• Lorena Bravo

A Decade In Review

True story: I don't do laundry or exercise as much as I self-reflect and check my personal IG page - On my drive to work over the past week, I've spent time reflecting on where I was in 2009-2010 and where I'm at now. Here are a few things that stuck with me; I fell in love, started a business, got married, thought about having more children, grew my circle of friends, shrunk that circle, bought a home, adopted a few pets, traveled, was heartbroken - and may have even experienced an identity crisis! Went to therapy, fell back in love with myself, art and my community.

The Constant

My husband - When we first met almost ten years ago, I had resigned myself to staying a single mom. While I enjoyed dating, I never did picture bringing those dates home to meet my son. That is, until I met my husband Ricardo, Melt's Level 3 in Bethlehem was the spot! As fate would have it, my best friend Nancy, my mother and I were out for a night of fun, Ricardo was there on a date (although I didn't know this at the time). I don't want to speak for him BUT, I'm pretty sure he thought we were the most fun group at Melt that night. Or perhaps, it was my dance moves, my choice of drinks and my shirt 😳.

Whatever the case, he must have made a big impression on mom because only moments after approaching our group, my mother was giving him my number. When I spotted the two talking I approached my mom-turned-pimp and asked her what the deal with the new member of our group was, to which she replied "His name is Ricardo, he's great! he was talking to me about his abuelita!" with that I turned to look at him, rolled my eyes, took a look back at my mother and said "That looks like the kind of guy you marry!" to which she replied, "exactly! I gave him your number" - Later that night my hair accidentally caught on fire, Rico was chivalrous and put it out- Who would have thought that'd be the first fire Ricardo would help me put out! We tried meeting up a couple of times during the summer of 2010 but something always came up, when we finally had a chance to meet up, I remember thinking on my way home that I couldn't wait for my son to meet him. He was spectacular! - Mom came in clutch with her instinct that night, giving her child's phone number to a strange man turned out to be the most reasonable thing.

Quick tip:

It's been my experience that love finds you when you're most at ease with who you are and where you're at in life. Being a single mom had not been easy up until that point. For almost two years I lamented that fact! Once I decided that I was going to make the most of my motherhood as it was, I met Rico.

Trust me, we have married-people arguments, and having a step-child and being a step-parent brings it's own set of challenges and opportunities. But it's really f*cking sweet, all of it! I'm not one to constantly post or much less boast about my husband on social media. I mean... I do, but I'm careful not to go overboard. - In the many events that have taken place over the course of the past decade the one that's changed me most has been the time spent by Ricardo. Both him and my mother have conspired to support my dreams, love me unconditionally, give me advice, disagree with my crazy ideas, and tell me "I told you so" when I've made mistakes. They've lent me more than their hand and I am forever grateful. How can anyone accomplish anything without unconditional love? I do not wish to know the answer to that question. When things have gone to legitimate sh*t they've been in it with me 110%

The Fleeting

The ebb and flow of business has kept me grounded. It helps remind me that nothing is permanent; I've hired a total of 22 women over the past eight years of Organic Tans. That's not counting all of the other professionals who have been hired to do yard work, clean, fix what's broken, do carpentry, accounting and legal work in regard to my business. Like raising a child, building the thing takes a village. It also takes and insurmountable amount of gumption, courage and trust. I've learned that happiness is fleeting, that those who chase highs are never happy, that you won't have everyone's loyalty, but those whose loyalties you have should be cherished. That in their pursuit of happiness people may hurt you deeply, however, that IS the fleeting stuff!

Having so much family around for the holidays really puts things in perspective, I understand that everything I'd find it almost impossible to live without is at home!

Happy decade-ing!

Hope you too, find in your self-reflection your constant and your fleeting. May your fleeting only take up a little bit of space on your page.

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