Just the Beginning
I pinch myself everyday wondering if this is all truly happening. How is it possible that I now carry Pinot's Palette business cards with my name and "owner" written under it? If this were just one year ago today, I'd be in the thick of writing lesson plans, hosting parent-teacher conferences, and inputting my kids' test scores into some complex program designed to track their performance throughout the year.
But that's not the case anymore.
If, just one year ago, you would have told me my days would instead be filled with attending fun networking events, building amazing relationships with the community, and planning some extraordinary programs for both adults' nights out and kids' groups, I would have told you that you were crazy. Absolutely insane, in fact.
But, I would've been completely and utterly wrong.
So how did this magic happen? I guess you could say it started 4 years ago when I found myself tired of the same old thing night after night. Frustrated, I sat at my computer as my fingers danced over the letters on the keyboard. Fun things to do tonight--click. Within a matter of seconds, my eyes darted from one amazing painting to the next....Yes, I thought to myself. This is exactly the type of thing I am looking for.
I had no idea just how meaningful that statement would come to be.
A few hours later, 7 of my girl friends and I headed out to this new place called Pinot's Palette. We were going to paint...and drink wine! Could it get any better?! We ventured into the Montclair, NJ studio and before the cabernet had a chance to breathe, we were in love. For 2 hours, we were lost in a world of paint swirls, dance moves, and bellyaching laughter.
As amazing as our masterpieces turned out (mine, maybe not so much), that night proved to be so much more than simply painting and drinking wine. Each of us walked into that Bloomfield Ave. location with a different story. There were recent breakups that burned, new babies born to overwhelmed moms, and single-life living that was plagued with perpetual boredom.
In the course of 2 hours, however, all of the negative emotions pulsing through our veins melted away. The process of the night was so very different for each of us, but walking out, one thing was true for all of us. As the Michael Jackson blared over the speakers and our artist instructor guided us one stroke at a time, we were all reconnecting on the deepest of levels, not only with each other, but with ourselves. And that felt so incredibly good.
I was a fan. A huge fan. I knew that Pinot's Palette would become an important part of my world in the future. Little did I know just how important---it would take me 4 years and a stubborn boyfriend to truly figure that one out. And, I've never been more grateful.