Must Love Fog

It feels like we’re in the middle of things. We are in the middle of things. We’re in the midst of Portland’s version of a snowstorm, meaning stuff is actually sticking (!) and all hell is breaking loose, because this is Drip City, where one Must Love Fog, and there’s generally no need for things like all-wheel drive and anti-lock brakes.

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Spying the partially completed postcard on my windowsill, I am reminded that I am also in the midst of my first foray into Adult Coloring. Which is a spectacularly good use of time, if you have not already given it a try. Pretty colored pencils go a long way, even at age 25. Maybe especially, at age 25.

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I wish we could close the lids of our laptops and put down our seriously smart phones and just talk. You could keep me company, since I’ve just created too many dishes to turn back now, whisking together marinades for Canal House’s zucchini boats, David Lebovitz’s roast chicken with caramelized shallots, and Momofuku’s soy sauce eggs. All of which I am sure I will be very happy to have made, say, tomorrow.

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I’m curious: what are you making these days? Or hoping to make? When there’s a $100 gift card to Whole Foods and a dish fairy on loan behind Door #1.

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Yesterday I made roasted carrot soup, which I would recommend you add to your list, only not if you have a studio-sized oven. I was so sick of looking at carrots (tops and peels and rounds) that I’d lost all interest in it by the time six o’clock rolled around. I had a slab of steelhead instead, cooked low and slow because Kristen said so, and oh my goodness, promise me you’ll try this the next time you buy fish? Just don’t serve it with baked sweet potato and excess carrot soup, or your entire dinner will be orange.

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I’ll cut to the chase — I didn’t really come to chat about monochromatic meals. I came to talk about the things I thought about while puttering around, using every pot and pan I own, and otherwise being all kinds of efficient.

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I’ve come to a conclusion that you likely came to about ten posts ago. Never too late to learn some embarrassingly basic, stupidly obvious things about oneself — right?

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I’m not ready for a relationship, and that’s why I’m not in one, haven’t found one.

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To soften the blow a little bit: I’m getting ready. I am more ready than I was a few weeks ago. Six months ago, certainly. A year ago, most definitely. But I’m still not there yet.

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I have a tendency to want to hurry things along, so part of me does feel like it’s time. It has been three years, after all. Three years of my precious twenties, which I’ve been led to believe is prime time for finding *my person*.

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But when I think about it, when I lift myself out of it for a minute, I can see very clearly that the right time just hasn’t come yet. I was in a relationship for almost all of college and then fell for someone else pretty quickly after we went our separate ways, and both experiences wound up being serious and sticky and significant. It took me a long time to move on. (If you stuck around while I got those 900 drafts of I-am-heartbroken-what-have-I-done out of my system, I adore you. I owe you soup and a listening ear and whatever else you like when it’s snowy and cold.)

If I go back a little further: in NYC all I did was work. I went on something like five dates that whole year. The upside is I made more friends than I’ve ever made in my life, and I got to figure out what it’s like to live alone and be alone, and, in the end, not be miserable about it.

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And then I got sick and moved out west, and meeting someone was honestly the last thing on my mind. For months and months I was just trying to take it one meal at a time. One day at time. Which — oh, the irony — is probably not unlike what I need to do now.

How long ago did I start online dating? Four months? Five months? I was so excited about maybe-possibly feeling interested again. I was so thrilled to find myself feeling open and optimistic and hopeful, all echoes of the person I’d been before the how-much-more-can-I-lose madness. I was so pleased with myself for believing I had something — or hey, maybe even a lot — to offer. And I was so proud of myself for being brave enough to go, and actually meet all of these people I didn’t know.

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But somewhere along the way, it stopped feeling good and fun and encouraging. I made some half-hearted attempts to meet people the “regular” way — at the gym, at the coffee shop, you know, the usual — but eventually abandoned that too. In favor of concentrating on taking better care of myself, and going home for the holidays, and other things that felt more important.

Now I don’t really know what I’m doing. I guess the accurate answer would be: nothing. Or no, maybe that’s not true. I’m making friends.

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Want to know three wonderful things? I bumped into a girl in the laundry room in my building; we made plans and spent the better part of the afternoon together. I had coffee with yet another person I met through Instagram (we both live in the NW and take pictures of all the same places), and she’s great, so sweet, and grew up two feet from where my mom did. And then, as if the day could get any better, I learned a girl I went to college with is moving into the vacant studio ON! MY! FLOOR! All of this to say: it seems I will no longer be going whole weekends having only talked to Siri.

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I still want romantic love; I won’t deny that. Specifically the ‘grow together’ type. And I’m sure I’ll be back to fixating on my lack of it soon enough, but for now, this feels good. This feels like a good place to be.

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{Snowy streets via @jessec2290, Momofuku eggs via @jamesransom_nyc, yellow door via @lily_rose, PDX dusk via @7thsuspekt, lantern via @helloemilie, curvy road via @bdorts, St. John’s Bridge via @jennhouston, Oregon coast via @1924us, crescent moon via @helloemilie, Portland bus via @jennhouston, sunlight ridge via @fursty, moving clouds via @_joshes, hairpin turn via @bertymandagie — all on Instagram.}

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2 thoughts on “Must Love Fog

  1. So true, i have been single for three years– working on myself. At times I’ve wondered if somethings wrong with me or if I’m spending too much time recovering and not actually living. But, then again I think that is living, the whole taking care of yourself thing. It’s been three years and that’s okay.

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