Monday, April 6, 2009

All men wanna be rich...

In lieu of devoting my time to an activity that could advance my career or inch me closer to feeling some sort of professional fulfillment, I’ve decided to transform my kitchen. This weekend, I dodged the book I was assigned to review for my writing class to pour over “The Art of Simple Food” by Alice Waters instead. My cookbook and I cuddled on the couch, trying to ignore that rebuffed paperback gawking at us from across the room. Oh assigned reading, you are so long and boring! Why do the things I feel like I’m supposed to do seem so far away from the things I want to do?

Now, I’m close to obsessed with idea of putting fresh, delicious fuel into my body. But my feelings about Alice Waters are complicated. I went to college with her daughter, Fanny. And while Fanny was always perfectly fine during the limited exchanges we shared, I’m so insecure. You probably know that already. In my mind, Fanny’s just another person who serves as a reminder that you can be much further along in life at age 26 than I am. And you can read all about it in the New York Times. Other classmates who make me queasy with envy? Jamie Kirchirk, Zoe Kazan, Daniel Kurtz Phelan…)

Am I a bigger person for admitting my own human weakness? I get jealous! Sometimes cripplingly so. And whether I say it in a blog entry or keep it to myself, I’m still in the exact same place…making copies…typing what people tell me to…asking myself important questions like “how much water have I had today?” “Am I sitting up straight?” Hydration and posture, the small personal struggles of my day-to-day.

I know, I know. Comparing yourself to others gets you nowhere. It’s like my mom said once: You don’t have to set the world on fire at 26. Of course, what she actually said was that you don’t have to set the world on fire at 24, because that’s when I started complaining about all this stuff. And now here I am, almost 27, wearing possibly the same outfit I was the day she first offered me that advice. At what age should you start to feel like if you haven’t torched your home planet, you might as well just throw in the towel and sign up for truck driving school?

So like I said, I’m going to transform my kitchen. I’m going to stock it with all the artillery necessary to throw together the kind of meal that makes my stomach feel warm instead of twisted. And it’s not going to be easy! Taking care of yourself hardly ever is. But imagine if you were your child instead of yourself, you’d make the extra effort, wouldn’t you?

Is this another distraction, something that I do instead of what I really want to do, because the thing I really want to do is too large and looming? Am I just cowering in the shadows that dreams cast? Maybe. But it’s a challenge. And I believe that any accomplishment begets another. They gild confidence to make it stronger and more flashy. And if it is a royal waste of time, and least it will keep me too busy to care.


  1. hallieface! let's have a date soon where i come over and we fill up with delicious healthy fuel. and maybe red wine? it's good for the heart...

  2. you definitely shouldn't even consider trying to set the world on fire before the age of, say, 35.