where my experience in higher education, wine education, and wine industry experience intersected. It was my favorite role since moving to Napa nearly six and a half years ago. COVID-19 closed the institution and brought my employment to a sudden, screeching halt. I found myself scrambling to survive. I applied for unemployment insurance within the first week of losing my job, early enough to not experience any delays, and I am thankful.

By early April, I was so lonely that I tried to re-shelter in place in my hometown of Asheville with a longtime friend and business partner, but within 36 hours – rejected by both my friend and Asheville – I returned to Napa on Thursday, April 9. As soon as I landed in California, I was overcome with happiness even though I would be alone again for the foreseeable future. I also realized what great risks I took to travel, so I was relieved when 14 days later, I had no symptoms of the virus. My curiosity would drive me to be tested for the virus. My results were negative.

I continue to shelter in place and follow the local order, only going out for essentials and media interviews.

I have accepted that everything that is happening as another one of life’s divine storms in the form of a pandemic. I was headed down the wrong path and the Universe is redirecting me to what is next. In the midst of this dark storm, breaks in the clouds have revealed rays of sunshine.

The most wonderful discovery is the power and joy of human connection. Happiness and attraction defy geographical distance and time zones. While I am physically solo in my apartment, I no longer feel alone in my heart, mind, and soul.

My freelance work continues as a scattering of storytelling, copywriting, and ghost writing, including new print media features and future opportunities for events, speaking engagements, and travel. I am delighted to write for MonthlyClubs.com, Napa Valley Life Magazine, the Napa Valley Register, and a celebrated winemaker. Because of my previous experience in the wine industry, coupled with my food and wine writing, I was invited to become a member of the Sacramento Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International. I am honored to be among this group of women leaders in gastronomy and hospitality.

These 100 days forever changed me. In spite of adversity, challenge, and solitude, I am still here. Looking ahead, I see a bright future yet to be written. Personally and professionally, the best is yet to come.

~ Beth

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