Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Legendary Springs

Most people I know are of the relatively stationary type in arrangements, but a few are the sort that can talk about spending a few months in place X, a few months and Y, staying in Z for a bit, and then going to N. I've had a certain amount of jealousy/admiration for those who can manage that very mobile life, as the experiences they would have seem really enriching, they wouldn't need to suffer from being away from people they want to be near so much (assuming they're not all in one place), and it seems unlikely they'd get in a rut (I'm moving largely because I'm in a rut and think maybe I'll have a better shot at finding love/happiness/whatever elsewhere.. but it's not at all easy). I sometimes wonder how they manage - finding a good job and a good apartment are all a "big deal" to me on the paperwork side, and on the social side, making friends, learning an area and its cultures, and building a life are another "big deal". How do the highly mobile people manage it? I know on the job front, a few of them are likely to go into business for themselves, doing anything from remote consulting (which they usually could do from anywhere) to endless streams of contract work. Most of my jobs, by contrast, have been very secure, solid positions where I could've stayed forever if I had wanted, and the benefit plans and culture of the workplace assumed that I would. Each apartment I've lived in was a place I expected to be for awhile, and so I settled in a bit - I've always held the ideal, sometime down the line, of settling in "all the way", for a place I'd be for much longer, but in practice I've settled in quite a bit. Maybe on some level I'd love to have far fewer *stuff* tying me down though, where although moving would not emotionally be easy, it at least would be pretty easy on the arranging-things scale. I think a lot of this is that I'm very risk-averse in some ways, and unless I think I might meet some long-frustrated goals (like making a lasting romance, which got me to Pgh in the first place), it's hard for me to gamble. Extreme risk-aversion seems to inform other parts of my life too, even my bouldering/rock-climbing style.

On some level, I'm laughing at myself for thinking this way, but I'm consoling myself that if I don't like Santa Barbara I can always come back to Pittsburgh, or try Boston, Austin, Dublin, or the other places I've considered - there won't be the personal tie to any of them but here, of course. I would be at least moderately embarassed if in 8 months I find myself returning to Pgh, but who knows? The emotional aspects of moving totally suck. Maybe I can learn to think a little less heavily about living arrangements and employment with this though. Jobs should not be like a life partnership/relationship - it should be ok to go if I decide my heart isn't in it. That's what "at will" employment means. I even know people who have left PhD programmes or changed them when things didn't work out - I need to stop seeing everything as shackles and always doing the "proper" thing to do.

I just need to convince myself of that.

Today there was Sleek, and it was insanely good. It is, unfortunately, not a food that seems to be particularly well-known by the internet, so I shall describe it. Spinach, black-eyed peas, the light taste (but no texture - maybe ground in?) of onions, cracked wheat, all sauteed, with some lemons to squeeze over it. It apparently hails from Lebanon, and there are, of course, other ways to make it - here is a different one. I hopefully will try Kassab's sleek sometime before I go - while they're not conveniently located for me anymore (no more free bus pass), I should stop by the Beehive again anyhow and I've loved everything else I've eaten at Kassab's.

I sometimes wonder if middle easterners had some people following the same vegetarian traditions that Indians have - Israeli/Arab restaurants seem just as good as Indian ones at having a wide variety of non-meat dishes to order. It is, of course, possible that "variety restaurants" in big cities in the US always have vegetarian dishes because the same demographic that eats a lot of foreign food (drawing mainly from liberal educated city-folk, I would guess) captures almost all vegetarians in the US (apart, of course, from American Hindus, who may or may not be liberal or educated in the same way - incidentally, Pittsburgh's Hindu temple was the first in the United States).

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