How’ve you been these past few months? Has your life drastically transformed? Did you move across the country, win an award, fall in love? Did you get a puppy? Hire a life coach? Go back to school? Start a new job?
Maybe your time has been occupied with less dramatic pursuits: have you listened to an absurd number of podcasts on an obscure topic? Perfected your method for cooking rice without a rice cooker? Discovered that leggings can and should be worn as pants with no shame or regret?
For me, the transition from summer to autumn has been a heavy mix of significant life events, murder podcasts, and some stuff in between.
Leo and I got a very grown-up, horrible thing called a mortgage, which is slightly terrifying, but we also used that mortgage to buy a sweet little flat in south London. We move in December and I get all tingly and excited when I think about it. (Major shoutout to my extremely handsome husband Leo for being a Responsible Adult and doing mortgage things.)
I’ve been working, cooking, running, spending a little too much time on Instagram, going to the market on Sundays, cooking some more, basking in the chill of autumn, and cursing the 5pm sunsets that have suddenly ambushed us. I’ve been planning a much-anticipated trip to New York and Ohio in November. I’ve been reading (Ready Player One, of course).
I didn’t grow up in a particularly crunchy household. Legend has it that my dad tried feeding me Oreos when I was three months old (guess that’s what happens when you give a 23-year-old dude a baby. Love you, Jay). The first thing I remember cooking for myself as a kid was one of those ramen blocks resembling Justin Timberlake’s hair from the ‘90s (sometimes I would get REAL gourmet and ditch the seasoning packets for butter and grated parmesan from the green plastic tub).
Now I’m not saying that my parents weren’t good cooks, or that they didn’t feed me veggies on the daily. But as two recent college grads trying to make a living in Atlanta, they had priorities other than making their own nut butters or raiding the bulk bins at the local co-op. My dad was working nonstop. My mom was in grad school studying her days away. Plus, they had a kid who would smear Vicks Vapo-Rub all over her body when left unsupervised (yep, I can confirm that it burns just as much as you would expect).
Hello, friend. It’s been awhile.
Over the past few months, I’ve been getting used to a different routine: waking early to move my body, heading to my new-ish job, writing and writing and writing, and then commuting home. Weeks pass quickly and it’s both exhausting and empowering. It makes me wonder where the time goes, and if things will ever slow down—but at least I’m making a life in that passing time. That’s a good thing.
Favorite things, April 2017:
- Wearing bandannas as neck scarves makes me feel like a cross between a Wild West bandit and an Old Hollywood film star. I’m not sure if it’s a look I’ll regret later (#tb to the time I had a bleached pixie cut with shaved sides) but I’m loving it right now.
- I always forget how much I love the Ultrabland facial cleanser from Lush. I started a new job not too long ago (!!!) and have been trying to be an ~adult~ with a ~skincare routine~ so I got out my Ultrabland again. It’s simple and glorious and it smells like baked goods in the springtime. Highly recommend. (Not sponsored, I just like having a soft face.)
- Roasted nuts on EVERYTHING. Seriously, just chop up a handful of raw almonds, stick ‘em in the oven on a high heat until they smell toasty and look golden, and scatter them all over your life. They make an appearance in most of my meals, especially the salads I pack for work lunches.
- The Man in the High Castle: Have you seen it? Do you love its mysterious plotline (Hitler wins WWII, crazy shit happens with parallel universes, Alexa Davalos is hot AF) and questionably shoddy acting as much as I do? I recently binged both seasons and now I’m mad I have to wait until God knows when to find out what the eff is going on.
I have a confession to make: when I was a kid, I HATED homemade mac and cheese. I had an aversion to cheesy things (and clearly some deep-seated issues) and would complain nonstop whenever Betsy announced we were having macaroni for dinner. She would make beautiful, super-cheesy baked mac and cheese, sometimes covered in breadcrumbs for that extra-crispy finish, and I’d turn my back on her like she killed my Tamagotchi.
Looking back on my younger self, I’m ashamed. Now, I spend long hours thinking of all the mac and cheese–eating opportunities I missed out on. I call my mom daily to console her heartache over the years of pain I inflicted on her from my homemade macaroni–hating ways. “Where did I go wrong?” she asks me, sobbing softly.
Through my own tears, I can only whisper, “That sh*t in the blue box.” ***