Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Merging In

"Just inch out into the road. Relax. Take a deep breath. Check both ways. You're clear. Drive." All my life, I have been used to "following." I question myself about everything, even when I know that I know what to do. I realized this particularly when I was learning to drive.

ME: Dad, can I go now?
DAD: Yes. The light is green. Green means "go."

ME: Mom, do I signal?
MOM: You're switching lanes. Yes, you signal.

One of the hardest things for me to learn has been merging into oncoming traffic. I second-guessed myself. I didn't trust myself to move unless someone else told me to.

As soon as I started driving by myself, that changed. Fast. The first time I drove by myself I forgot I had to drive around the rotary downtown. "You know what to do," I heard Mom say inside my head. "Think about your next move. Trust yourself."

This summer, I feel as if I've been merging into my own life. I've mused in previous posts about the newfound independence I've acquired over the past few months, between obtaining my license, traveling alone, and now as a working girl. I've found that with this independence also comes a new rhythm––my own rhythm.

In previous summers, I have followed my parents' schedule. When they swam, I swam. When they ran, I ran. When they ate, I ate. This summer, I'm not able to do this. I have my own schedule. I work during the day, I perform in a community theatre production of Les Mis at night. I have to run and swim when I have time to run and swim. Sometimes there are days I'm not able to fit in a run or a swim, because I choose to prioritize memorizing my lines, or reading, or taking the time to write. Or napping. Sometimes I need a nap.

I've also been making a lot of my own meals lately. My dinner tonight was one of my favorites so far.

I stopped by work on my way home from play rehearsal to pick up a portabella mushroom with my 20% employee discount. I brushed it with olive oil and cooked it in the oven until it was soft. Meanwhile, I sautéed kale, green beans, snap peas, zucchini, and tomatoes from our garden. When everything was cooked, I flipped the mushroom so that its belly faced up, and blanketed it with the kale leaves. Then I filled it with the other veggies. To top it off, I sprinkled grated asiago cheese over the mushroom and the plate, and added a nasturtium on the side for decoration.

After setting the table and taking many pictures, I finally sat down to eat...the food was only a little cold. now you're probably thinking that I only wrote this post as a sly way of sneaking in pictures of my dinner. But I actually started the post the other night and never finished it, and when I cooked dinner tonight, I realized these pictures accompanied the post perfectly. And here's why: I'm on my own this summer more than I ever have been before. I'm starting to think more for myself. I love to be I run and swim and bike, even when it's on my own. I love good food. So when I have the time, I don't just grab cereal from the cupboard or throw in a frozen pizza...I take the time to cook something for myself. 

When it comes down to it, I'm learning how to take care of myself. It has certainly been an adjustment these past few weeks...but I'm slowly releasing my foot off the break. I look both ways. And I go. 

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