|To apologize for the huge, wordy blog post to follow,|
here's a s'mores bar to tempt you to read on.
We are post-grads living back home with the folks. This is probably the last place we want to be. Nothing against the 'rents--you could have the coolest, most laid back parents in the world. You could have full reign of the house or even your own house inside their house and you still probably want to get the heck out of there. Oprah could be your mom and you want to get out of there. Anyway. You're either frantically looking for a job, in a not-what-I-want-my-career-to-be job, or somehow in a job relevant to what you want to do in life but probably not at a high enough salary to feel like your degree is paying itself off quite yet. You're either single and loving it, single and hating it, or in a relationship of some sort and maybe or maybe not heading towards the altar in the any sort of future. You may or may not have the same friends from high school milling about.
|Not so pretty, but sweet and amazing on the inside.|
Like me, right?
So, last week the WHAT IFs decided to sneak up on me and freak me the heck out. I had the sad realization that even if I consolidated my loans, it wouldn't bring the monthly repayment low enough to warrant moving out of my parents' house. As it is, I can not afford rent in addition to them unless I want to barely break even each month. This led to a downward spiral of I will be in Western Mass FOREVER and I will never achieve my dreams and I will just be a lonely old lump with a bunch of cats forevermore. I tried to call friends to hang out and get my mind off it, but on the particularly darkest day no one was free or responding. On this same day things ended with the dude I had been kind of sort of casually seeing. Ending in a big crazy explosion of doom and WHATTHEHECKAREYOUKIDDINGME-ness that ended up with me just feeling lonely and unimportant with a dash of used.
|Om nom nom nom...|
The feeling lingered for the weekend, despite me getting out and about and roaming around Umass with a younger friend, trying so hard to live vicariously and feel like I was a freshman again, thinking this might help. It was fun, but afterward I still felt strange. It wasn't until Sunday, after some mild retail therapy and a quick stop to visit my former cat at an old theater friend's house (she gave her a wonderful home when I no longer could), when one of my very closest friends came over to hang out. We talked about her upcoming wedding, played with my dog, and made these amazing s'mores bars. Somehow, and I can't even explain it, I felt better. A combination of new clothes, a quick cuddle with my old kitten, being so happy for my friend (Weddings are fun! Love is great!), and making the most delicious of baked goods was just the medicine I needed to get me out of the funk.
I accept that sometimes, I'm just going to feel this way. The future IS uncertain, but that's okay. I can't escape to NYC, or LA, or Chicago, or London, or any of the amazing cities I feel are calling to me--not right now. I'm single again and trying to remember how to do that properly (still in the healing process, but kind of wanting to "get back out there" too) without hurting myself or selling myself short. I don't have a lot of friends in the area, but the ones I do have are there for me when I need them, but I need to understand that they do have their own lives and can't always rush to comfort me when I want them to. I have a job that I love, and that I learn something new at every day, even if it's not necessarily the career I pictured myself in. I am lucky to have a job, having a job I love is even luckier. I'm going to take a cooking class. I'm going to be in a play. I'm going to write an article for a magazine. I'm doing just fine.
|Recipe = Almost Here. You've come so far...|
Dear WHAT IF Monster, I AM ON THE RIGHT TRACK. And it's totally, completely, 100% fine to be scared and uncertain and stress sometimes.
It IS a Quarter Life Crisis, afterall.
These S'mores Bars, for a little while at least, make everything so much better. They were the first thing to come out of the test kitchen when I interned at FamilyFun and are still my favorite.
Magical Make-You-Feel-Better S'Mores Bars
(From FamilyFun Magazine)
*note* I doubled the recipe for mine, but this is it as-is from the magazine
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup crushed graham crackers
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 3 (1.55-ounce) chocolate bars
• 1 (7-ounce) jar of marshmallow creme
-Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
-In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Add the crushed graham crackers, flour, salt, and baking powder and beat until well mixed, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl.
-Spoon half the dough into the pan and spread evenly with your fingertips. Break the chocolate into pieces and arrange over the dough. Spread a layer of marshmallow creme over the chocolate. Flatten the remaining dough into pancakes and lay them over the marshmallow.
-Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let the bars cool before serving.
|And all is right in the world.|
*Note: I overuse parenthesis, don't I?