Thursday, July 19, 2012

Love Interruption

Over the last year I've learned a lot about myself and I think being single has made all the difference. I spent almost my entire adult life in a relationship. And while I wouldn't trade my time with Ryan for anything, there are some things you can only learn about yourself when you're alone. Being half of a couple can be consuming in a way you don't fully notice until it's gone. It can creep up on you and when you're left without that other half, suddenly you realize how much of yourself you gave up.



I don't mean to imply there's anything wrong with that. In fact, I got so much back in return it didn't feel like a sacrifice at all. But the fact still stands, that learning how to be single after being in a relationship for so long is largely a practice in getting to know who you are without all the sacrifices and compromises. There are also less excuses for your own fears and failures. It's easy to put things off when you have other people to think of, but now I find the only thing standing in my way is me.

And that can be frightening.

But even though I like being single for the most part, some days I inevitably feel lonely. I crave the knowledge that someone loves me and wants to be with me. I'm not even sure why. I think it's just natural for us to seek out other people and we all desire being desired to some degree. Either way, I don't like feeling like this. All weird and lonely.
So here are some of the things I like about being single: I like getting to do what I want to do and flirt with pretty bearded boys. I enjoy spending my money on what I want without worrying about Ryan. My friendships have gotten stronger (well some of them at least) and I feel like a twenty-something gal. It's great. I like cooking what I want for dinner (even if I hate not getting to share it). I like not feeling guilty for hogging all the covers. I like knowing I can sleep with whoever I want. I get to waste as much time as I want on my boring hobbies. I can stay up as late as i want (Ryan works early in the morning so this was always an issue). I get to flirt with cute pizza boys and waiters. I can be picky and selfish when it suits me. I can go to concerts and sleep in on the weekends. I can obsess over little things and go out with my friends as much as I like. Basically, I can be me. With no apologies and no guilt.

That's not bad when you really think about it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Little Terror Can Be a Good Thing

"You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down."
If my outlook on life could be summarized by one cheesy saying it'd be, "If you don't ask the answer is always 'no.'" When I'm unsure whether or not I want to go down a certain path, I always think about the possible outcomes and then try to decide if the worse thing that can happen is more of a tragedy than never trying at all. I've found over time that not trying is usually more upsetting to me. I hate the not knowing. The "what could have been" eats at me and I'd rather mend my wounds after crashing and burning than never jump at all. This means I tend to make an ass out of myself more than most.

On the plus side, making a fool out of yourself is a good way to stay grounded.

In SLC there's this pizza place close to my work that's a little bit of a dive. The tables are usually dirty, the staff are covered with tattoos, and the pizza is delicious in that way only cheap by-the-slice pizza tends to be. Since it's near my work and, more importantly, open really late on the weekends, I tend to eat there a couple times a week. Usually on Fridays and Saturdays after the bar closes. Over the last few weeks I've developed a total crush on one of the boys and on Saturday I decided to write him a note. Yes a note.

Because I have no good sense.

Anyways, even though it included such gems as "pizza rocks" and "your cuteness kills me," I'm kind of glad I did it. People take everything so seriously and it's good to be silly. To be honest and upfront about your feelings. Sometimes, maybe even most of the time, it won't work out the way you hoped. But when it does, man it's fucking awesome.

You got to make your own luck.

Maybe I'm writing this post to convince myself not to freak out, but a little terror can be a good thing. So the next time you aren't sure what to do, give it a shot. Who knows? You might feel like a total ass and spend the next few days laughing over it with your friends. Or maybe you'll get lucky and something magical will happen. Either way, action is always more satisfying than non-action in my book.

And pizza really does rock.

Update: So it turns out my pizza boy has a girlfriend. He said he was flattered and "probably would have even called" but his girlfriend probably wouldn't appreciate it. I'd like to say I'm not bummed, but at least I went for it. Who knows? Maybe we can be friends.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Asparagus, Pecorino and Red Onion Salad

I know it's been forever since I've posted, but I figured this recipe was the best way to jump start what will hopefully be my triumphant return to rambling on the internet at a bunch of strangers. This is one of those ridiculously simple recipes that has huge bang for the buck. I'm always on the lookout for new vegetable side dishes, and this one really caught my eye because I'd never considered eating asparagus raw. The vinegar in the recipe tenderizes the asparagus and leaves you with a crisp and tasty salad. My friends couldn't stop eating it and asked several times about the recipe. You can't beat that.

IMG_8872

I use a mandolin to get the asparagus thin and even. It's a little bit of a hassle, but I think it's worth it. I do same thing with the onion and it keeps you from biting into a chunk of onion. I did substitute Parmesan for the picorino and halved the amount of vinegar called for. Remember, you can always add more vinegar later (and the bunch of asparagus Burrell used was quite large). After that, all you do is add the olive oil to taste.

Would I make this again? Oh yes. It's simple and light and people can't seem to get enough of it.

Asparagus, Pecorino and Red Onion Salad

It is best to do this about an hour or so in advance to let the flavors "marry".

Ingredients:

1 bunch pencil asparagus, tough bottom stems removed
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 cup coarsely grated aged pecorino
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

Directions:

1. Cut the asparagus, including the tips into very thin slices, crosswise and place in a medium bowl. Add the red onion and pecorino and toss to combine.

2. Dress with the vinegar, olive oil and salt and toss again. This salad should be fairly heavily dressed. The vinegar will sort of "cook" or tenderize the asparagus.

Source: Anne Burrell