On one of my first assignments for the magazine, I took trapeze lessons. I looked a little foolish -- OK, totally foolish -- as teetered up the long ladder leading to the platform. It wasn't that I was afraid of heights, but this was so out of my comfort zone -- standing what seemed like a zillion feet above Miami, trying to believe the instructors who assured me it would be totally fine.
Lucky for me, I happened to be traveling with a photographer, and he captured the image. I will not post it here but it's not that tough to find. Anyhow, I was wearing the worst looking cargo pants, had no makeup on, and sporting big old white socks. My mouth was agape and I looked, well, slightly insane.
I later wrote:
"Please know that I almost never, ever where white socks (I'm more of a patent heels kind of girl). The thing is, when you are getting ready to take one of the biggest leaps of your life (literally), fashion goes out the window. Then again, if you spend your life looking at your feet, you can miss the best views of all."
As I flipped through old stories the past few days, this one seemed like a little time traveler, sent to my present self. The cargo pants are long gone (thankfully), but much more remains. I've traveled the South, trading yarns with a giant whirlygig maker, and woken up hours before sunrise to get the perfect light. I've seen downtowns transformed, and learned about making grits, tossing mullets, and polishing silver. I've developed the keenest sense for the placement of electrical outlets in airports, restaurants, and museums, places I could power up and make deadline. Oh, and I've eaten lot of pimento cheese, charcuterie, and the most glorious of white cakes.
Today I close a chapter of my life, thankful to have worked alongside some truly brilliant creatives who helped me become a better writer, editor, and thinker. Doing it with gold shoes on, and gratitude in my heart.