August 8, 2011
I’ve been thinking about a line in a letter from a friend: “After all, aren’t we basically the same people we were when we were sixteen?”
In a way, I totally know what she means. We’ve known each other that long, longer even, and there are glimpses of ourselves and each other that absolutely resonate with the people we were back then; we may have jobs and cars and spouses and adult concerns, but somewhere down there, we’re still slightly insecure and geeky sixteen year olds who know all the words to every Indigo Girls song and dream about changing the world.
After all, how much of our personalities stay consistent? Our tastes, proclivities, weaknesses, strengths, tendencies, traits, quirks, abilities, etc. –the things that make us, us—are they trace-able through time?
Because, at the same time I can still see the sixteen-year-old inside and find myself wondering “How can I be grown up enough to have life insurance? I still feel like a kid?,” a part of me shudders at the notion that my personality has remained static for the last dozen years. Since then, I’ve completed high school, college, & graduate school, fallen in love, committed to a relationship, lost a parent, started a career, started a blog, and supported my spouse through an episode with cancer. I should hope that these things have altered me; I have taken on certain changes, and rigorously worked to make them stick.
My middle school students sign each other’s yearbooks, as we used to, with things like “UR awesome! Don’t change!” and I want to tell them that change is the whole point. Life will come, and it will change you, and thank goodness for that.
Of course, the more things change, the more they stay the same. The essential parts of me, the things that make me, me, I think I am learning to see and trust and let flourish more and more—change in itself, but a kind of consistency in change, if that makes sense.
Speaking of change, I am very excited to announce that the lovely pictures you see in this and last week’s post belong to none other than my very wonderful partner-in-life-and-so-far-only-theoretical-crime, Jill. She will be the primary photographer for Blue Jean Gourmet for the foreseeable future! Jill had already been serving as the primary stylist for the blog, and has wanted to try her hand at photography for a long time now—you can see she has a real eye for both.
For the last two-plus years, this blog has proudly featured photographs from the very talented Sonya Cuellar; she quite literally helped make this blog what it is today. I would like to thank her publicly for all of the work she has put into this blog, and encourage you to check out her impressive painting and photography portfolios.
HOMEMADE GINGER ALE
My love of ginger ale has been constant, but my taste for type has shifted somewhat; as an adult, I tend to favor less sweet, more gingery brews over the generic bottles my mom used to buy for me when I was sick or had a stomach ache.
It’s very easy to concoct your own ginger drink at home using this recipe for ginger syrup from Imbibe magazine. When you’re ready to assemble the gingery ale, add club soda, lots of fresh lime juice, and a dash of bitters, if you have them around (they really help deliver that “bite” you’re expecting). Extremely refreshing.
Keep the ginger syrup in the fridge and use for other summer-y purposes: add to blenderized fruit and freeze for popsicles (ginger especially loves pineapple!), mix into cocktails (like Dark ‘n’ Stormys), or use a dollop to sweeten your tea.
Ginger syrup would also make a lovely present, methinks, especially to a friend who keeps a well-stocked bar. It looks pretty in bottles.