Mac and Cheese Crisis – May 29, 2002

Caved and ordered a big ol’ pizza tonight, rather than sticking with the usual mac & cheese. I’m out of mac & cheese, so that might have had something to do with it. I prefer to go food shopping only once every couple of weeks — because when I do visit the supermarket, I go nuts.

When you think about it, the supermarket is one of the pinnacles of our society; where else are you presented with such an abundance of choice? Your destiny is your own while you’re inside the store. You can purchase anything that strikes your fancy, from garlic cloves to milk of magnesia (but hopefully not both together). You’re completely in control, and you leave with exactly what you wanted. Where else can you do that for a reasonable price on a regular basis?

May was a long month. I’m glad it’s ending soon. I feel the little knot of tension I’ve been carrying around inside me easing up. I may not know where I’m headed in the long run, but I don’t need to stress about it needlessly. I’ve been hearing a lot of people around my age voicing similar fears: What if I’m not successful? What if I decide to leave the city? I’m not a kid anymore, so what am I doing with my life? What if I’m 35 and still moving from job to job? It seems as if, measured against some invisible and perhaps nonexistent yardstick, we’re not doing so well. I wonder if this is a widespread commonality among people in their mid- to late twenties.

It seems like it was a lot easier to make decisions just a couple of years ago. I wasn’t afraid — I figured I had nothing to lose. Now I do. I’ve built a life for myself — an apartment, a job, a great group of friends, a car that runs, independent projects, a good dentist, a good mechanic — I am settled in to this city. Part of me is upset by that and misses the thrill of rapid change. Another part is encouraging me to enjoy this moment of stability. Right now, the practical side is winning. Of course, if there is anything I have learned, it is that a single day can change everything.

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