Thinking About My ChocolateLife
If you’re like me, the coronavirus has changed your life in ways you never imagined could have been possible on Jan 1 of this year.
In the first 75 days of 2020, I took a trip to Tokyo, followed in mid-February by a European tour that included Amsterdam (for the Chocoa conference), Finland (to visit my girlfriend who was on an extended art residency), France (to visit Bonnat), Brussels (for a consulting gig), and Rotterdam (to visit Heinde & Verre) before returning to New York (literally as the President was announcing the first travel restrictions. I was in NY for less than 36 hours before heading back to JFK to catch a flight to São Paulo for a chocolate festival. I returned to NY on March 16th and headed straight into self-quarantine as the magnitude of the problem began to manifest itself. At that time, the largest Covid-19 outbreak in the US was in New Rochelle, NY, about a two-mile walk from where I lived.
By the end of March, all of the work I had in my calendar for the rest of 2020 – most of it requiring international travel – had been postponed indefinitely or canceled outright. I was stuck in my apartment, wondering what I would do.
And I have been actively exploring questions of my future almost every day since – as, no doubt, many of you reading this have been doing as well.
My first move was to implement an idea that had been percolating in my brain for some months, TheChocolateWire. TheChocolateWire is a hyper-focused press/PR service for the cocoa and chocolate industries. It is going, but more slowly than I hoped. (If you're interested in TheChocolateWire’s services, please contact me!)
Like many here in the US, a lot of our attention has been occupied with the presidential election. I have to admit that while I was less obsessed with following the news this cycle than in 2016, I spent more time than was good for my mental health hooked on the news and coscial media in the weeks leading up to the Republican National Convention.
And so I have been taking a mental health break from social media and many content outlets on the Interwebs. What I thought would last one month has lasted closer to three.
In mid-August I was approached by a colleague and asked to join a cannabis edibles startup in Western Massachusetts. I agreed, and much of my time and focus since early September has been on the mechanics of that venture.
Then in late-September I received notice from Maven that I needed to move off the platform. I am still in midst of making that move. I have identified a new platform and am in the process of migrating data over to it. My plan is that will be done before the end of November and that shortly thereafter I will be able to merge the content from the archive site over to the new platform, finally reuniting the two.
I am still thinking about what the next chapter in my ChocolateLife (and in TheChocolateLife) will be. I have watched what others are doing and it’s just not my nature to follow. My goal is to do what no one else is doing and I am still trying to figure out what that is.
Passion is what got me to where I am today. Passion will be what gets me through these times. Passion – and doing what I know I am good at – will be what drives my future. I know that one day I will experience an epiphany and I will know what to do next. Right now I need to complete the move off Maven in order to close the books on the last three years.
Thank you to everyone who’s been a part of my ChocolateLife since its beginning back in 1994 and thanks to all who have been a part of TheChocolateLife since January 2008 when it all started.