Peanut Butter Brownies

There are roughly six things I am sure about at the moment.

1. You can’t conjure up feelings for someone. It doesn’t work like that. That guy at the gym? You like the way he always smiles hello — even though he’s probably paid to do that. You like that he eats a brown spotted banana every morning at 6:05 am, without fail. You also like his willingness to overlook your very-expired-one-week pass. Now quit praying for sparks, and resume fantasizing about banana cream pie.


(If you were a different sort of girl, you would probably have his number by now. And you would have phoned your mom to figure out how the heck to make a banana cream pie. But you’re not, and you didn’t. Maybe you should learn how to make the pie anyway? For you. It could be fun.)

2. It is normal to be afraid, and it is also normal to not be quite sure of what. You might be afraid of a plummeting savings account. Of days and days of silence. You might be afraid to realize that you aren’t very good at cheering yourself up, and you’re going to need to get good at it — quickly. In order to avoid sinking into a depression so deep that you won’t be able to claw yourself out.


You might be even more afraid of ending up exactly where you were before: with your checklist all checked, with your inner alarm bell positively shrieking. What if this is the wrong list? Where are the things that matter? The big things, the only things.

3. Memories don’t always dull over time. Some get sharper. Sharper and sharper, until it’s really just a matter of time until you slip and nick yourself on an edge. You must stay vigilant, and you must not read through old Facebook messages. Do not do this. Don’t! Force yourself to get up and go sit in a coffee shop — just for an hour. Bring a pen and some paper. And something pretty for your lips, too. (You might meet a man in your cup.)


4. A one-size-fits-most resume is not going to work. And you’re not going to be able to get away with editing it while you slurp tomato soup.


5. Home will eventually turn into a sort of magical place, with lots of comfortable places to sit and lots of lavishly large beds. This place has blinds that shut and shiny appliances that work and cars that run. This place has doors full of condiments (so many!), closets full of clothes you forgot all about, and rooms full of people who think you are very special. Even if the rest of the world thinks you are just like everyone else — only with a lot less experience.

But here is the thing: home will stop feeling magical if you’re there for too long. You’d just like to visit, and do a little regrouping, and perhaps kind of a lot of laundry. You’d also like to borrow some things that you might not give back for awhile. Would that be okay?


6. You can’t go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter. Or with any recipe by Smitten Kitchen, for that matter. Do you know why? “Currently, my To Cook list looks like this: soup, soup, soup, salad, soup, something with kale, soup, something else with kale, then all of the peanut butter and all of the chocolate. Are we on the same page with this?”


Make these when you really have no idea which page you’re on, but that one sounds good. When you’re feeling way too many things, but mostly like this is never going to end. This feeling is normal, you are normal, and these brownies are remarkable. Make them in your pajamas at 10 o’clock on a Monday morning, because someday you will be grumbling about being stuck under fluorescent lighting for eight hours at a time, just like everybody else. You will. 



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