A good friend of mine and I sometimes joke about worrying that we peaked in high school. We were just big fish in a little pond, but I sometimes feel that I lost some of the confidence I had after I left that teenage-comfort zone. It might be that I’m overthinking things, or it might just be a part of growing up—maybe a bit of both.
While I often found my undergrad challenging, I find myself occasionally missing the structure that came with the “occupation” of being a student and the kind of certainty it offered; I knew what I was doing with my life for a solid chunk of time (that good ole’ BSc), at least most of the time. And even if I didn’t know what lay ahead after graduation, I had another year or two to think about it, another semester or two, another week or two…
Since graduating, I’ve doubted myself a lot in a way that doesn’t feel like “me”. I’ve given in to mini-cry sessions that creep up on me without warning, and indulged in little pity parties for seemingly no reason. Motivation has been a little low, Netflix usage has gone up. I have learned how to cross stitch.
I didn’t get in to a post-graduate program for which I thought I was a good candidate, and I found out that rejection stings. My ego has been bruised a bit and I have this underlying feeling that I’m forgetting something. That I should be chasing more opportunities, applying to more jobs or more schools, but I can’t seem to nail down what it is that I want to just “try harder” for.
I’ve started writing this post an embarrassing amount of times (hence all the fall photos), and each time I’ve gotten about one paragraph done before feeling like I’m about to whine all over the internet and deleting it. I really don’t mean to sound entitled and ungrateful (and I’m not fishing for compliments or for anyone to join my pity party!), I know I’m incredibly lucky and am so grateful for the loving and supportive network that surrounds me. But, I figured it would be OK to post something that isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
On the bright side, this time has allowed me to more closely observe how friends and other people I admire have pursued their passions, or work hard to fit in the things they love on the side. It’s been humbling and has provided motivation to work on something – anything-on days when I just needed to keep myself busy. I’ve also had time to see more of some of my closest friends, AND have been lucky to have some neat opportunities come my way. So, at the end of the day, I’m more grateful than anything else. Just a little confused.
This little blog of mine turned four last month and while a lot has changed since I first started, a lot feels the same. Mainly the “generalist” aspect…I’m still interested in learning about so many things, there are so many directions I think I might like to go in, and I’m as indecisive as ever about it all. I’ll figure it out eventually!
And now, in an awkward segue to a recipe, this apple crisp is humbler than pie. (Just like meeee! Terrible, I know.) Humble in that it isn’t too rich (dessert for breakfast!), quick enough to throw together in a pinch, and still a treat. As always, thank you for reading (I’m still surprised that my audience goes further than my lovely mum), and please excuse the amount of first person pronouns in this post…
Happy weekend, all!
Olive Oil Apple Crisp
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup diced crystalized ginger
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
⅓ cup olive oil
4 apples, thinly sliced (peeled as well, if you prefer – I kind of like the “rustic” appeal of the apples with peel, plus it’s less work…)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a bowl, mix together the dry topping ingredients until well combined. Add the olive oil and stir so that the mixture is evenly coated. Place the topping in the fridge to chill briefly while you prepare the apples.
In a separate bowl, toss the apples with the spices, sugar, and lemon juice. Transfer the apples to a shallow baking dish, or cast iron pan. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples and pat down gently.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the apples are soft. If the topping begins to brown too much, and the apples are not tender enough, cover the top with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Let cool slightly before serving, and enjoy!