I Feel Beautiful

Proof June 7, 2009

Filed under: Social — Jill @ 5:37 PM
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Last fall I fought with C for two solid weeks. Nothing was resolved, but when I moved we stopped fighting. We didn’t speak for three months. During those three months I did my best not to think about him; I sequestered every song, every photo, every thing that could evoke a memory of him. This time around I’ve started doing the same things, but today, via The Happiness Project, I found something that’s making me reconsider.

proof

This photograph is my proof. There was that afternoon when things were still good between us, and she embraced me. And we were so happy. It did happen. She did love me. Look, see for yourself!

Those things aren’t just bitter reminders that I have lost something huge, but also proof that I really did have this beautiful, challenging, life-changing experience. In the months that it took for us to lose each other so completely, I asked myself over and over if the years of our friendship were worth what I was going through at that moment. I have wondered if I imagined how well I was loved — could I have misunderstood so much? Now I have proof, proof that it was worth it, proof that I was loved.

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Things that are strange and surreal. June 6, 2009

Filed under: Social — Jill @ 2:50 PM
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Last night I called a friend, Win, that I haven’t seen since the end of the ski season. It was supposed to be a business call, but within minutes I found myself agreeing to go to meet him at a party. Moving out here pretty much ended my rare inclinations to be social — I live with my closest friends here so why would I need to go out? The few times I have, Win has been there. Half the time he’s been the reason I left the house at all.

My roommates laughed at me the entire time I was getting ready, but it was nice to see him. For reasons I’m not sure I understand, we’re both inclined to take care of each other. I experienced a very startling moment of clarity a few months ago when I realized that he genuinely cared about me, no visible strings attached. I know it sounds unbearably insecure to be surprised when someone cares for you, but given that I was in the process of losing my best friend (and there are some strange overlaps between the two of them) I’m going to give myself a pass on that.

I say there are no visible strings, but I’m questioning that. I am not a terribly social individual and he was the only person I knew at last night’s party, so I wanted to leave after about 30 minutes. I was there to see him and I had completed that mission, but he talked me into staying so I promised another half an hour. An hour later we were at his house and I was ready to go. Had it just been us and another former coworker and maybe even his roommates, whom I’d never met, I’d have been okay and might have genuinely enjoyed myself, but it was us, another former coworker, and half a dozen complete strangers. I was overwhelmed, as is typical for me, and he may have taken that personally. And this is where the strings come in. His argument was that I should just be social; why does he care about my social life or lack thereof? If it was less about that and more about him wanting to spend more time with me, that at least makes sense, but that wasn’t his approach.

I’m not sure how I feel about all of this. I think that once we get to know each other better and can relax a little more, we’ll have a rather spectacular relationship. All the same, I have to wonder what I think I’m doing. I can see the similarities between this relationship and the one I just lost. I can see the differences too, but is this fair to him? Do I care about him for legitimate reasons, or am I still trying to hold on to something that is gone? Writing those thoughts out helped. Those parallels aren’t going anywhere, but I do think my interest in him is about him, not C. There’s a lot to him that I want in my life right now and I should spend more time nurturing this relationship and less time thinking of reasons to hide from it.

I’m going to up to the summit tomorrow for a job interview. I’ll give him a call and do my best to build this instead up of tearing it down.

 

Bean Soup Recipe June 5, 2009

Filed under: Cooking and Eating — Jill @ 1:16 PM
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Making soup is a two part process for me. First I have to make the appropriate stock, which while easy, requires some foresight. My method is to cook ham in the slow-cooker, generally with potatoes and onions, and reserve the liquid from that process. It freezes well, so I just take the frozen stock out of the freezer about the same time I start soaking the beans. It’s pretty much the only way I make stock for bean soup, so while there are alternatives available, I’m not going to comment on those. Beyond that, my base recipe is as follows:

1 bag dried beans (I use a soup mix that has a variety of beans. If you go that route, do not use the included flavoring packet.)
1 onion, diced
1/2 lb. bacon
1 carrot
1 bay leaf
dash of seasoned salt
dash of celery salt
thyme and sage to taste

Soak dried beans overnight, rinse, simmer until they are properly squishy.

While beans are simmering, cook bacon. Chop cooked bacon into bite-sized pieces.

Use bacon grease to fry half the onion. I prefer mine very crispy and slightly blackened.

Once beans are done add stock, bacon, and onion. Coarsely grate the carrot (because I don’t particularly like vegetables and they’re much better if they’re small) and add that as well.

Add bay leaf, salts, and spices.

Simmer soup for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Next time I’d like to try a little molasses, some apple cider vinegar, and try to incorporate more vegetables.