Enlighten me: What do most 22 year olds do on Friday nights? Dinner and a movie with friends? The bar scene? Clubs? Other stuff that take my mind to the gutter so I won’t write them here?
I honestly don’t know that many people in their early twenties. Most of my friends are in their late twenties, early thirties, and beyond. Some of the people who know me best are in their fifties and sixties. I get that it’s “fun to be young” and that we who are in our early twenties should have stores of energy to burn. So is it weird that my idea of a perfect Friday night is parking it on my comfy couch in the living room to work on a knitting project and listen to The Hunger Games trilogy on CD?
Alright, seeing those words written out does make it sound kind of lame. But that’s what I was doing last Friday night and I enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve since done it again a few times, too.
I’m all about honesty here, so I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Sometimes it’s hard to be who I am.
While the majority of my peer group socializes with alcohol (which I don’t drink) and food (much of which I can’t eat), I’d rather be enjoying a homemade meal in the cozy light of someone’s kitchen (maybe with some kombucha on the side).
While others spend the night partying and returning home (to their own or someone else’s…) in the wee hours of the morning, I’m much happier asleep in my bed for a solid 8+ hours.
While other women my age obsess over image and makeup and fashion and celebrities, I wear jeans and yoga pants and stay away from gossip headlines.
When I hear about the crazy dating scene that women subject themselves to—the ups and downs of one uncommitted relationship after the next—I often feel glad and a bit relieved that I’ve chosen not to put myself through that. While couples pair up all around me just as quickly as they break up a few months later, I wait patiently and keep my heart whole and undamaged, saving it for the one who I know will someday treasure it. And every moment spent waiting will be worth it.
See? Sometimes I feel like a fish out of water. Granted, I have a wonderfully supportive family and small network of close friends who mean a lot to me, but in the grand scheme of our culture, I feel out of place.
I like kale more than martinis.
I read books—long, old, classic ones—more than headlines.
I enjoy experiences more than things.
I seek pleasure in long walks and watching the sunrise, not in the arms of a stranger.
I spend more time striving to manage my stress than manage my money.
I find strength in the day’s quiet moments, not in its flurry.
I strive not to find myself, but to create myself.
And oddly enough, while I feel so different and what our culture might even term “weird” or “old fashioned,” it works for me. When I remain true to who I am at the core, I find so much freedom. Everything gets easier when I take away the “shoulds” and just do what feels right to me as a unique, wonderfully created person.
So while a 22 year old woman like me—an entrepreneur-in-training who loves to knit, cook, read about plants, craft, walk, and spend her nights at home—may look like a profile from the 1800’s in the eyes of this culture, I say that’s a load of you know what. You can be domestically bent and still have style, class, and a whole lot of heart.
I choose to be who I am because everything about it—while it may seem as out of place in our world as a fish on dry land—works for me.
When I am me—completely, uniquely, weirdly, wonderfully, undeniably me—I am whole.
Which brings me to this Nectarine, Basil & Goat Yogurt Smoothie. At first glance, the ingredients might be a bit surprising, a bit of a head scratcher. Fruit, basil, and goat’s milk yogurt all in one smoothie? Maybe it’s a little unconventional, but it’s delicious and unique in a very cool and unexpected way.
I don’t tolerate dairy very well, but I find that goat’s milk yogurt sets pretty well with me so I’ve been eating it every once in a while lately.
This is a fun one. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
- ½ medium frozen banana
- ½ ripe nectarine, pitted (freeze the rest for another time)
- 3-4 ice cubes
- 1 (6 ounce) carton plain unsweetened goat's milk yogurt
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond or hemp milk
- 2-3 teaspoons ground flaxseed
- 2-3 large basil leaves
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until creamy and smoothie.