It’s funny how life changes before your very eyes.
Today I accidentally picked up a notebook from three years ago instead of my current Moleskine where I keep winemaker interviews. Three years is not a long time but since that time my life has been altered in every possible way.
On April 25th 2008, I was still an equities analyst, looking at investment opportunities in Biotechnology stocks. I got up before dawn, quickly got into my “uniform” of a black Dolce&Gabbana suit and Prada pumps and hurried away to the bright shiny designer office on the 10th floor in the Hi-tech building in Stockholm City. Spent the day pouring over clinical trial data and market valuations while listening to Vivaldi in my headphones. In the evening, over a glass of Moët Brut Imperial (or Dom Perignon if we had closed a deal – not that the boss knew why it was better, but because it looked flashier to the rest of the finance crowd), I would network in the posh part of town.
I was tired, frustrated, chaotically stressed. I made good money and received a decent amount of societal respect.
Two weeks later I handed in my resignation. Cut to April 25th 2012.
Admittedly a bit tired after a VERY late night talking with Cliff Roberson about life, liberty and “the bullshit system we call Bordeaux ‘en primeur’” (his words, not mine), I woke when the sun hit my eyes and schlepped a pitcher of coffee to the huge, cushioned sofa where I proceeded to work in my jammies until noon. Made lunch with organic veggies from the local foodie heaven in my basement (Cajsa Warg) and spices from a Georgian market, picked up on a recent journalist trip.
Still only marginally dressed in spite of a morning Skype-meeting with a magazine editor, I realize I’m late for an interview with one of the very few Swedish winemakers. (Alexander Horn is a guy crazy enough to attempt fine wine on the 57th parallel). Jeans on, Rage Against the Machine’s Killing In The Name Of in my head-phones and out the door in five minutes flat. (Love jeans. Why didn’t I use to wear them? Oh, that’s right, I was a snob.) Post interview, I find me and my laptop a corner in a busy bar in the “creative” part of town, working away on an article. Inspired, happy, chaotically stressed.
Tonight I will drink some champagne too – not Moët, but something more interesting, like Tarlant? Grower champagne by mini-rockstar winemakers, drunk for the flavor not for prestige.
I’m alive, enthusiastic, stimulated. I make no money. Societal respect? I don’t know. Society might not know what to do with me because they don’t know which box to place me in.
I’m the same person at the core, but my life is fundamentally different (save the Prada stilettos).
People say wine is such a posh topic and must make for a fancy, snobbish profession. I’d beg to differ.
It’s Rock n’ Roll.
PS in the interest of full disclosure – I still wear pearls, listen to Vivaldi and own a bunch of suits. I just consume those things in more acceptable doses ;)