First and foremost – happy new year! 2008 had its brief sparkling moments – new friends, awesome spring semester (alas, not because of good grades or anything else remotely rewarding), first internship, California, Cancun – but overall, there was much to improve on. This past fall was kind of a downer in terms of fizzled relationships and strained academics but an eye-opener that I desperately needed. I realized just how much growing up I have left to do – my adaptability got frustrating to the point that I felt like I was waking up every day trying to be completely different from the morning before. My goals kept shifting, my motives were murky and I became obsessed with maintaining multiple versions of myself at a time, to better fit each situation and please every person. While I can’t necessarily say that this will come to a complete halt in the new year, I definitely have a singular idea of what kind of person (friend, student, daughter, etc.) I want to become and will stretch myself to stay devoted in reaching that.
This week has also affirmed that the city is the place for me, post-grad and God-willing! I still can’t navigate anywhere outside Times Square and have yet to understand the little shapes and colors that mark the subway system (as my friends who get my desperate phone calls of, “…Where am I!?!?!!” at all hours of the day can attest to), but being lost and confused and then stumbling into some underground haven is all part of the intoxicating city experience, I suppose. Last Tuesday I met up with my childhood friend Carol, also an avid foodie, and spent hours poring over review sites the night before to pick eateries whose patrons would get the honor of seeing us stuff our faces.
Reasons I love hanging out with Carol:
1) Her natural charisma.
2) Our easy, spirited conversation.
3) Her willingness to spend inordinate amounts of money on food with me even while she’s suffering through severe stomach pains.
Seriously, what a trooper. We went to a lively little Cuban restaurant in the Village where we were promptly seated and then given a tutorial by the adorable (and slightly buzzed) gay couple next to us on what to do with the mysterious sugarcane stick that came with our (sweet fruity delicious) mojitos. “Chew, don’t bite!” I obviously can’t follow directions properly considering I sat there for five minutes gnawing at my piece with my molars, spitting and slurping and looking all kinds of attractive, but to no avail. We bumbled about afterward with sangria-infused merriment and as we engaged in our weary rants of “What am I going to do with my liiiiiiife,” Carol said if all else fails, she’d open a bakery. Or plant some sugarcane fields. I mean, even in a recession people have to have their fluffy, fresh-baked goods and a little homegrown sugar to go along with it, right? It’s genius.
As for the new year, I love having fresh slates, or at least ones that I can continue writing on without too much guilty retrospect, and am genuinely excited for the new semester. Although I currently have a review, two columns, and a million applications and emails to write, it feels good to be busy again. Fun classes, spring break, hopefully-God-pretty-please an amazing summer internship, sister’s wedding, then vive la France! Bring it on 2009, let’s see what you got.