You see the thing is, some things in life are both sweet and sour…exciting and scary…joyous and tear-filled…
I’ve been waiting for a very long time to tell you all…<drumroll>…I’m moving! I’m f’in moving…leaving New York City, packing up, shipping out, au revoir. Dustin and myself are moving to Hudson, NY in May. The town has been calling our names for about two years, now we’re ready to call it home (!).
I can’t believe it, not sure I’ll fully comprehend what I’m doing until it actually happens. When the last box is stowed away in a U-Haul, seatbelt clipped, coffee in hand, Dustin in the driver’s seat, and I sobbing my eyes out and feeling all the feelings as I cross over the Brooklyn Bridge, knowing that what will be behind me will no longer be home….maybe then I’ll comprehend it.
Until that moment of full comprehension, I’ll continue to live in this ‘pseudo-denial/ extremely excited/counting down the days’ mindset that I’ve fully adopted as of late. It’s amazing that change can elicit every emotion possible, and they all come at once, one big tidal wave of fear, excitement, stress, joy, nervousness, eagerness. And then the tides rushes out, calmness sets in, clarity. Prepare for another rush….
Each day I wake up with a “To-Do” list of tasks that I want to accomplish; somedays I feel this list is accompanied by a ticking clock, a countdown, other days I acknowledge that ‘time’ is never a dependable measurement of productivity or sanity.
“What can I do today that will keep me sane, get me closer to Hudson, find a job, transition my clients, make connections, see all my friends, buy a car, clear out my closet, visit museums, go to my favorite restaurants, save money, pack, cry, say goodbye, be excited, find housing, etc.”
As May gets closer, I’m struggling more and more at prioritizing that “To-Do” list. The things that one would deem ‘top of the list’ are slowly slipping as I’m realizing that money, jobs, cars, and homes will always be a stress, no matter how much or how little you have of them. Why even give them space on a “To-Do’ list when these are the tedious things that you’ll inevitably be figuring out your entire life.
I find myself thinking mostly about the relationships and friendships that I currently have and how they will shift. I have watched many of my friends move away from New York City, onto new adventures as I bid them tear-filled farewells, scared of how distance will change our bond, scared that we’ll become lesser friends, scared that we’ll change. While being further away radically altered our ‘day-to-day’ friendships, we still maintained our solidarity (Thank you technology for making this somewhat easy). And while that initial ‘goodbye’ was awful, and I felt like I was loosing my best friend forever each time, well I’ve realized that distance doesn’t quite stand up to true friendship whatsoever.
So before I let myself get all worked up and sad about the familiarity and friends that I’m moving further away from, I’m comforted in the sweetness of their love, the strength of our connection, and the assurance that ‘we’ve done this before’. I’m also comforted in knowing that I’ll be closer to my family, my first friends. Comforted in knowing that Dustin will be by my side and we’ll experience a new town together. Comforted by the idea that from new homes and new challenges, new friends and new familiarities can be made.
I understand news like this can at first be sad, tender, sour, shocking, but it’s really quite sweet. Very, very sweet.
David Lebovitz’s Whole Lemon Bars
-1 C. AP flour
-1/4 C. sugar
-1/4 tsp. salt
-8 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 lemon, organic or unsprayed (you’ll also want 2-3 more lemons for the juice required below)
-1 C. sugar
-3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
-3 large eggs, room temperature
-4 tsp. cornstarch
-1/4 tsp. salt
-3 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
-Powdered sugar for serving
-Preheat oven to 350°F.
-Overturn an 8-inch square pan on the counter, wrap the outside snugly with foil, shiny side up. Remove the foil, turn the pan over, and fit foil into the pan, pressing to nudge the foil into the corners. Then smooth it as best you can. Lightly butter or spray the surface of the foil with nonstick spray.
-In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, 1/4 C. sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, 8 Tbsp. melted butter, and vanilla, stirring just until smooth.
-Smooth the batter into the bottom of the pan, using your hands or a small offset spatula to get it as level as possible.
-Bake the crust for 20-25 minutes or until it’s deep-golden brown.
-While the crust is baking, cut the lemon in half, remove the seeds, and cut the lemon into chunks.
-Put the chunks (yup, the entire lemon) in a food processor or blender along with the 1 C. sugar and lemon juice, let it run until the lemon is completely broken up. Add the eggs, cornstarch, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 3 Tbsp. melted butter, and blend until almost smooth (A few tiny bits of lemon pieces are normal & encouraged).
-When the crust comes out of the oven, reduce the heat of the oven to 300°F. Pour the lemon filling over the hot crust and bake for 25 minutes or just until the filling stops jiggling and is barely set.
-Remove from the oven and let cool completely (30 minutes or so). Once cool, carefully lift out the bars grasping the foil. Cut the bars into squares or rectangles (I like bite-sized squares). Sift powdered sugar over the top just before serving, if desired.
-Store in an airtight container for up to one week, freeze for up to one month.