I always resented the phrase "everything happens for a reason" because I understood it as a quote about fate. The concept that our life's journey is mapped out before we take our first steps seems unfair and completely rubs me the wrong way. But what I've grown to understand about the phrase is that it refers less to predestination and more to interconnectedness.
In many ways, today starts the beginning of a journey that wouldn't have been possible without all that preceded it. If I hadn't been playing badminton with my friend Ryan Miller in high school gym class, I probably wouldn't have learned about my alma mater, The University of the Arts. And if it wasn't for my time there, I wouldn't have picked up the entrepreneurial and DIY flair I have today. More importantly, without the amazing relationships I built in the Multimedia Department, and that damn food cart thesis I had to put together to graduate, VendrTV most certainly wouldn't have happened. Without VendrTV, no road trip across America. No road trip, no barbecue from Louie Mueller or Aaron Franklin, which means I wouldn't have purchased a crappy smoker of my own, and later a slightly better one, to experiment with BBQ myself. It means my BK 'CUE supper clubs would never have happened, and it means I wouldn't be sitting here in Austin, TX writing about all of this today.
In the next few hours, I'll be purchasing a massive 16-foot BBQ smoker that Aaron has been using at his famed restaurant Franklin BBQ, strapping it to the back of a rented box truck, and hauling it back home to Brooklyn. Over this upcoming summer I'll be tinkering with it, working to produce some killer barbecue, and, if all goes well, start to make that barbecue publicly available by the end of the year.
I'm extremely nervous, but optimistic about this new adventure. I hope you'll follow the journey through this site, and if you're in NYC, help me test the product. Thanks to everyone who's helped me on the journey so far. A new one's just getting started.