Thursday, September 23, 2010

existential crisis = falafel, of course

Yesterday, at about 4:30pm, Nathan sent me a series of increasingly desperate text messages.
"Do you have to go to yoga? Maybe you would rather do something different with me. And the dogs."

"Maybe get some takeout and have a picnic somewhere different. Just hang out. I know yoga is only an hour but by the time we are done with dinner there's only 1 1/2 hours before we go to bed."

"During which we usually watch something or read."

"Too much of the same."

"Days blurring!"

"Life is flying by!"
To which I replied:
"Okay. We can have a picnic."

I mean, who am I to choose yoga over my partner's latest existential crisis? Besides, he was right. I have a well-documented habit of over-scheduling myself and leaving little time for relaxation and romance. I love yoga, but missing one class wouldn't kill me. In fact, it might make me stronger. So, instead of dashing from work to a workout, I rode my scooter home, packed up the dogs, a blanket, and some beers, and piled into the car with Nathan, who drove us first to the burrito place in town that also makes halfway decent Greek food (Texas is weird.). (Also, we were doing something different, so we had to eat something other than sushi, our usual dining out option.) We ordered two falafel sandwiches and enough hummus to paint a house, then made our way to the park and enjoyed out dinner in the grass while the pups looked on hopefully. (Don't worry - they were not left disappointed.)

Nathan and I have been having a bit of a rough time lately. I hate to complain, because we both have good jobs, a great set of friends, supportive families, healthy dogs, and strong bodies that do just about everything we ask of them. We are damn lucky, and we know it. But we're also restless. We have big dreams and we're ready to begin pursuing them in earnest. But... we're in Nacogdoches, and we'll be here until next summer (assuming I get into the perfect MFA program, which will eagerly shower me with tuition waivers and stipends). Yes, there are things we can do to prepare for our exodus, opportunities we can still take advantage of, adventures that are still here to have, and we've been preparing, taking advantage, and adventuring, and truly, life is not terrible. Not even close!

I recognize that this year is a transitional one. Nathan just finished his degree and got his first real job. I switched jobs and am applying to school. We're figuring out where we want to live next, plotting and planning our course of action and waiting for the time when we can spring into motion. And that time is coming, but sometimes I wish that time was now. Falafel in the park can only fix so much.


  1. Nice work Nathan ;)

    (Also, I LOL'ed at "enough hummus to paint a house")

    Sometimes it's fun to just plain do what you're not supposed to do. Like when we order pizza instead of eating the pounds of fresh veg sitting in the fridge. The guilt lasts til the first bite, and is utterly gone when I see a clean kitchen at 8:30pm.

    Glad you guys had a nice evening :)

  2. I hear ya on the rough time. R and I are in finishing up degree/starting career mode and eager to do everything we possibly can in terms of taking advantage of every opportunity to move forward. As a result less time is left for relationship and training. Usually our schedules are such that training can be done together OR at times when we could not be together anyway. But when it comes to a choice between working out alone or spending down time together, time together winds hands down. Relationships, like training, need dedication and hard work. When that comes in the form of falafel and hummus, all the better!

  3. I can empathize! I currently have a fixed-term position as a Visiting Asst. Professor for this academic year, but I have no idea where I will be next year or if I will even be employed. While I am so grateful to have an academic job in this market, I feel frustrated because I am in my 30s, have a PhD, etc., but I am still in limbo. Since there are only about a dozen jobs in my field in the US and Canada each year, I have very little control over where I can even apply. My husband is also a recent PhD, is currently unemployed, and looking for academic jobs as well.

  4. Chrissy- I know the feeling... Don't worry! You'll find a place to go that you both love (in due time). You're smart to plot and plan until then.
    I have been scouring your blog for vegetarian recipes... Thanks for posting those, so YUM! This week I made your flaxseed pizza and indian samosa casserole! Delish! Have a great weekend!

  5. Thanks Callie! So glad you liked the recipes. We make the pizza dough at least once a week. I love it because it only had to rise for 20 minutes!

  6. Are you talking about Pepperjacks? The first three times I went there and tried to order falafel, no one working there knew how to make it. The fourth time, the owner was there and he made it. And it wasn't as good as the kind I've made with the store mix. How was it? Has it gotten better?

    Know what you're going through being stuck in Nac. We have to keep the house as our primary place of residence for three years in order to keep the tax credit. (Two more years to go.) :-\

  7. @Erica - Yes! Pepperjacks. The falafel is all right. We've never had a problem getting it there and I'm not so good at making it myself. It's good in a pinch, for a quick dinner, if you're tired of sushi. But after you've had the falafel at Niko Niko's in Houston, nothing will ever compare.

    Two more years! I feel your pain. Acutely.

  8. I love this post. It's so important sometimes to just go hang out and be together.

  9. I know what you mean, my life is totally in transition right now in every sense of the word. I don't know where my career is going, if it's a career I want, if I'll be able to move out the city, or if I want to, most of my friends have moved away, and on and on and on. I'm such a planner too, I like writing out to do lists and having my week planned out almost hour by hour (ok ok I'm crazy) so not having any clue where my life is going or where I even want it to's frightening to say the least.
    You know what could help you though? A weekend trip to Houston :) I don't really know where to find good Greek here either, but there's other good things. Including yoga in the park and a pretty good farmer's market on Saturdays.

  10. Hey Gaby! It's nice to know I'm not alone in feeling transitional and unsure, though I'm sorry that you're going through the same thing. I guess that's what makes life exciting though, right? I know for sure I'll be in Houston for the marathon in January. It would be fun to have a blogger meet-up then!