**Originally published in August 2013, I think this essay is worth reprinting. For the tread water feeling in all of us.
When I sold my restaurants in 2007, I didn't have much of a plan. People always ask. What are you going to do now?! Won't you miss this? People are always going to ask.
I never have an answer. The best I can come up with is "Not this." When I left New York in 1996 deflated and bored with what I thought would be the career of a lifetime, I had only that in mind. Not this.
Sometimes things fall in your lap. I hadn't planned on running underground dinner parties in Atlanta to make rent and I hadn't planned on opening restaurants so it made sense that I hadn't planned on selling them either. It just happened that there were buyers and in my mind that's the time to become a seller, because invariably when you want to sell, buyers are hiding behind trees.
I saw a crack of light and I squeezed through it. I felt that I had narrowly missed getting caught in a bear trap. The gripping teeth of ten years was a long time for someone who bopped around a lot. Maybe I'm getting older, I thought. Maybe. But it was time for change.