What a night, what a night, what a magical night. With an open-minded companion, I made my first excursion to The Publican, one of the new, best restaurants in Chicago. I am still tingling in my extremities from the experience. I am feeling extra alive.

Warm and simple decor, an amazing beer selection, perfectly prepared food and communal seating. These were the keys that opened my doors. As my friend and I burst into laughter, I felt a strangers hand on mine…

“It seems we were seated in the wild corner of the restaurant.”

Into our lives walked new friends with whom we had more real conversations in the first hour than some have after a lifetime. Talk of enchanted New Zealand forests, green rooftops, budding romance… all the while our palates were dancing with delight. She shared one of her oysters. I kept the shell.

This year, I will remember to engage. I will face people without judgement. I will feel happy to be alive. I will seek sensory experiences. I will remember that despite all difficulties and hardships, the world is my oyster and is full of pearls. Happy New Year Friends.