As we prepared for a very big, very special, very important dinner at our apartment, thoughts of doubts mixed with excitement couldn’t help but rush into our heads. Felipe and I, each concentrated on our tasks. On my side of the assignments, there was the music, the table, flowers. On his side, the three dishes that would cause a NY magazine writer to have a reaction, to leave a mark, obviously a positive one. We never thought this project would get us this far, this fast, so anything from now onwards we consider a nice “extra”, including this particular night. This type of thinking makes it less stressful, but of course, it ends up being a stress reliever in theory more than in actuality. Truth be told, at the gut and at the heart, before each night, there is a certain level of hesitation, fear, and a bit of insecurity which is hard to shake off, especially in a night such as this one.
Felipe and I were strangely quiet, as the clock got closer to 8pm, time our guests would arrive. We heard a knock on the door and I reached for it. It was Dan Grossman, from Apt4. I felt strangely relieved and gave him a hug, which was more than unusual, considering we had never met, and he is practically our competition. Still, I felt a strange connection, as if he was on my side of the fence, knowing he has in the past, felt the exact hesitations and fears as I was feeling that night. The rest of the Apt4 crew made their way in and we all clicked in a matter of seconds. Not even after finishing the first glass of wine, we all were very much synchronized. The doorbell rang again, this time, it was Jenny Miller, writer Grub Street. This time around, it was she who gave me an unexpected hug, now as if it was her who understood something we both shared and that I had yet to discover. I poured her a glass of wine and we all got to talking. It wasn’t long after, while recapping where people were from, that Jenny told us the story of a girl growing up in Portland, who always dreamed of writing for NY Magazine. That girl, of course was herself. It was amazing to hear her talk not about where she has gotten thus far, but about the effort that took to get there, and the determination to follow a passion and pursue a dream. In that journey of hers, I am sure lived the same types of hesitations, fears and insecurities, and that may have just been the thing that tied us together.
The rest of the evening was quite delicious, from the food to the conversations, the wine and the great company. But the one thing I will remember from that night was that moment, when we all got a sneak peak into the beginning of our stories and the time I realized, that before success, a person must have the magnificent ability to dream.
Thank you Jenny and the crew at Apt4, as always, its been a pleasure.