"For me, 2009 was like a very drunk version of Cinderella. Just who knew that my Prince Charming would be a neighborhood rather than a hunky gentleman?
The best thing that happened to me this past year was having the courage to talk to someone I recognized from a reality show. [Yes it's weird, I know this, but weird can be the best thing ever sometimes!] This small act somehow changed the whole course of my life for the better. Christopher Hall invited me to grab a drink with him at Memphis after I met him at my first Yelp Elite event. It was maybe the third time I'd ever been to Downtown Santa Ana, and as much as I liked it, I really didn't think Memphis was the right bar for me. I was wrong, very, very wrong. I spent the night drinking beer, bumming cigarettes off Chris and talking to him about reality TV, hair salons, pastries and Yelp. By the end of the night he told me he had to leave before 1am because things get weird after 1am [I know this now to be a true fact and should really start leaving the bar before 1am more often].
All I know is that by the time I got home to Garden Grove that night, I was hooked. I started going downtown whenever Johnny was bartending, and I actually went about 6 months without missing a night that he worked. I would drag friends with me every week until finally one night I couldn't talk anyone into coming with me. I'd never been to a bar on my own, but it was just one drink, and I knew Johnny was working. "I can do this!" I told myself over and over again on the drive down to Santa Ana. And really, I'm so glad I did. Another little act of courage, and that night I ended up meeting more people by being alone than all the times I had friends with me. This is where my Santa Ana family started.
The rest of the year was full of some minor and some major courageous events. Having the courage to start up my pastry business when I had trouble finding a job in the restaurant industry, which has led to me catering a gallery opening, a CD release party, and many, many birthdays. I had the courage to give up living by myself so I could live in DTSA. I also had the courage to give my heart to someone when I had been holding it back from people for so long.
And yes, the heartbreak was my lowest point of the year. I spent many a night drowning my sorrows at Memphis and spilling my heart out to Johnny at 4am on the street. But I realized from this how many amazing people I have in my life that care so much about me. They'll let me be a complete mess when I need to be, and will still call me the next day. They'll make me laugh, hold me when I cry, and will even buy me a shot of Jäger or make me some mac ‘n cheese at 4am if they think it will make me feel better.
Now that my heart is starting to heal, this new year is looking a lot brighter. I now know that I have the courage and power to do anything that I want. And that I have a family of friends behind me that will support me no matter what trouble I get myself in to. I want to say that I'll be more cautious when it comes to my heart this year, but I am a young female and a totally hopeless romantic, so that's a difficult task for me. It's probably best to be a bit more realistic about things...
What I really want out of 2010 is just to laugh more, and to have more sober nights than drunken ones. To bake more delicious things and really push myself to the limit when it comes to experimenting and coming up with new recipes. I would like to stop smoking since it's expensive, and saving money is definitely up there on things I'd like to do this year. I want to travel more on my own and have weekends out of Santa Ana more often. I want to get more sleep and have a little less drama. This year I'll turn 25 and I want to make the most of this quarter life I'm living. [And I want to slow down a bit so I'll make it another 25 years.]
So bring it on 2010, because I definitely have a good feeling about you!"
Candice Brown is a big fan of Star Wars, vinyl records, and baking. She's like me in the sense that we both wear pretty much the same outfit everyday. It's all about simplicity folks!
Interested in getting some of her baked goodies? Check out Lush Pastries. Perhaps you just want to read more of her writings? Click here. Or maybe you just want to take her in, one-sentence at a time? Follow her @moufflet.
If you missed any of the previous entries in this collection, here are the links.
• The Sloh Abides
• Erin has the ingredients for happiness in 2010
• Kelly Vargas wants you to know that you've kept her in a welcome prison
• Joe Zavella's the man who loves you
• Viet Nguyen used to be too young to live
• Jake Kilroy's take on "growing up" in 2009
• Keith Hernandez talks about travel and family in 2009
• James Park drops some truth bombs about 2009
• I talk about lessons learned, '09 style