2020 is here! Congratulations, we made it! 2019 was rough, but I can't help but look at a new year as a new beginning. As an optimist, I'm always looking for a silver lining, always looking for the God in people's faces, and I haven't been disappointed. For me, 2019 was a very revealing year. For example, I am standing in my truth that the heat and I can no longer exist happily in the same space. So, moving forward, my trips to Beaufort and Savannah will be in the Spring or late fall.
Another truth I'll share with you is that I now know that God created me to be a light bringer. So, think of me as that pesky parent that walks in a darkened room where you're huddled together with others, and the ceiling lights suddenly come on and you hear, "Hey! What are you crazy kids doing in there??!!" Yeah, that's me alright. If you're watching the movie, you have nothing to worry about. I'll cut the light off in a sec. But, if you're up to no good, everyone's going to see and know about it. So, keep your hands to yourself and eat your popcorn. In other words, be and do good.
One final truth that I am very excited to embrace about myself and share with others is my passion for experiencing people and cultures through F&B (food and beverage for you non-hospitality folks). I have long been a fan of great cuisine and travel, and I think that is why God placed me in the hospitality industry. I get to meet people from all walks of life, and every interaction has been a unique experience. The greatest trick the devil pulled was to convince people that he didn't exist. His other great trick? He helped us believe that people were so different that we deserve to be alone. It truly takes a special kind of darkness to use man's great unifiers like music, food, sports, and art to divide us. But, we can change that.
My husband and I make a conscious effort to expose our girls to different people and cultures. We travel a lot and we have them try different food, visit museums, hear different languages and songs. They are learning to respect different cultures, and to that end, different people. They are learning how people contribute to their respective cultures and by extension, our own. The Gullah Festival, and festivals like it, are fabulous venues for learning about a people's history, how that group has thrived in society, how it has existed in spite of adversities, etc. Questions like, "Has shrimp & grits changed over the decades?" or "Has climate change directly impacted the food the Gullah people eat?" or "Can people in Gullah communities understand what people are saying in different parts of Africa?" are all real questions with real answers. Visiting the Gullah Festival helps people from different backgrounds engage with one another, learn and grow.
Getting back to looking for God in people - when you're like me and you go looking for the God in others, sometimes you find out that the God you see isn't like the God you serve. But, that's okay. That truth can be heartbreaking, but truth transcends color and cultures. In some cases, I have learned to accept people and leave them where they are. In other cases, I am joining some great tribes that are totally worth the investment of my time and energy. In 2020, may you find your truth and your tribe.