My First 4/20 Alone
This was the first 4/20 I celebrated alone. Last year I went to class and then hosted the only 4/20 party on campus at Harvard Business School. I remember making homemade focaccia and pizza dip and rice krispie treats while scrolling through my phone looking for anyone that might want to celebrate with me. It was right before graduation and I had no idea what I was doing next, but I managed to fill my on-campus apartment with enough friends and classmates to help me forget about my worries and enjoy the "high holiday."
This 4/20, for the first time in eight years, I was back in California and I was alone. The night before we hosted a party for 4/20 Eve, starting the festivities early with gourmet edibles from Medicine Box, infused and non-infused snacks made with Mondo, fresh flowers and Dandelion Collective tea. The same day we launched Magu Beauty and The Bake Sale, two new Cannabis Feminist initiatives. By the end of the day, I was exhausted but I still had high hopes for the big day.
On 4/20 I had a packed schedule: the UCLA Cannabis Symposium followed by the Viceland and Merry Jane party and then the Snoop Dogg show if I managed to get tickets. But when I woke up I didn't feel like doing anything at all. In between texts from friends asking how I was going to celebrate my "favorite day," I paused. I remembered that six months ago I left my life on the east coast to move to Los Angeles a pursue career in cannabis. Here I am, with a budding platform and a vibrant community of women who want to join me. In previous years I would have resisted my desire to not show up, and instead I would have pushed myself to do all of the things I tell myself I should be doing. This year, instead of feeling guilty, I decided to follow my intuition, clear my schedule, and clear my mind.
Within minutes, my friend and neighbor, Melissa Palmer, the CEO of OSEA, asked if I would be interested in doing a Facebook Live for their organic skincare company. I said yes and set up my favorite products in my living room to display and discuss. I explained the basics of the endocannabinoid system and the difference between THC (the psychoactive primary cannabinoid in cannabis) and CBD (the non-psychoactive primary cannabinoid in cannabis) to over one hundred people watching. After we finished, two women came over for cannabis consultations where they explained their "symptoms" and I was able to recommend products specifically for them from brands I love. For the first time in years, I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be, at home supporting women with a plant that I believe in wholeheartedly. I created the space for my vision to unfold naturally, rather than imposing my idea of what should happen. Every breath of cannabis made me feel more present, more awake, and more aligned.
Then I realized something: 4/20 isn't a holiday. 4/20 is a state of mind. As soon as I opened myself up to the benefits of cannabis, cannabis opened me up to my own potential. It is the tool enabling me to feel comfortable and confident being alone, reassuring me that it is okay to skip the cool parties and instead focus on cultivating an internal celebration all the time. The plant is a mirror, bringing to light who we are and what we care about, even if we aren't ready to acknowledge it. But ultimately it is what we do with the reflection that matters.
Thank you cannabis, on 4/20 and everyday, for healing me so I can heal myself.