More hugs and some beer will fix this, right?

“Nothing changes if nothing changes.”

Kristen Carbone
4 min readApr 13, 2023

In December, my beautiful friend Kate read my tarot cards. It was a particularly difficult moment both personally and professionally and when prompted, the only question I could come up with was: “Should I keep Brilliantly going?”

Kate explained, after starting to pull cards, that she’d been hesitant to ask a yes or no question because the cards tend to be subject to interpretation and rarely reveal a clear, concrete yes or no. However my cards, according to Kate, we an alarmingly clear cosmic “hell yes!”

I cried while she explained the meaning of the cards and how I’d have to continue learning how to navigate these rough, uncharted waters. If I could ride these waves, success was ahead.

A few weeks ago at a breast cancer research fundraiser, a man named Domineck read my aura. It was strong, he said, vacillating between blue and green and turquoise. He pointed out that a lot of negative energy was constantly flowing at me and that I’d been expensing a massive amount of my own life force to stay positive. He said he could see prosperity and success ahead so long as I could find ways to restore myself and that I should focus on spending time with people who energized me. He suggested that I ask people around me for more hugs, as a simple way to start. He also told me that my intuition was very strong and to trust my gut but my heart chakra was completely blocked.

In 2023, riding the waves of Brilliantly has been easy because there simply are none. It’s just a long, low, seemingly flat moment. The tide here never rises. Right now I mostly work alone in front of a computer and often from my bed, which doesn’t suit me. Brilliantly would easily take every second of my time, if I let it. If I didn’t have kids, and thank goodness that I do, I’d probably drink a full carafe of coffee from my bedside table from around 6am while I worked until late afternoon when I’d happily switch to wine, work until 10pm and then repeat.

Over the last two weeks I realized and accepted that I am profoundly depleted. It’s both surprising and disappointing. I’ve always believed that I am indefatigable and somehow I’ve become a person than who fantasized about being in a coma for a few days. I have to find ways to restore my energy if I am going to shepherd this business to success. Because more than almost anything else, I believe there is a big and exciting future for my little company.

And in pursuit of restoration, I joined a new yoga studio that’s closer to the house and has times that better suit my schedule. I’ve gone almost every day since joining.

I also applied for a part time job at the tap room at a local brewery.

It’s been a while since I’ve worked in hospitality, but I’ve done everything from being the server at my parents dinner parties (a job I earned upon turning seven and held until my early 20s!) to working in food service at college as part of my financial aid requirement. Those early experiences taught me multitudes about meal planning, cooking, hosting and being generally professional and gracious.

As an adult, I regularly host parties and have planned, cooked and hosted all the family holidays since my my mom died about twenty years ago. I take a massive amount of pride in creating delightful food and beverage experiences for even the most picky guests.

Over my 20 year career, I’ve worked as a museum curator, public artist, arts educator, project manager and most recently as the founder of Brilliantly, which in case you don’t know is a technology-based women’s health startup. And while these experiences might seem unrelated to the service industry, I assure you, dear reader, that working with contemporary artists, being embedded in urban communities while making public art and pitching venture capitalists all use the same set of skills that make me a great candidate for a service job.

My interview at the brewery was this morning and I really hope that I get it. I need the money but I also am desperate for work with people that isn’t behind a screen and that I can not do from my bed.

I am confident that a few hours of new, different work will fortify my spirit, provide renewed energy and clarify for the future of Brilliantly. My most trusted advisors have also suggested I might meet a billionaire who wants to invest while I’m serving beer. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for that, too.



Kristen Carbone

Just trying to understand the tiny space I occupy in the cosmos without becoming too distracted by the laundry.